X Factor Judges Houses Part 4 – Cheers with Tears

The final morning arising in Marbella not knowing our fate, whether we were about to embark on the biggest reality TV adventure of a lifetime or fly home back to our mediocre day jobs feeling positively suicidal. We were shuffled upon the coach of destiny once again, and spent most of the journey to ‘Simon’s (fake) house’ concentrating on projecting positive vibes out into the universe (hippie style) to get that all almighty pass to the X Factor live shows. The nervous countdown was well and truly upon us all. The agitation and restlessness was rife, causing the likes of One Direction to become even more annoyingly fidgety, jokey, pokey, and childlike like the irritating little brothers they were.

On arriving we were met by the crew and the usual cornered off area in the garden to sit in, to eat, sweat and wait around shitting ourselves for hours. One difference today was that some English Newspapers had made a strange appearance amongst the buffet food causing a strong state of confusion, as there on the front page of one paper was the headline ‘Cowell’s House Trashed’, IMG_4466followed by ‘SIMON Cowell’s £1million Spanish villa has been trashed by a gang of boozed-up X Factor contestants’. Had we been trashing Simon’s mansion in some unconscious sleep walking state? Oh no wait because we don’t even sleep in Simon’s mansion. So when the hell did this happen? Nobody could understand it. Oh wait, was it yesterday when the crew had asked us to ‘pretend to have fun’ on the beach, then gave us a room on the side of the mansion for all of us to get changed in. So, okay, we got a bit of sand like everywhere, but claiming we went into Simon’s fridge and stole his beer… (eye roll emoji) I kind of wish it were true, at least we’d have seemed slightly more interesting. This was the first time we truly learnt the truth of the saying, ‘never believe the papers’. And it definitely wouldn’t be the last.

Later in the day after even more interviewing we were directed into the mansion’s cinema room. Not to watch a film, but to wait and wait whilst the judges did their ‘deliberating’ filming, deciding who would be more marketable to the UK audience, who would receive the most votes, who would put extra pennies into the Cowell’s high pants pocket? One Direction were called and off they went to face their judgement. But only 5 minutes later they were back looking greatly bewildered, they said that Simon seemed to have changed his mind and had sent them back without giving anything away to what his original decision was. One by one the acts were called out and went to ‘the other side’ without the remaining acts knowing who had succeeded and who had failed.

hqdefault18We were next, walking to the marks on the floor in front of Simon and Sinitta, lined up like sweaty, anxious little puppies waiting for a treat to be thrown. Our expectations were averagely balanced however we had a silently combined sense of hopefulness between us for what the outcome was going to be. Sometimes I’ve claimed to be a tad psychic and at this very moment I was picking up positive vibes from Simon and Sinitta. Now you might be thinking ‘yeh right you can say that now’, but honestly really I could feel it. I mean it could have been the minuscule corner smiles on Simon and Sinitta’s faces while they spoke to us, but I’m still going to put it down to my impervious psychic powers.

Sinitta-and-Simon-CowellThey spoke some words, which I cannot for the life of me remember; I just tried to concentrate on the qualifying ones. Us girls were gripping hands at a painful level where the sweatiness couldn’t even activate cringe actions. We were in it one hundred percent together, sweat and all. The moment came, that really long annoying pause where you start to think that time has actually stopped, and if it doesn’t restart soon you’re going to pee yourself. The moment where all your dreams are potentially about to come true… ‘I’m taking you to the live shows girls’. IT HAPPENED. Rebecca fell straight to the floor, I screamed like a fox on heat and threw myself at Simon Cowell (obviously). White Chicks getting free Chanel from a naked Ryan Gosling could not have beaten us in a scream off. If I were Simon I would have instinctively pushed us all into the pool as a safety measure. But he loved it really; at least I’ve made myself believe that. The euphoria I felt at that moment was easily the most gratifying feeling I’ve experienced in my life thus far and I certainly wanted to share that excitement with Dermy. No matter how Dermot actually feels he always makes you feel like he’s really routing for you, that’s his magic. All four of us literally long jumped to Dermot and gave him the pleasure of us continuing to scream in his ears.

He then directed us to another one of the secret side rooms of the mansion where we were instructed to try and stay totally silent, due to the cinema room wall where the remaining contestants were waiting being adjacent. When we crept in we were totally shocked and surprised to be met by F.Y.D who we absolutely loved! We had to silent scream with sheer excitement and congratulations, literally bouncing off the walls, silent scream disco style. We calmed ourselves down, silently, to sit and wait patiently (and silently) for the last chosen act to walk through the door. It seemed like a lifetime staring at the door, then it opened, we ran to it desperate for it to be our other favourites. Harry Styles walked through the door, alongside Liam, Zayn, Louis, and Niall. Us girls had gotten somewhat close to the boys so were very happy for them, however I hadn’t bonded all that well with Louis so the congratulations seemed slightly awkward while I was extremely upset that my friends Princes and Rogues had not succeeded in making it. The consensus was that it was One Direction and Princes and Rogues that Simon was undecided on and at the last minute made a split second decision between them. And now what a good choice he made, but how strange to think it could have all been so different.

We were allowed to call home and scream nothing that made sense to our family members, apart from ‘WE GOT THROUGH!!” All communication for the next 10 minutes were high pitched screams. The crew were amazing and supportive, wishing us congratulations, but the next bit was the hardest part, meeting the other acts that hadn’t made it. Seeing Princes and Rogues being so upset while we had just been screaming in pure delight was heart breaking. Seems so silly when we hadn’t known each other that long, but you really do become so close to people when you’re so isolated from your friends and family at home. They were so humble and happy for us, unlike The Reason who refused to speak to us the whole journey home, weird. I also had to take a plane journey home with some girls from Hustle who I had a feeling didn’t like me all that much. I don’t even think they wanted to add me on Facebook. Now that is some rejection. I’m sure I wasn’t gloating about being able to meet Cheryl….

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Oh and here’s us jumping into the pool for ITV2 The Xtra Factor (the fun factor).

FAST FORWARD TO 2:15 (Lols)

 

Back home to Scarborough I go.

 

 

#3 Diary of a Failed Celebrity

My time on the X Factor was short and sweet, I spent 2010 learning what it’s like to be semi- ‘famous’, what it’s like to be judged and pulled apart by the media, what it’s like pretending to really enjoy the Sunday group song while the authenticity of my soul slowly died inside, 6 weeks trying not to murder One Direction in their sleep for waking me up every morning by jumping up and down like baboons on their bedroom floor above mine, and trying oh so hard not to roll my eyes at Louis Walsh listing his accomplishments, from a billion years ago (still loved him). Fortunately it wasn’t all death threats and misery. And even with the inherited need to be, act, and look cool, I admittedly and whole-heartedly indulged in some of the cheese and girlie excitableness that comes with the reality TV experience.

‘Be more excited’, ‘act like you really want this’, ‘tell the country why you deserve to be here’, were just a few of the media grooming suggestions you’d hear most days from the production team. But to be fair to them it worked, I participated in a barrel load of cringe that sometimes had me questioning my whole life. Am I a jazz hands person? This cannot be, I’m facilitating Halloween themed role-play just so that ITV2 will give us some airtime, and, I’m enjoying it. Who even am I? I stalked the studio visiting celebrities like an obsession (waiting for Cheryl to exit her dressing room at every possible opportunity to tell her she looks and smells amazing was unashamedly an impressively creepy period for me, and I didn’t even care if she thought that exact thing about me either).

