The X Factor contestant Tamera Foster has responded to tabloid revelations that she boasted about taking drugs on the internet.
The 16-year-old, who is one of the early favourites for this year's show after her audition was shown at the weekend, told The Mirror: "I'm upset and ashamed by my actions and realise how stupid I was.
"I never meant to encourage or endorse the use of drugs. It's no excuse, but this was several months ago and I've done a lot of growing up since then."
Tamera had mentioned smoking marijuana and hinted at the use of another substance on Twitter.
She continued: "I really want to move on from this and focus on my passion, music, and doing well in the competition.
"The support I've had since my audition went out has been brilliant and I'm really overwhelmed. I don't want anything to get in the way of me achieving my dream."
Tamera wowed the judges with her performance of Whitney Houston's I Have Nothing, with Gary Barlow telling her she had "potential beyond belief" and Louis Walsh saying she could be better than previous winners Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.
A spokesperson for the show said: "X Factor does not condone the use of drugs in any way, and appropriate action will be taken against anyone found to be taking drugs while under our care."
Tamera is currently 9/1 second favourite to win the series, behind Sam Bailey on 8/1.
Gary Barlow has suggested he was "glad" to see Tulisa leave the show.
Watch MTV News on the hour every hour on MTV - Sky Channel 126 and Virgin Channel 134