X Factor’s Jillian Jensen Shares Her Bullying Story
First Published: September 14, 2012 4:39 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Jillian Jensen hit an emotional note with “The X Factor” judges, including Demi Lovato, and even Simon Cowell, when she discussed still being scarred by bullying during the show’s Season 2 premiere.
On Friday’s Access Hollywood Live, the 19-year-old shared the story audiences didn’t fully hear on the show – how the bullying began and why she was tormented by other young people during her school days.
Jillian explained that initially, turning in another student to school authorities sparked the first wave of bullying.
“In seventh grade, a kid tried to offer me drugs in school and I did what I believed to be the right thing, and I notified the school, and needless to say, he got in trouble and a lot of the people in school were really, really upset about it and called me a snitch and made fun of me for a long time,” Jillian said.
But things changed when the budding vocalist began to show off her pipes.
“From there, I just became a target just because I am so open about music,” she said of what kids targeted her for next. “Music is what I love. It’s the only thing I really, truly am confident in.”
Jillian explained that her fellow students couldn’t help but share what they thought about her musical passion – without a filter.
“People just enjoy, if they see people doing what they love, they like to give their opinion and some of the time they like to tear you down and unfortunately, I experienced a lot throughout middle school, high school and also some of college,” she said.
The singer, who made it through to the next round of “The X Factor” said when she started releasing original music, there was a “general dislike toward me because I am so outward about getting my music out there and being myself.”
Jillian revealed on “The X Factor” that other students would call her up and, as a form of torment, would play her music to her over the phone. She also told Access she was cyberbullied.
The young woman said if she ends up not making it any further in “The X Factor” competition, the response from sharing some of her story on the FOX reality show, has been worth it.
“The response after the performance has been unbelievable,” she said. “Twitter has gone crazy, but most importantly to me, I mean I’ve been receiving a lot of e-mails and a lot of response from those who have been bullied like myself, just contacting me, thanking me for everything and I mean, it’s just such a blessing and like I’ve said… if nothing goes farther than this, I feel like I’ve accomplished the world ‘cause I really, I really feel like I did exactly what I wanted to do, which is inspire others who have been through what I’ve been through and that means so much to me and I’m very proud and very, very proud.”
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