X Fac­tor star Deanna tells of her hur­ri­cane heartache

The Mail on Sunday - - Comment - By Katie Hind

X FAC­TOR con­tes­tant Deanna Muss­ing­ton jumped for joy last night when she was told she was go­ing through to the fi­nal stages of the com­pe­ti­tion.

How­ever, be­hind the singer’s smiles was the heartache of what she has left be­hind at home in An­guilla – the Caribbean is­land de­stroyed by Hur­ri­cane Irma last month.

The singer’s fam­ily lost their car hire busi­ness in the dis­as­ter, and she wept as she watched her neigh­bour’s home be­ing torn to pieces by the storm.

Speak­ing to The Mail on Sun­day about the trau­matic scenes, Deanna, right, said she thought she was go­ing to die. ‘I’m blessed to be alive af­ter what hap­pened. I am very, very grate­ful,’ she said.

‘There is noth­ing left of my neigh­bour’s house now, I watched it get blown apart. She has noth­ing left and my mother’s busi­ness has gone. All of the cars were de­stroyed. Some­one in our com­mu­nity died too.’

She said is­lan­ders had been with­out mains elec­tric­ity fol­low­ing the storm, re­ly­ing on gen­er­a­tors for power. ‘But they don’t last for ever,’ she added.

Deanna, 22, was on a trip home af­ter her suc­cess at the au­di­tion stage. She was liv­ing with mum Jean, step­fa­ther Ronard and grand­mother Monica when the hur­ri­cane struck. Now the star­let, a favourite of head judge Si­mon Cow­ell, is de­ter­mined to give back to the is­land com­mu­nity who have sup­ported her dream to be­come a singer. ‘I am think­ing of do­ing a ben­e­fit con­cert when I go back. It was the cit­i­zens of An­guilla who pulled to­gether to get me to Bri­tain to do my X Fac­tor au­di­tion so now it’s time for me to re­turn the good.’

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