British singer Stacey Solomon spent $160,000 (£100,000) on a year-long court battle to get out of a contract stemming from her time on The X Factor.
The singer-turned-reality TV star came third on the U.K. version of Simon Cowell's singing competition in 2009, and was obliged to sign up with a specific management company during the series.
She later became frustrated at the agency's decisions over her career and decided to sign with another publicist instead - but she was taken to court over the contract dispute and battled for 12 months to free herself.
Solomon, who is currently pregnant with her second child, tells Fabulous magazine, "After The X Factor I became part of a machine. I felt like a puppet. I was given a contract and I signed it. I would have signed anything. They could have told me to shave my head and I'd have said: 'Pass me the razor.'
"I would have done anything because I was just so grateful to be there and to be given an opportunity. I didn't realise after that there was nothing I could do - I felt tied in. There were a lot of jobs that I couldn't do. I felt trapped and I had to get out...
"(After the court case) I was left with a huge legal bill - it's cost me more money than you can imagine - but it's worth every penny. It's lovely to have money but it means nothing when you feel trapped somewhere you don't want to be... I feel really proud of myself that I got up and walked out. I'm normally the kind of person who just smiles and says: 'Thank you very much for everything', even when I'm not happy. This time I stood up for myself and made some good decisions."
And Solomon has also advised wannabes trying out for TV talent shows not to fall into the same contract trap, adding: "Speak up if you're not happy with the way things are heading."