5 talent show contestants who tragically took their own lives


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It’s always difficult to watch someone you admire commit suicide. While we’ll never know how much these contestants suffered, we can talk about their great talents and remember them for who they were.

1.Anthony Riley

This singer was 28 when he was found dead in the basement of his building in Philadelphia. He was the main competitor on The voice in season eight. All four judges fought for him in his blind auditions, and many fans thought he was going to win the contest.

Riley won his first competition in the battle rounds, then retired from competition. He left the show to join rehab and get his drug addiction under control. According to PEOPLE, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide by hanging. During the last weeks of his life, he roamed between friends’ homes, drug rehabilitation centers, psychiatric wards and hotels.

His friend summed up the last months of Anthony’s life as “a torturous, delirious and sometimes erratic sprint. He was plagued by depression, skipping doctor’s appointments, having drug binges. All the while, he was recording the best music of his life.



2. Jack Saunders

Saunders was part of a five-man dance group on England has an incredible talent. The group was called Green Force Five. But, ended up pulling out of the show out of respect for Saunders after his death. He tragically committed suicide on March 17, 2019. It devastated his family and staff on the show. His mother opened up to The Mirror and explained that she had no idea her son was struggling.

“I don’t know why he did that, he didn’t leave a note. He didn’t have depression. He went to the doctor before Christmas because he felt tired and they never noticed a problem,” she said. “It’s just shocked everyone because for others, Jack had everything. Jack has accomplished more than many people could ever dream of accomplishing.

She also shared how she felt her son was hopeless and lost. Hundreds of people attended a memorial event in east London for Jack. It just goes to show that even people who might seem like they have it all don’t feel like they do.

3. Ara Starblaze aka Ariel/Amy Burdett

We’re sure you remember her X Factor audition in 2008 where Simon Cowell slammed her as a total and complete nightmare. She left the judges speechless with her original song.

Amy Burdett has been found dead at the age of 38. She was found lying in bed with an incision in her neck and drug toxicity in her veins. Prior to her death, her owner visited her home after concerns about her well-being. Burdett didn’t answer the door or the phone. After eight days, the owner returned and found her dead.

There were no suspicious circumstances. Deputy Coroner Sarah Watson noted that Burdett was a “well-rounded person” who was a singer by profession. She said Burdett “died of a deliberate self-inflicted wound where her intentions at the time were unclear, with a background of drugs and toxicity. She wasn’t just a name and a number, with a risk assessment, she was being cared for by her family and mental health professionals.

His friends posted tributes about him after his passing. They all expressed that they knew she was struggling. May she rest in peace and may her musical career and individuality continue to inspire others.

4. Battle of Simone

Simone Battle was part of X factor auditions in 2011. She even had Cowell as a mentor during the show. Shortly after her X factor time she joined the girl group, GRL

On September 5, 2014, Battle’s boyfriend found her hanged in his West Hollywood home. According to TMZ, family sources told law enforcement that Battle became depressed over money worries and was frustrated that her band didn’t break through in the United States. Her spokesperson said she also suffered from depression.

What’s even sadder about this story is that her band, GRL, went on tour with Meghan Trainor in 2015. The girl group broke up for a while, but have since gotten back together.

5. Paula Goodspeed

We know you’ve seen this Paula Abdul super fan’s audition. The judges hated his audition. They literally laughed at his singing. Little did they know she would soon be making national headlines. On November 11, 2008, she was found dead of an apparent drug overdose outside Paula Abdul’s home, along with CDs and photos of Abdul that were found in the car.

Goodspeed was known in the LAPD’s threat management system for harassing Abdul, so police knew exactly where to look for her. Abdul was at american idol studio when Goodspeed was found. She said: ‘I am deeply shocked and saddened by what happened yesterday. My heart and prayers go out to his family.”

Simon Cowell commented on how he wished he had helped her during her Idol time in a 2008 interview.

If there’s anything to take away from this article and the video, it’s that people can struggle in silence. Mental health awareness is so important. Don’t avoid these conversations. Be sure to check if your friends and family members might have mental health issues.

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