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UK: Now Cowell faces the judges: Snubbed Britain's Got Talent singer takes him to tribunal

In a role reversal Simon Cowell was probably not expecting, one snubbed contestant on his hit TV talent show Britain's Got Talent is trying to make him sweat in front of a panel after the programme made a 'joke' out of her.

Emma Czikai was brimming with confidence as she prepared to take to the stage last May.

She told the cameras: 'I do have the ability to move people. People have cried when they have heard me sing.'

Quick exit: Emma Czikai feels she's been mistreated by the talent show

But things did not turn out quite as she hoped, so much so the first judge hit the buzzer signalling her demise before she had even got through the first line.

Mercifully the boy band favourite You Raise Me Up was over before it started as Simon Cowell joined Piers Morgan in quickly declaring an unconditional surrender.

Finally Amanda Holden, having cruelly allowed her to continue for longer, bailed out as she reached the chorus.

After suffering at the hands of the judges she feels so strongly she has been wronged that she has complained to media regulator Ofcom. And despite never coming close to a record deal she is also taking her complaint of discrimination and unfairness to an employment tribunal.

The former nurse claims the show erred by failing to take into account a medical condition she says affected her performance. She says she suffers from cervical spine neuritis which can affect hearing.

Symptoms include head and shoulder pain and which can mean sufferers cannot hear their own singing voice in noisy environments.

Czikai also complained that the microphone she was provided with was not one she was used to and that the backing track was too loud.

Cowell at the time rebuffed those claims without hesitating.

He said: 'Emma, Emma, reality check here, it's not the music, it's not the microphone, it's you.'

Yet she has now lodged a claim under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Britain's Got Talent judges

No contest: Simon Cowell wasted no time in telling Emma she was talentless

She said: 'This story is the truth behind the joke. They made one big joke out of me. They put it on the YouTube and sold it in 30 countries. The whole world is saying: 'This stupid woman's a laugh.''

Czikai's case rests partly on the claim that the hit TV show can be regarded as her employer as it involved a knock-out process culminating in short-term contracts of employment for those successful enough to participate in a roadshow.

Ofcom has already ruled against Czikai on her assertion she was treated unfairly but the programme makers behind Britain's Got Talent have only 28 days to respond after the tribunal also received her complaints.

The claim will not necessarily reach a hearing but this will be decided by a judge once the show has responded.

Czikai expects Cowell to be called to defend the claim if it does go to a full hearing.

A Britain's Got Talent spokeswoman said: 'We are aware of the matter and it's currently being considered by our lawyers.'

Legal experts claim she has a difficult road ahead if she is to come close to winning her case but the complainant herself says the consequences of her mistreatment have been far reaching.

She said: 'My health and wellbeing has been damaged. I have been going downhill quite markedly this year.'

And despite having once built up a reputation as a singer at charity events, she added: 'Last year I had no phone calls at all.'

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Added: Jan-30-2010 Occurred On: Jan-29-2010
By: 24038462
Arts and Entertainment
Tags: UK, Cowell, faces, judges, Snubbed, Britain's, Got, Talent, singer, tribunal,
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