Making yourself open to cheese on a reality TV show however does have its downfalls. Sinitta the wonderful female she is was just one more 80’s song suggestion away from Blue Stilton. Yes Simon Cowell did not make our song choices (although he was our mentor) Sinitta did actually have a job other than wearing plants and it was to sprinkle us with parmesan and serve us to a hungry army of TV critics. Even if we hated the song, we sang it. Even if we hated our outfits, we wore it (except on one occasion where my band members and I were asked to wear extremely tight and I mean condom fitting, and as good as transparent, bumps and lumps illuminating, red dresses. We were stood in the studio toilets, each stood on a toilet seat to examine the tragedies in the mirror. We looked like 4 aroused dog penises. We laughed so hard, mainly to stop ourselves from drowning our own heads in the toilet water, but it was decided that we would rather eat Simon’s sh*@).

One of my most memorable and cheesy yet wonderful moments was when we (the contestants) performed with Bon Jovi. We screamed and arguably destroyed the classic ‘Living on a Prayer’ on the X Factor stage, with Bon Jovi leading the cheese massacre. And he absolutely hated it. He was miserable, he wouldn’t even make eye contact (probably scared of facing the thing that was about to kill him off), but we were so buzzing we didn’t even care that we were embarrassingly left hanging from a metaphorical high five we so desperately wanted to give him. We pretended to be rock gods, we gave it our all and we bloody loved it. Safe to say that Bon Jovi probably questioned his whole career after that but oh well, we got our kicks.

 

I’ve gotten to learn that sometimes, you’ve just got to eat the cheese. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it can be devilishly good.

 

And, Sinitta will give you extra free clothes if you do.

 

Peace and Love x

X Factor Judges Houses Part 3 – ‘Hairmare’

‘Girls?! Girls! (KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK) GIRLS!!’

SHIT! We had slept in! A member of production was outside our hotel room door frantically shouting and banging in order to get us up. We all shot out of bed, literally bouncing off the walls trying to get our shit together. ‘Fuck, my hair!’ It was literally a backcombed frizz bomb and I had planned to get up early to sort it the hell out, as obviously today was the worst day to look like a bad Lady Marmalade Christina. But I didn’t have any time, we had to just grab what we could grab and shamelessly aboard the coach, brimming with contestants, production crew and executive producers, wearing our pyjamas. Un-showered, make up less, holding bundles of clothes, the embarrassment was honestly unsurpassable.

We arrived at the mansion still embarrassed and still looking like crap. We pleaded with crew to let us use one of the rooms at the side of the house to do whatever we could do with whatever we had recklessly collected from our suitcases in an attempt to rectify the dishevelled state of us. Straighteners were not included. I could have cried. We did what we could, and it wasn’t great. We had come up with the plan that we were to try and accentuate our already individual styles rather than moulding to match each other. I loved the 80’s, Rebecca loved the 40’s, Geneva was more bohemian and Esther more urban. So that’s how we dressed. And Rebecca decided to wear the most ridiculous heels ever that constituted in us having to carry her around all day.

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Soon after we were asked to go for another practice with the vocal coach, this time it was in the ‘gym’. It was accessed again from the side of the house and was complete with pool, Jacuzzi, and gym equipment; the décor was very roman Greek. So we’re stood around the Jacuzzi singing (random I know), when we are brazenly interrupted by Mr Cowell. He says ‘hello girls, don’t mind me’ and walks towards the gym equipment, we stare at him walk past holding his towel with a combination of confusion and bedazzlement. He perches himself on the rowing machine, topless and casually starts rowing. Even the vocal coach looked confused. Were we to carry on singing with Simon rowing away in the background? It was an awkwardly surreal moment; we discreetly smirked between ourselves to communicate ‘is this really happening’ without actually saying it. The vocal coach took it upon himself to shuffle us out of there to leave Simon in peace, rowing.

After rehearsing there was a lot of interviewing to be done before we were all to perform in front of Simon and Sinitta. It was absolutely boiling and we were made to sit on some steps outside in the blistering heat, sun blaring in our eyes being filmed and photographed looking ‘ponderous’. Squinting-hell. The outcome of that was us looking like we hated the world, and everyone in it.

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Our interview was tough; the producers at this point were trying their best to get tears. Questions like ‘what does this mean to you?’ ‘How will your family feel if you don’t get through to the next round?’ ‘How will you feel going home not getting through to the live shows?’ There was much encouragement to express as much upset and sadness as possible, and definitely a sense of ‘get the public to feel sorry for you and you’re more likely to succeed’. Personally I am not the best at expressing my emotions in a constructive and meaningful manner, I tend to shout or laugh and that’s about it (I think it’s a northern thing) so I did find it challenging. My feelings inside were authentic, I did really want to get through to the live shows and I really did think we deserved too but I felt the pressure of expressing that in a very ‘glee’ way. The crew were pleasant and seemed to respond to us really well, we did pretty much everything they asked of us and we made sure we didn’t moan about anything (much). We had quickly realised that the production crew have a lot of control over your progress, impressing them is in most cases more important than impressing Simon Cowell.

The time had come; we were getting called to perform. One by one, each act was taken from our hideaway garden down to the swimming pool area where Simon and Sinitta were set up on chairs, cameras everywhere. And we were the last to perform. So ourselves (Belle Amie) and whomever else wasn’t performing decided that while waiting we would hide in the bushes and spy on everyone else. We watched One Direction sing their teenage heartthrob souls out to ‘Torn’ maxresdefault(and other song, we all sang two songs, but I can’t even remember our second song never mind theirs) this was the first time we’d seen them perform properly together, they were nervous and slightly awkward, with the walking forwards and walking backwards thing but Hazza smashed some high notes and brought it back for them. You couldn’t deny them of their charisma but at this early stage in the competition there was actually no indication of whether they would work or not, the same went for us. It’s ultimately the public who decides whether or not you will be successful and we were yet to receive any public feedback.

During the previous days we’d messed around singing to each other on the coach ‘showcasing’ our performance song, but before that us girls totally felt like the underdogs. Taking into account Niall’s prior comments on the ‘unlikelihood of us being chosen’ and the extent of media attention some of the other acts were receiving, for instance the hunky boy band ‘The Reason’ article-1315417-0B5BD353000005DC-584_468x298had been plastered in most gossip magazines half naked for the UK’s middle aged women population to drool over, and we got the impression from a couple of them that they were pretty confident about being picked. And also, girl bands had always had a bad reputation on the X Factor. Why were we going to be any different? However, after us girls sang on the coach in front of everyone else we got a surprising reaction of mild shock, which for the first time gave us that bit of confidence we had been missing, and made us feel as though the others might actually deem us real contenders at last. And not only that, we actually did sound pretty effin good together.

