Sunday, August 14, 2011 2:54am ET by  
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Tulisa opens up about 'putting her life out there' in documentary

With the eighth season of The X Factor premeiring next Saturday (August 27) people are looking to new judge, Tulisa Contostavlos from hip hop group, N-Dubz, for her spotlight debut.

She has battled a tough upbringing to make it on the UK's urban pop scene. Now, her new role as a judge alongside Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow is the next step in her rise to stardom.

N-Dubz as a whole has already collected two triple-platinum-selling albums as well as a handful of their own top 10 singles. They've topped the charts as guests on Tinchy Stryder's song 'Number 1' and starred in the popular Channel 4 series, 'Being N-Dubz'.

But Tulisa was born Tula Paulinea Contostavlos in 1988 to musical parents, her mum a singer in Eighties band Jeep, her dad a keyboardist with Mungo Jerry. Her parents separated when Tulisa was just nine, and by age 11 she became the primary carer for her mother, who had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

During this tough time and given so much responsibility, Tulisa struggled with eating disorders, abusive relationships and self-harm.  

Tulisa's father Plato admitted that she would often turn up to see him with cuts on her face, which was the result of bullying over her mum's condition. She's talked of more than one failed suicide attempt, whereas her experience looking after her mother was captured in the moving television documentary 'Tulisa: My Mum And Me.'

“I don’t think I wanted to die,” Tulisa said. “I was kind of like, ‘I can’t think of any other way to deal with all this.’ If I thought like that now, I’d want to slap myself.”

"It was a risk for me, putting my whole life on a plate," she said after the documentary had aired. "Did I really want people to see that much of me?"

Peter Robinson, who oversaw The X Factor magazine 'X' during the last series, thinks Tulisa has been chosen specifically for the young viewers: "Barlow for the mums and Tulisa for the kids."

Speaking of her character, he said: "She'll face being called a chav by the sort of people who throw the word chav around.

"Plus, the way she's dealt with critics on Twitter suggests that she's easily rattled and live TV might throw up a few choice phrases. But more recently she's shown herself to be sharp and funny and likeable and if [the programme's producers] position her right I think she'll be a good ambassador for young Britain."

Watch Tulisa chat about her X Factor judging experience here: