X FACTOR contestant Lucy Spraggan has been forced to quit the ITV1 talent show after a mystery sickness made her too ill to perform for the second week running.
The Canterbury-born singer-songwriter, who took the nation by storm with her amusing, self-penned songs, said she was "gutted" to have to pull out.
But the 21-year-old said it would not have been fair on her fellow contestants to be fast-tracked to next week's live shows, having missed two performances.
Lucy grew up in the city and went to Wincheap Primary School, before moving north at the age of ten with her mum Anstey.
Last week it emerged Anstey had used a copy of the Times' exclusive report, published on October 18, about Lucy's Canterbury roots to make a card for her daughter.
She tweeted: "I made a 'get well soon' card for small bird (Lucy) using the Times' 'We Love Lucy' headline."
Speaking after her shock departure, Lucy said: "I am gutted not to be able to continue on this journey but I am not well enough to perform.
"To accept another free pass having missed last weekend would not be fair on the others in the competition. I wish them all well.
"I would like to express my thanks to everyone who has supported me. There is no way that this setback will prevent me from fulfilling my ambition. You'll be hearing from me again very soon."
A spokesman for The X Factor added: "Lucy isn't well enough to perform this weekend so she has decided to withdraw from the competition.
"We are all sorry to see her go and wish her all the best for the future. She has been a fantastic contestant."
Lucy shot to fame after a memorable audition in front of Gary Barlow, Tulisa, Louis Walsh and guest judge Mel B which earned her a standing ovation.
The performance of her own song Last Night has been seen 11 million times on YouTube.
The openly gay singer was being mentored by judge Tulisa Contostavlos, who tweeted: "I'm so sorry to lose @lspraggan from the competition.
"I have had a brilliant time working with her and I hope I can continue to mentor her in the future. I now count her as a friend. She is an amazing girl. I love ya, Lucy, get well soon and my thoughts are with you."