Our gorgeous friends Princes and Rouges performed amazingly and we tried our absolute hardest not to cheer for them article-1315417-0B5BD3E3000005DC-241_468x286from our secret hideout in the bushes. Then it was us. We were directed to walk in from the side of camera shot onto our marked spots. The crew had prepped us with microphones but other than that we were pretty blind to what was about to happen. The nerves were at an all time high, nervous poo feeling times a million. We walked out of the blind spot and lined up right in front of Simon, Sinitta, Dermot and at least 20 members of production.
And all I could think about was my hair. I already had to deal with the embarrassment of it on Shipwrecked 5 years previously and I could not believe it was happening to me again. Sounds overly narcissistic I know, but the insults I received after the episode had aired proved my right to be devastated about it, ‘why didn’t the blonde girl bother to brush her hair?’ Fuck sake.
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Anyway getting passed the hair drama we actually did pretty well, and I actually enjoyed it. Usually I hated every second of performing in front of anyone, the anxiety of it always knackered me out and I would usually find any excuse not to sing to people (like never turning up to singing lessons at Performing Arts College) but this time was different, I think it was the girls, well actually I was pretty sure it was them. They made me feel comfortable and the ability to share my fear most definitely helped my confidence. Simon and Sinitta discreetly smiled throughout our performance, they were directed not to give anything away during acts performances but we got a good vibe from them, like they enjoyed it. And then once we’d Sinitta-and-Simon-Cowellfinished Simon actually said ‘well done girls’ and smiled. Now we watched the other acts sing from the bushes and he hadn’t said anything like that to anyone else so we were buzzing. We were so happy afterwards, and also positive that we had proved our worth to Simon and production, that actually we were quite good. We had built some good bonds with the crew and we got the feeling that some of them were silently routing for us to do well.

Dermot interviewed us afterwards, it was all positive, we were so relieved it was over to be honest, all the hard work was done. And now it was out of our hands, there was nothing else we could do, it was all up to Simon and ITV now. We were taken back to our hotel, many of us spent the late hours conspiring about who could get picked tomorrow and why. Diva Fever would be great for entertainment, Princes and Rouges were original and quirky, and there had never been anyone like them on the show before. Hustle were the rival girl band to us andarticle-1315417-0B5BD44F000005DC-862_468x286 although I personally felt they were very similar to a lot of girl bands
picked in previous years for the live shows, so didn’t think they would be an obvious choice, they were still really good. F.Y.D were amazing dancers as well as vocalists so they had a lot to offer everyone, Twem were gorgeously cute and so likeable but French, would the UK back them?The Reason would have a strong following from the female viewers so would that help them to be chosen? Would One Direction ‘5 Justin Bieber’s’ (as Niall self professed them as) go head to head with The Reason? Would age literally be the defining factor for them? Would we go head to head with Hustle being the other girl band or One Direction being the other ‘put together’ band? There was a lot to conspire about. Us girls re-lived Simon’s positive reaction to us, getting excited imagining ourselves being picked. I personally had a really good feeling about it and went to sleep smiling, and dreaming about meeting Cheryl.

Tomorrow all will be revealed.

 

To be continued…

Watch our audition (and my frizzy hair) here:

 

X Factor Judges Houses Part 2 – ‘Paella on the Beach’

One Direction, The Reason, Hustle, Princes and Rouges, F.Y.D, Diva Fever, Twem and ourselves (Belle Amie) arrive in Marbella, tired with excitement. We were put on a coach still clueless of where we were heading next or whom we were meeting. The crew must have had ‘professional poker face’ down on their CV’s as a fundamental attribute to working on the show, because they gave a very disappointing amount of no information away, at all. No matter how much we nagged like impatient toddlers at the back of the bus like ‘are we there yet?’, ‘where are we going?’, ‘who’s house is it?’, ‘pleeeeeeease’. They certainty added to the suspense by clearly enjoying not being able to tell us.

An hour later we pull in to a drive just off the main road to approach a rather large and extravagant house, ‘yes, are we here?’ We scramble around to get the best view of the building from the coach windows trying to figure out whose home it could be. We’re shuffled off the bus and positioned in a camera friendly manner around the front door of the mansion and we quite appropriately guessed it was probably to meet our potential future mentor.

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I was a travelling sweaty mess, with the Spanish heat rapidly adding to my sweat brow, I’d definitely looked better and yet here I am being filmed for millions of people to see, great. We wait for a good 15 minutes being filmed ‘looking at the door’. These moments often felt overkilled and there was a continual expectation from the crew to maintain an elevated level of happiness and hysteria. With low sugar levels due to the hectic itinerary (no time to eat) along with the heat in this case, keeping up the enthusiasm can be somewhat of challenge, ‘fake smiles’ are forever a must in reality TV.

After a tense wait the door finally opened, and out he came. Head to toe in attire unfashionable enough to bring Gok Wan to suicide. Horrendous shoes, horrendously bad fitting T-Shirt, and honestly the most horrific jeans that have ever existed in all of life, how can somebody with so much money, dress so badly? (Says the fashion expert who at the time dressed like a female Timmy Mallet) That question came to me soon after I had screamed with delight that it was in fact Simon Cowell who walked through that door (and relief that it wasn’t Louis Walsh) I’m sure we even ran to hug him.

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He stood awkwardly waiting for us to shut up squealing so he could speak, he said something TV worthy, then turned his focus back to the door and introduced his surprise guest. We already knew it was going to be Sinitta, and as much as we were grateful to see any remotely famous person we all kind of hoped for someone a little bit more, Beyoncé. But out she came in all her pop magnificence, 550w_reality_tv_x_factor_judges_houses_sinitta_and_simonsoaking up her moment with everything she had, dressed somewhat like a superhero. She didn’t disappoint her fans. Simon laid down the spiel, something like ‘this is your chance to prove yourselves’ etc etc and off he went. We were told to follow Simon into the millionaire’s mansion and specifically ‘not to touch anything’. We had a relatively minimal tour of what they said was ‘Simon’s house’, but it definitely wasn’t. If it wasn’t already quite obvious the houses are hired. Like they would really allow a bunch of desperate famous hopefuls into their actual homes.

We all gather on the beautiful terrace over looking the coast with Simon. We’re briefed by production that we will now ask Simon questions. Holy shit I’m on the spot what the hell do you ask Simon Cowell that’s not ‘why do you wear your trousers so high?’ I decided that to save myself the embarrassment of saying something ridiculous I would sit back and allow other more sensible people to do the questioning. The typical question ‘what are you looking for in an act’ was asked, to which Simon replied almost just as typically with ‘originality’. After that I felt like all we did was sit and stare at him, with it being the closest we had ever been to him. He was pretty much a real life waxwork.

‘Where’s he gone? Aren’t we invited in for tea and biscuits now? Am I not going to sleep tonight creepily satisfied knowing that Simon Cowell is asleep somewhere in the same building as me?’ Oh no I’m not because we’re being herded back on to the bus. The good news was that ITV2 and Konnie Huq were taking us for Paella on the beach! Konnie was the cutest thing ever, she was sweet and seemingly authentic, you got the vibe from her that she actually cared about you. We arrived at a small rickety beach hut somewhere in Marbella, it was bloody beautiful. We sat around a ridiculously large table big enough for the lot of us and we scoffed our little faces with the best Paella I had ever tasted. Some of us even had a few sneaky San Miguel’s, Louis was the only one of age from the 1D clang at the time so the others watched him sip his beer with a teenage thirst for the bad stuff. We did some filming (beers hidden) and chatted about what we thought about having Simon as a mentor. It was all very informal and fun really. We got to spend some time with each other and ‘bonded’, as cliché as that sounds, we really did.

