Raunchy: Goldie Cheung sprawls across a piano on tonight's X Factor. She has now quit the show after being annoyed at being made a joke of
She was due to arrive last Sunday to prepare for next month's live shows. But Ms Cheung failed to turn up at the £5 million villa.
Her exit comes as the programme was forced to replace Sian Phillips, another of the finalists, because she had served time in jail for affray.
An X Factor spokesman confirmed Ms Cheung, whose husband is a former civil servant, had left the show for 'personal reasons'.
Showing off her moves: Goldie was seen strutting her stuff on stage during the X Factor bootcamp last night
Quirky: Goldie gave it her all during her performance, even writhing on the stage floor for effect
But The Mail on Sunday has spoken to sources who claim she left because she feared she would be turned into a national laughing stock.
It raises further questions about the ITV1 show's treatment of contestants. Only last week it was criticised for its handling of 54-year-old widow Ceri Rees, who was repeatedly invited back by producers but ridiculed for her performances.
Silenced: Goldie said she was told not to give any interviews about the X Factor
The Mail on Sunday tracked down Ms Cheung to her family's £350,000 bungalow in Skelmersdale, Lancashire.
Asked if she had left the show, Ms Cheung, who was still dressed in her pyjamas at 4.30pm, said: 'No, I haven't left the show. Who told you that? I haven't even told anyone that.
'I cannot speak to you. The X Factor have told me I can't give any interviews.'
Despite her sudden exit from the show, Ms Cheung features heavily in tonight's and next week's programmes, which were filmed more than three weeks ago.
A source said her decision to leave was triggered by discussions with her husband, David Webb, 52, who used to work for Chris Patten, the former British Governor of Hong Kong. Mr Patten is now chairman of the BBC.
Following a series of conversations with her husband, Hong Kong-born Ms Cheung concluded she was being used by the programme as a figure of fun – like last year's tone-deaf act Wagner Carrilho – rather than a serious contender.
Tonight, viewers will see Ms Cheung give another attention-grabbing performance, lying on a piano and afterwards attempting to kiss Take That star Barlow.
In further scandal, X Factor bosses had to kick out Miss Phillips, 24, because her conviction would prevent her getting a visa to travel with other contestants to Miami.
She will be seen briefly on tonight's show before she is replaced.
BBC confirms there is no role for Cheryl Cole on The Voice
Cheryl Cole has suffered another career setback after the BBC confirmed it would not offer her a role on new reality show The Voice.
Corporation sources said the 28-year-old held talks about appearing on the series, which will feature singers auditioning to a blindfolded celebrity panel so they are judged purely on their vocal ability.
But producers felt the show, which launches in the spring, needed a fresh face. A decision on the line-up has yet to be made.
Miss Cole is on a sabbatical after leaving her judging role on The X Factor and being axed from the US version of the show. Sources said the singer intends to focus on her music.