X Factor: Londoner Ashley quits boyband The Risk
14:54 29 October 2011
South Londoner Ashley Baptiste has thrown The X Factor into disarray by quitting boyband The Risk.
The 22-year-old from Lewisham was part of the foursome appearing in the live shows.
He said: “It’s been a really tough decision but I have decided to leave The Risk. I don’t believe my future lies in a boyband and it’s not fair on Charlie, Derry and Andy to remain in the band when I am not truly committed to it for the long term.
“I believe The Risk can win the X Factor and I’m backing them all the way. I count them as my friends so I know we’ll stay in touch.”
The Risk also features Derry Mensah, 21, from Croydon.
X Factor reject Ashford Campbell has taken the place of Cambridge-educated Baptiste in The Risk.
Campbell was previously a member of boyband Nu Vibe who were voted out in the early stages of the live shows.
He was rushed to the X Factor studios on Friday to rehearse with his new bandmates ahead of tonight’s show.
The boys said: “We’re devastated that Ashley has decided to leave but we respect his decision.
“After taking in the news we decided that we didn’t want to be a trio, we really wanted another member. We have always liked Ashford, right from bootcamp, and always had a strong bond with him.
“He’s mega-talented and will bring so many qualities to the group. We’re so glad he said yes and we can’t wait to get rehearsing.”
Mentor Tulisa Contostavlos, from Camden, said she was “gutted” to see Ashley go, but added that Ashford was “a fantastic fit”.
The X Factor has also been rocked this week by the absence of judge Kelly Rowland, who has been unable to fly back from the US due to ill health.