Later that evening we arrive at a hotel (3 star maximum) near the marina (I think). Really we had no clue where we were we just saw the sea and boats and presumed. We were knackered but we wanted to explore where we were so we grabbed Princes and Rouges 33775_10150273709620514_393872_nand went for a wander down the front to try and find a nice little restaurant or something, which we did, tapas and sangria sat around barrels, Spanish music playing, it was perfect. We returned to the hotel and got into our PJ’s, myself and Geneva visited Zayn in his room (she clearly fancied him and kindly made me the third wheel). We were chatting about the other acts, who we thought was good/nice and spoke about our own group dynamics. Luckily for us we were getting on quite well at the time, however Zayn had some uncertainty about how he was getting on with Liam. He told us that he felt like Liam always ‘boasted’ about his past achievements (Liam appeared on X Factor the previous year making it to Judges Houses and had already built up a small fan base for himself), I suggested that he maybe look at other possible reasons he might be ‘boasting’, maybe he’s trying to be accepted? Maybe he wants you to be proud of him? Perhaps he’s just insecure and doesn’t feel as important as you or the others? Generally I do like to chat a lot of shite and I do have a tendency to try and ‘fix people’ even without their asking but surprisingly Zayn actually listened to what I had to say or seemed too anyway, and agreed that he hadn’t thought of looking at it that way. My people fixing ego felt satisfied while I reminded him of how much potential they had if they were to get on well (my Simon Cowell moment). We chatted more about life back home and Geneva did her best to get as close to him as possible without looking too desperate, that whole ‘did you see his foot brush past my foot’ period was happening with them, it was cute and I could see she was starting to become infactuated. I was just the old third wheel, getting involved in everyone’s business and giving out all my opinions to people who didn’t ask, thinking I was doing ‘good’. I was really annoying.

The following morning we were picked up by the coach and taken back to the mansion. There were chairs and a table placed in a hidden part of the garden, and that little section no bigger than my own back garden was where 32 of us were going to sit for 12 hours a day for the 4 days. Oh yes that’s right, we were not allowed into the house. Not even to pee. We had to use the toilet in the side house that was made up of a few bedrooms. And the funniest part was that the papers actually printed a story claiming that we had ‘trashed the house, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage’. And we weren’t even allowed inside the bloody house. Many of us conspired that it was merely a PR stunt to drum up more public attention, which equalled more money for the Cowell.

  
We had no clue what to expect that day, the production forever kept us in the dark about what was going on in order to protect any possible ‘surprise’ reactions from us. Which was understandable as catching ‘real’ emotions on film is what makes reality TV so popular. You are left in a constant state of terror, not knowing whether or not you’re about to perform. We were called into one of the side rooms where we were met by the same vocal coach we had back in London, we had a practice and were given advice and help with how to improve. At the same time other acts were being asked to do filming and interviews, the grounds were buzzing with crew and production members, as well as the lovely Dermot who still insisted on shouting ‘Scarborough’ at me every time we passed. Next we were on the beach with some of the other acts filming ‘walking shots’ and were asked to basically act like divs ‘run in the sea’, ‘look excited’, there were an astronomical amount of cringe moments.

After waiting around for hours, sweating and eating buffet food that was brought out for us in our little garden it was actually starting to get dark and I’m thinking well surely we wont be sat out here still in the dark. Yep. We sat in darkness, outside while other acts were being taken away to be interviewed. Finally it was our turn to have our main interview, but for this one we were allowed in the house, again told not to ‘touch anything’ with extreme seriousness. We looked like shit. It was now 10pm at night, we’d been sat outside since 8am in the blistering heat, we’d gotten wet and sandy from the beach and simply just stank. This interview was the ‘this means everything to us’ one. It was filled with us trying our very best to look ‘humble’ and ‘grateful’, and trying to project our need to succeed through our eyes, kind of like how Tyra teaches models to smize (smile with your eyes) I dramatically tried everything in my mind to transmit my lifetime wish through the camera. That wish was to meet Cheryl Cole obviously. I was so blinded by that thought that I hadn’t even focused on the ‘life changing’ aspect of it all. There was prompting by the director for certain answers and if you’re not careful you can fall into the trap of saying things you would have never said yourselves. Some of the time they are helping you, and some of the time they are helping themselves.

We got back to the hotel late and sat up for hours practicing, crapping ourselves contemplating that tomorrow could more than likely be the day that we have to sing in front of Simon Cowell. We were advised to be on time for the coach the following morning due to it being full of the production crew, so from that we assumed that meant tomorrow is the day. We had to be ready for about 6.30am I think and we were still up practising at 2am. Tomorrow was going to awful.

To be continued…

#2 ‘Diary of a Failed Celebrity’

People have always asked me ‘what is it like to be famous?’ And coming from a relatively isolated town, my 5 minutes of fame seemed to be the closest thing anyone had to the answer too (and when I say anyone I mean everyone between the ages of 14 and 30 who owns a TV). I myself had forever questioned what it meant to be ‘famous’, was it beating Cheryl Cole in the ‘top 40 reality TV babes’ pol in 2008 (oh yes that was an extremely proud moment, flicking through zoo magazine as I scoffed left over curry in my PJs, ‘look mum people think I’m sexy’), when Tinie Tempah asked me for a photograph semi excitedly (I could have wished the excited part up), or when I spent 6 months never being able to eat my restaurant dinner still warm, ‘you’re that girl off the tele aren’t ya, please can I have a photo?’, commence my table being approached by every other person in the restaurant, most of them not actually knowing who the hell I was.

The whole pandemonium that surrounds you when participating in mainstream reality TV is pretty daunting, and 100% surreal. I remember the first time I really felt the madness, I went to a newsagents to most likely purchase some form of sugary badness, a few magazines to keep myself occupied while I waited for Brian Friedman’s choreography class, and as I was reaching for an ice cold refreshment I was caught in a blinding storm of camera flashes, I turned to the shop window to find an aggressive ant farm of photographers scrambling on top of each other to get a picture. ‘Is Kim K in here?!’ Was my original thought as I bewilderedly and eagerly looked around to find her. No, it’s just me. What the… F word. Look at me, I am a disgrace, I am nowhere near the glamorous specimen that you are surely expected to be to be chased by the paparazzi. ‘I’ve had these jeans for like 5 years, at least wait until I look like I’ve tried!’

As an X Factor contestant every day after that was a similar story. Driving through London had to be done with the car doors locked, as on one ridiculous occasion a scooter-driving photographer jumped off his bike ran towards our car in traffic to open the door and shove his camera in. All we could do was throw our coats over our heads and scream like fully fledged scream queens. We did laugh regardless of his totally reckless and near psychopathic behaviour as it gave us that feeling of importance. I mean some guy has literally just nearly killed himself trying to get a photo of us, now I put some real effort in trying to get the perfect selfie but that was just exceptional.

Fame is weird. No matter how much of it you experience or the level of fame you reach. You are seen as an alternative life form, and even though I to an extent know how it feels, I’d still attempt to koala hug Beyoncé’s legs if I ever met her.

