Nov 29 2010 By James Cracknell
AFTER bidding the X Factor a gracious farewell on Sunday (28), Harefield's Katie Waissel says she is 'looking forward to the rest of her career'.
In a whirlwind of TV interviews following her exit from the show, Katie said she felt a mixture of relief that she could move on, and sorrow for leaving the show that had made her dreams come true.
It had been a turbulent time for Katie who faced an often vicious media and public backlash. But she told viewers of This Morning on Monday (29): "It has definitely been a battle but one that was worth sticking to.
"I just kept my head down and got on with it. I wanted to show people it doesn't matter and wherever you come from you can come through it."
The 24-year-old had earlier appeared on breakfast show Daybreak, when she thanked her mum for the 'amazing support' she had given her.
After meeting her daughter for lunch, Diana Waissel told the Gazette: "It is time for her to get on and start her music career.
"She went out on a high singing two great songs on Saturday and it doesn't really matter that she went out this week, she is just really excited about the future."
Katie had survived the X Factor's dreaded sing-off an astonishing four times, so it was ironic that she should eventually leave the ITV1 show without getting a chance to perform a 'save me' song.
In Saturday's quarter-finals, she had sung 'Sex On Fire' by Kings of Leon and 'Everybody Hurts' by REM to largely positive responses from the judges.
Commenting on the aggressive press coverage Katie has received over the last two months, Diana said: "It has been a difficult time for her.
"But she has held it together tremendously and has not let it get her down. I think many others would have quit faced with what she had."
While it could be the beginning of a successful career in pop music, the family business, DNK Fashion in Pinner, still hopes to benefit from Katie's popularity with the odd modelling appearance.
"But I don't expect to see her behind the till again," added Diana.