 

Peace and Love, until next time.

X Factor – Judges Houses Part 1– ‘Gay Porn and George Michael’

I’m home now, living the life of a small town gal once again in lovely little Scarborough. Everybody’s asking me questions, questions, questions, ‘did you get through then? You did didn’t you, I can tell by your face’, ‘what face? I’ve never even met you, you don’t know my face’. No but really, it was nice that people would be so charmingly interested and supportive of my whimsical adventures, some more than others I may add but that’s always the way in small towns, there’s always someone who’s got something bitchy to say, but don’t worry kids, I got my wits about me, and I can bitchy-rest-face like Janice Dickinson after a Botox hit (or so I’ve been told).

 

So its August, it’s been two weeks since Bootcamp and I’m very busy trying my best not to scream ‘I’m going to Judges Houses mother f**kers!’ every time I’m around, well, anyone, when I finally receive the email with a date. August 26th 2010 I’m to be at the Talkback Thames offices in London with a suitcase. ‘You will have an hour vocal on Thursday and Friday at 4pm. Pack enough clothes for Judges Houses as you may not go home before you leave but I will confirm that tomorrow.’ I had a strange moment of head blank before I absolutely buzzed my tits off with adrenaline and all the wonderful happy hormones our brains are good for. However, to piss on my happy little bonfire I still couldn’t actually tell anyone, so I had myself an internal celebratory party for one. I enjoyed the company.

 

Before our magical trip away, Geneva my newly founded band member had kindly organised for all four of us to visit her family home in France, where we could ‘bond’. Basically to give us half the chance of not performing like a Kerry Katona fuelled Atomic Kitten. We genuinely had a lot of fun, we got drunk, slumbered like prom queens, revelled in the attention the locals kindly but confusingly gave us due to Geneva’s parents flaunting us around their restaurant like super proud fandem.

 

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We spent approximately three of those days trying to come up with a bloody band name, and if you didn’t know, it is not easy. We humoured Geneva’s parents with their typically girl-band-focused suggestions and by the end of it I was so exhausted I was ready to be called the bloody ‘Four Dickheads. We attempted it again and stumbled across ‘Belle Amie’, a French meaning for ‘beautiful friends’. We were in France, we were kind of friends and semi-beautiful after some slap. Seemed perfect. Then, oh wait of course it’s also a porn site, why wouldn’t it be. Well ‘Bel Ami’ is, a very graphic gay porn site. But that means that some of the gay community will have already heard of Belle Amie no matter the context, the young girls will think its cute and girlie, parents will think its innocently appropriate and hopefully some sort of embarrassing incident will happen when the production team research whether or not we’re allowed to keep our name. Even more perfect. And sure enough a member of production called us soon after, we could practically hear her red face through the phone. She’s in the office researching our chosen name when up pops lots and lots of gay porn all over her computer screen. Job done. Plus we were allowed to keep the name. Thank F**k.

 

Unfortunately it was up to us to choose our Judges Houses song. I say unfortunately because this also took a ridiculous amount of time that could have been spent either eating or sitting in the hot tub. People must never give girls open choices; things do not get done. We tried a few songs and even recorded some of them. We were surprised to find out that our voices actually blended well, we all had different strengths and weaknesses and together it actually worked. We had to choose a number of songs to pass on to the production team as suggestions, they involved some Hayley Williams, Beyonce, probably Rihanna, Fleetwood Mac and between us we had quite the song knowledge, Esther was into R&B, Rebecca loved her Pop, Geneva liked classic pop/band stuff and I liked Drum & Bass/Dance as well as the collective of everything else. This opened up the ideas surrounding our image, what kind of band we wanted to be and how we would actually get people to like us. Because as we all know before Little Mix girl bands never did well on X Factor. But we had some dream like hope; we were all so obviously different with relatively strong images. For instance Esther was a Jamaican/Caucasian, young and gorgeous girl from South East London, who loved R&B, she had that cool, chilled essence of Cassie about her. Rebecca was a glamorous 40’s pin-up looking Irish girl with a strong, powerful voice, she had the Pink think going on and Geneva was Philippine/Caucasian with bohemian style, sweet toned and very musical. I was the blonde Northern one, who loved 80’s fashion and spent most of my life at raves. We were a good team. Surely someone will like us? Please, someone.

 

Geneva was very much the leader at this point, being at her house kind of made that difficult to disagree with but at the same time I did find it quite comforting that I could be lazier. Although I grew to like Geneva I did always have some unsolicited and at the time seemingly undeserved reservations about her. Maybe it was just me being a bit of a dick. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was so I put it to the back of my mind. But all of the girls were amazing singers and all gorgeous, and I felt as though we had a mutual sense of relief that we all actually did quite like each other, (we were very much in that ‘we don’t know each other enough to show our true colours yet’ stage) and the chances of that happening after being randomly thrown together were expectedly slim. I had already developed a bond with Rebecca during Bootcamp and that was apparent so naturally a strong relationship grew between Geneva and Esther who also had a lot in common.

 

A week later we arrived at the offices in London feeling confident and happy about our ‘bonding time’ to be met by all of the other contestants in the group category. I think the boys (1D) had spent time at Harry’s family home doing the same thing as us but hadn’t told us their band name yet. We all did a lot of conspiring about who our judge might be, where we might be going, the general consensus was that as long as we didn’t get Louis and weren’t going to Ireland it didn’t really matter.

 

Each group had their turn with the vocal coach over the two days there, during our time it was proposed that we sing ‘Faith’ by George Michael. This was not one of our suggestions. As good and classic as the song is we were initially quite panicky about it being an older song. We wanted to be able to appeal to the younger viewers, for people to think that we were relatively cool and we thought that meant singing a song from the last decade at least. The vocal coach and production team asked us to bear with them and gave us our parts. We went through it and actually we were pleasantly surprised, not to buzz off ourselves too much but it suited all of our voices well, we harmonised like pros and knew that the song would give us the chance to be original with it. We were happy and the X Factor team gave us great feedback increasingly our near non-existent confidence.

 

We then went into choreography where the performance aspect was added to our song. Again it all went surprisingly well considering that none of us were dancers and were all somewhat physically awkward. Everything felt good and right and we were starting to believe our hope of impressing whichever judge we would be performing too in the coming days. It all kind of seemed too good to be true.

 

Next we were loaded onto a coach and taken to a hotel near a London airport. All of us (contestants) were ridiculously hyper and already showing the signs of rebellious and spoilt popstars, it was difficult to not get caught up in the whole ‘we’re kind of special’ element as a bunch of young and easily influenced hopefuls. The good thing was that the crew liked us girls and we made an extra conscious effort to always show our appreciation to them, whether it be a runner, or a camera man, you see people forget the crew’s importance and how that can actually influence how successful you become from a reality show.

 

We hung out in each other’s rooms again attempting to predict the next few days. At one stage myself and Rebecca were in Niall’s room with either Liam or Zayn, he was trying to guess who out of us and them would go through to the live shows. He predicted that because the other girl group ‘Hustle’ who were ‘really good’ would ‘definitely be chosen’, we (Belle Amie) wouldn’t be picked. And we also wouldn’t be picked because they (1D) would be, and they wouldn’t put both put-together bands through. I challenged Niall’s theory and certainty about being successful and he said quote ‘why wouldn’t they put us through, we are like 5 Justin Bieber’s’. Now obviously at the time I was like you confident little shit (in a little brother kind of way), but it was only the other day they were described as exactly that on some E! 1D special. I’d grown quite close to Niall so I was admittedly taken back slightly by the sudden emergence of competitive rivalry, and was maybe unnecessarily upset in him not believing in us more. But then it was a game and maybe he was just being objective rather than personal. It was interesting to feel the competition really begin and with that there was bound to be some shift in relationship dynamics. I just didn’t necessarily like it.

 

This is where Niall also told us their official band name was ‘One Direction’, now honestly I laughed out loud, not in a mean way, but without the success and fame attached to it the name was pretty lame. It had ‘thought about it in 10 seconds and picked the first thing that came to our heads’ written all over it. Typical boys. But then really give me back those hours I wasted on aimlessly making up shit band names any day. In the end band names mean jack all.

 

I hardly slept that night, I felt 7 again waiting to get up for Disneyland. We were taken to the airport still clueless about where we were going. We were asked to gather around to be filmed opening an envelope informing us of our destination. However we had already kind of guessed it from the departures board. Naughty us.

 

Marbella’.

 

Buzzing it’s not Ireland! We screamed a lot. Now any judge could be in Marbella so we still literally had no clue. A lot of us were hoping for Simon or Cheryl, but that was inevitable, Simon for the power and success and Chez to stare at and touch, obviously. Interviews happened, more waiting happened, and then we were off!

 

Who the eff is going to be our judge…

 

(To Be Continued)

 

Peace and Love x

 

 

 

#1 ‘Diary of a Failed Celebrity’

I am vastly approaching the grand old age of 28, some would argue 28 as an age is far from ‘grand’, which in regards to, you know, life span I would have to agree, but my journey to this milestone has been adventurously chaotic to say the least. I kind of deserve to feel old and maybe even slightly wise, in a pleasantly retiring way. Or maybe I’m just self-absorbed who knows. Any who, for those who are bewildered by my modest and slightly narcissistic presence; in a nutshell I have spent the last 10 years haphazardly thrusting myself onto national television, (I’d say more clambering and less ‘thrusting’ my way to the top, if I were to correct previous insinuations). And yet throughout this long and painstaking period of ‘celebrity’ madness I have continued on, somewhat ferociously to fulfil my little life of a small town gal, in a little, small, town.

Why you say. That I have asked myself probably more times than you’ve had to deal with seagull s*** on your car, or worse a seagull that thinks your car is its new sun lounger, or crazy Alice over the road who loves staring in and telling you the longest stories at exactly the wrong time, and you end up doing her more favours than your actual family, but you cant help but love her anyway. But despite the pitfalls, the things I have loved about living in a small town are interestingly plentiful and I intend to share some of these insights with you along my pretentious name dropping yet humbling writing journey.

For the most part, my X Factor stint and thereafter was spent so Thelma and Louise, so Yin and Yang, so Pon de Replay Rihanna/post Man Down Rihanna, you get the picture. So I’m stood on the red carpet in front of Reece Witherspoon, casually taking an escalator with her (sweating buckets of ‘trying to be embarrassingly cool’, look at me I’m famous), to enter the Premiere for Water for Elephants very consciously aware of the fact that Robert Pattinson is somewhere in this room, I am breathing the same oxygen as Robert Pattinson, I have basically kissed Robert Pattinson. But then at home I get to experience the honour of paying close to a tenner for springs up my backside, stale popcorn, and that couple getting up to no good in the corner (there’s only you and them in the whole cinema, awks). But then again you can’t throw popcorn, put your feet up, sneak in a cheapo bottle of white, or tell people to ssssssh at a red carpet film premiere so… Small Town 1.

Another night I’m totally upper classing it up in the Mayfair hotel with my good friend, begrudgingly paying £12 for a vodka soda (like don’t they know who we are by now, we always get free booze in London, pfft). I head out to the ladies room clearly being noticed by everyone else as someone who definitely does not ‘belong’ in there (which I don’t, I’m staying in a single bed with my GBF, scraping pennies together for our next drink), when I accidently clash shoulders with Gwyneth Paltrow. She was the very opposite of happy, probably because her skin touched mine, I swear I even saw a grimace. Maybe I just slowed down her long legged pace I don’t know, but it’s fair to say that I have had more enjoyable experiences bumping into the ‘1,2,3,4 man’ in my town centre (he obsessively repeats 1,2,3,4 in different patterns, very loudly and always makes you smile about how funny life is, in a thought provoking, spiritual kind of way)… Small Town 2.

I did however, uncomfortably for him, have the opportunity to force a hug upon Alan from The Hangover. I did it. And I loved it… Big City 1.

 

Until next time, stay smart, and hug people.

The Small Town Life of a Failed Celebrity.

 

I have recently started writing short blog posts once a month for a local magazine called ‘Entertainment’ under the title ‘Diary of a Failed Celebrity’. They focus mainly on the differences i have experienced in celebrity life and the regular small town life i have and continue to live, and sometimes i’m just telling stories.

Firstly i will start with the Facebook status that started this whole writing journey off. It was in response to me being named a ‘failed celebrity’ (yes traumatising i know).And just like Adele i hope that the wanker behaviour of others contributes to my flying success. I did receive over 300 Facebook likes for this particular ranting post, so that’s the same.

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Here it is…

THE SMALL TOWN LIFE OF A ‘FAILED CELEBRITY’ by me.

So during my many years of living in a lovely little town, the accidental but seemingly incessant need to be on TV has unsurprisingly made myself a bullseye target for general gossip, insults and bad judgement (and not just from my friends). Luckily enough for me due to the high volume of darts being thrown my way I have come to find the much funnier side to them. I have been patient (in my impatient world anyway), have grown, and through many confusing experiences have accepted humanity, that being – some people are just stupid. It’s not their fault. They just are. So this is an ‘open letter/Facebook status’ to the vast array of people that I think are stupid…

1. People that call me a ‘div’ and have never actually spoken a single word to me. Ever. You are as annoying and stupid as people that say they don’t like the taste of something they’ve never eaten. And we all know they are really annoying people.

2. People that say ‘oh I thought you were going to be really stuck up, but you’re actually quite nice.’ – 1. Backhanded compliment. 2. Yes surprisingly I still live at home, eat, sleep and work like every normal person. And yes, I am quite nice.

3. People that come into my work and say ‘oh, you work here now??’ With a very loud hint of empathy and pity. – Yes well being on TV 5 years ago surprisingly doesn’t pay that well. And babe bitch gotta get that money.

Where do you work?? Shitting diamonds are you?? No didn’t think so.

Also my love for adventure and experience hasn’t done all that many favours for my work CV. I’m not a lawyer or a nurse BUT I have shared a stage with Bon Jovi, lived on an island for 5 months, travelled some ridiculous parts of the world and got drunk that many times in places and with people you could only dream about. I sure know which life I’d pick. And not to gloat anymore but in all that chaos I actually gained a degree in Psychology. So no with the pity face.

4. People who say ‘how come you’re still here’, ‘awwww that’s sad that you’re back home now’ *pity face. Hang on. This is the first time I’ve seen you in town after you’ve been in your house for 10 years having babies and playing candy crush. What do you mean why am I here 30% of the year??? Because it’s my home maybe?? Stupid.

And I forgot you were Christopher Columbus because you had a day out in Whitby last year. Soz.

5. People who say ‘you think you’re mint now because you’ve been on TV’. Errrrrrm I didn’t but I do now after listening to you. STUPID.

6. People who try to use ‘failed celebrity’ as an insult, Now this one in particular is one of my faves. However I do still have trouble understanding the insult in itself, as i am unaware of the maths behind measuring someone’s ‘failure’ in the world of celebrity. All I do know is no longer does anyone interrupt me while I’m about to tuck into a nice restaurant dinner for an effin picture, and thank F*** for that.

I did however fail to save my dignity from being embarrassingly crushed when I met Michael Buble and Katy Perry, but ya know, can’t win them all.

7. ‘Wannabe celebrity’- Again a favourite, and also the most commonly used. I suppose in a literal sense it seems as though it was once true. I ‘wanted’ to be a celebrity. When actually, every time I’ve put myself on TV it’s just been a creative (and very fun) attempt to avoid ever getting a real job. I’m a lazy cow. That’s it. But honestly, I’ve never really been able to feel insulted because I mean, we all want to be something don’t we?? Mines just ‘wannabe songwriter residing in LA with 10 dogs and a decent tan’. Get it right, thanks.

8. People who look like shit and think they have a right to comment on my outfit. NO.

9. Every person that has ever passed on a rumour or made up a rumour that I’ve either been pregnant (twice), been a drug addict (like I could ever afford that), had sexual relations with people I’ve never even heard of, had diseases of every kind (even aids once. Someone actually rang me to tell me they ‘knew’ I had aids because they gave me it… When he realised that that meant he had aids he quickly told me he didn’t because he’d ‘cured’ himself. That was a fun phone call from an unknown stupid person). The best one, a Paedophile (that was mainly Niall from 1Ds fault for saying that he fancied me, but didn’t really the media just twisted it, but yes I did actually get called that a few hundred times on Twitter by very angry teenage girls).

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The point of my story is that 1. Yes people can be really stupid. 2. If you’re one of these people then try and refrain from looking even more stupid by keeping these silly thoughts to yourself. Or thinking for a moment before you say them out loud. If you’re mean you’re miserable. Instead be nice. It’s a much more affective and less negative way of pissing people off.

I have had some good laughs though guys.

PEACE ✌

 

 

X Factor Bootcamp – ‘The Final Countdown’

Day 6, the day I was allowed to do nothing. Myself and everyone else who had performed on Day 5 were to be the audience to the other half of frightened hopefuls today. It was bloody great. One by one they approached the stage holding their dreams in the shape of a microphone, and as entertaining as it was to watch (Chloe Mafia explaining why she couldn’t remember her words because she ‘went out and got hammered last night’), the good ones slowly but surely chipped away at my optimism for success. But, at the same time my sometimes-annoying inner loveliness wanted everyone to do really well. Yes I know it’s human to secretly enjoying watching people fail (Derren Brown told us), and I’m not pretending I don’t when I’m feeling especially devilish (usually while I’m watching ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’) but I had just been in their shoes, and it was effing awful.

Jade Thirlwall sang her little heart out and was give-her-a-record-deal-this-second pop-tastic fantastic; Fiona Culley the country girl with the voice of an angel smashed it.

Princes & Rouges X Factor Bootcamp 2010

Princes and Rouges, pure delight.

Princes and Rouges I’d yet to speak too but after their audition I needed them in my life ASAP. FYD showed the judges they had everything a five star boy-band should have, the dancing, the voices, the originality, the style, okay so I loved them. It was a long but fun day, myself, Matt C and John W screamed with bias for those we liked and judged our competition, sensitively of course. Well sometimes. Then, there was only one more sleep left, will I go to judges houses… will I ever meet Cheryl Cole. Time to sleep my stress away.

Day 7. We were up at the crack of dawn again, and I was shitting it from the moment I opened my eyes. The feeling was almost euphoric, like, as if I am here in Wembley about to stand in front of Simon Cowell to find out my future fate as an X Factor pop wannabe. How strange. I glanced at my phone and felt lucky for the well wishes I’d received (although we weren’t allowed to broadcast our progress so publicly, my closest from back home knew what was going on).

Matt and I are walking up to Wembley and he’s telling me how ‘no one (production) has been interested in him’, that ‘they haven’t interviewed him hardly at all, compared with other people’. I reassured him that he was the best and not to worry, even though really I was thinking ‘shit’, poor Matt if that is actually the case. But I had overheard from fellow contestants that his second song performance was out of this world, so maybe he was the outsider that unexpectedly bumped himself up to the top spot at the last second, maybe he hadn’t been acknowledged as a strong contender by the production crew up until that point. I was nervous for him as much as I was for myself.

I was waiting around behind stage for a quite a while, the boys were up. John Wilding came off stage happy as hell, he’d made it, I was over the moon for him, whilst trying to contain the selfish need to whinge about how scared I was for my fate to be revealed during his celebratory moment, oh wait I didn’t, I did whinge a lot. I told him that I knew I wasn’t getting through. Try not to mock me but I’ve always thought I was a little bit psychic, not that I can predict actual events but I’ve always been pretty accurate on predicting whether something will or will not occur in my life, and I just couldn’t picture my name being called out and by Louis in particular. That was my psychic prediction anyway, and I told John all about it. niall horan bootcamp x factor Niall then came rushing past me all red faced and teary eyed, I reached out in an attempt to grab him, to console the poor little mite, but he wanted to be alone, safe to say he was devastated he hadn’t made the cut. I couldn’t cope with Harry’s sad face coming off the stage either; I’d compare it to the face of a boy whose puppy had just been run over, but the cutest boy. If Harry the boy with the biggest fame potential here hadn’t got through then I definitely wasn’t. Oh f**k.

It was the girls’ turn. Approximately 25 of us scurried up the stairs to the stage, the judges were about to pick 8 of us to go to Judges Houses, the next stage, the final step before the famous Live Shows and as much as I wanted it, I just knew that my name wasn’t going to be called. It wasn’t me being pessimistic or trying to save my self for the embarrassment of not being called, I just knew. I knew the Sharks (my team) were going to win the raft race during my stint on the TV programme Shipwrecked, but I knew the Sharks weren’t going to win the show, and I knew I was getting through my first X Factor audition, because I could picture the winning or loosing moments in my head.

X Factor bootcamp Rebecca Ferguson‘The first girl we have chosen is… (longest pause ever) Cher Lloyd.’ Shock. Well we all knew that was going to happen, we all applauded quite gracefully and to me it seemed well deserved. Then there was Rebecca Ferguson, at this point id never even heard her sing, but she looked so majestic; her charisma alone forced me to applaud her with great enthusiasm. Gamu (the girl who had the whole visa drama), Treyc Cohen a gorgeous thing that had been moved from the ‘Over’s’ category into the girls, as that year Sherzy decided that the age 25 was too low and it was changed to over 28. Katie Waissel who I also expected to be chosen, she was the ‘character’ and she was definitely going to make the show interesting. Two other girls Raquel and Keri who both had great voices were called, then it was time for the last name and interestingly enough it was down to Louis to announce it. It was already confirmed in my head, it wasn’t me. ‘Annastasia’, she broke down and was uncontrollably grateful, she had auditioned the year before so was that contestant. It happens every year. She was extremely talented and I felt her relief. My friends Jade, Fiona, Rebecca C weren’t successful either, even though I knew they deserved to be, but that’s the crap thing about talent shows, you might be the most talented singer, you might look the part, but it might just not be ‘your time’. The industry is a fickle one guys.

Obviously I was gutted, I felt drained, exhausted, like I wanted to just sit in a corner and cry for a little bit. Then lay in bed for a week with Gossip Girl and Dominos cookies on tap. I came off stage and called my Grandma, the camera crew came rushing over to capture the heartbreak in all its reality. I told her I didn’t make it, I had myself a little pity party and then was asked to speak on camera about it. I held it together as much as I could and was then escorted back to the holding room by Rob the nice crew boy.

As we entered the holding room there was nobody else there, I was confused and even Rob was confused, he quickly rushed back out of the door, radioing something on his little earpiece, I was like, what is happening. Something is happening. I can feel my little psychic sense screaming at me, telling me something exciting is about to happen. Rob told me that we were to head back downstairs then asked me to wait in the corridor outside the arena. X Factor Bootcamp 2010 sophia wardman one directionNext minute Rebecca Creighton (the Irish girl I had shared a room with) was being escorted up the corridor towards me, she was agitated and confused, she had attempted to storm out of Wembley after not being chosen, and even with the crew desperately attempting an interview with her she was telling them to ‘f**k off’, but with persistent encouragement they managed to get her to come back. She asked me what was going on, I told her I didn’t know but something is going to happen.

We were met by a group of other girls waiting behind stage. The crew then called out Rebecca, Esther, Geneva and myself and asked us to go back up on stage. What we didn’t know was that on the other side of the stage they were doing exactly the same with the boys, and as we walked onto the stage Harry, Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn were walking towards us. One direction x factor bootcamp belle amie 2010All sorts of possible outcomes were running through my head, are we going to have to battle against each other now to earn a place at Judges Houses? Are we all going to have to sing again separately? Are we in a group? We both stopped in our places and were told by Nicole that they had decided they were to make two groups out of us, but what they didn’t show when it was aired was that we were then asked by Simon to go off and decide whether being in a group is what we wanted, he didn’t tell us what the outcome would be however.

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Amidst the million photos of the boys backstage, i managed to find one including, well me. There I am.

We met with Konnie Huq and the camera crew to discuss what we were doing. I was over the moon, I was nervous as shit on my own anyway so at least this way I can share the burden of messing up and looking like an idiot, and, most importantly I’d get to go to Judges Houses. The other girls expressed the same feelings, apart from Geneva. ‘But I’ve always wanted to be a solo singer’, she said. Her dreams were understandable but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, how could she be doubting it I thought, I think I even used a Beyonce/Destiny’s Child comparison in an embarrassingly desperate attempt to persuade her. In the end no matter what she wanted she knew she couldn’t pass up on this opportunity, so against her solo singer dreams she reluctantly agreed to be a part of the group. And we ignored the small downer on our most exciting moment.

Back on stage and Simon’s asking us what we’ve decided, ‘bloody yes we’re a group, so tell us what’s happening!’ He then says something in a bit of a riddle, and neither the boys nor us have a clue what he’s saying. belleamie3On the video clip you can see me mouth the words ‘are we through?’, which could actually be mistaken for ‘what the f**k’. Then he says ‘you’re both through to Judges Houses’, you know just to clarify, then we scream, scream some more, cry some more. Then I’m calling Grandma again telling her I’m now through, talk about putting her through hell, she was more confused than I was. The feeling was bloody incredible, we were through, I was through, Matt was through, John was through, FYD were through, Princes & Rouges were through, I was buzzing, actually understatement, I was smack me in the face and call me Betty bouncing all over cloud 9. We all hugged and screamed at each other with crazy excitement. I bloody loved it.

Bootcamp, you have been a rollercoaster, I have cried, I have laughed, you have now given me cold, but, I tried it and I bloody well did it.

I’m coming home. For now.

Watch the video clip here

X Factor Bootcamp Day 5 – ‘What’s Going On’.

I woke up having only a few hours broken sleep; I must have had a million dreams, mainly consisting of various scenarios of how this day was going to go, or how bad it was going to be. We had all been given individual schedules for the day including dance/performance practice with Brian, which meant precious one on one time with the dance God, and a singing lesson with a celebrity vocal coach. Now obviously this is all fun stuff, however my ‘stage frightened’ brain often stops me from enjoying even the most fun things if it means me singing or expressing myself outwardly in front of absolutely anyone. Apart from talking, I’ve always been super good at that.

So I’m in the Hilton Hotel in Wembley queuing up to see Brian oh so close when I notice this rather peculiar yet stunningly attractive blonde in front of me, she was talking, a lot, wouldn’t shut up in fact. I think I recognised her floating around during auditions but hadn’t yet held a convo with her. She was a distinct combination of Gwen Stefani and the late Brittany Murphy, the resemblance was so uncanny I couldn’t stop staring at her. We got to chatting and she told me her name was Katie Waissel, that she had done this and done that, with this famous person and that famous person. The pretentious gloating that emanated from her sent me into fatigued distraction but instead of choosing to dislike her I decided that she was just the eccentric one, the very pretty, very eccentric one. She told me that she was already on friends’ terms with Brian and that he always told her ‘she looked just like his friend Brittany Murphy’. I indulged in the narcissism with her as I did actually agree, it was the self-complimentary comments I had trouble with, but nether the less she seemed like a pretty harmless, enthusiastic creature.

Off Katie went to see Brian in a conference room and I waited semi patiently, repeating Katie’s self-flattery to the friends around me, expressing my curiosity for her, I knew she was going to be ‘someone’ in this competition, down to, well, everything about her. After 20 minutes or so Katie appeared and seemed to be crying, oh wait, yep she’s definitely crying. Eye roll. She seemingly intentionally (but maybe unintentionally) announced down the line of girls waiting that Brian and her had ‘had a moment’, due to her looking so much like Brittany Murphy and Brittany recently passing at that time. Now I don’t want to mock what could have been an extremely sentimental moment for Brian, but if it were me then I would have perhaps kept that moment to myself. But you know, each to their own an all that. Maybe it was just her way of expressing her feelings, telling total strangers about it.

I had my turn and loved every second of it, being in the company of the man that choreographed the music video ‘Slave 4 U’ for my childhood idol Britney and starred in it, never mind the long list of impressive accomplishments alongside it, was definitely a pinch myself moment. I could tell he knew I was awkward and uncomfortable with the whole ‘performance’ aspect of singing in front of people but he made me feel good, and he made me feel like it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a Pussycat Doll, that instead I could just be confident with my awkwardness. That worked much better for me.

Next I was backstage at Wembley being seen by a celebrity vocal coach, now I’d had some experience with vocal coaching, as my dear mother tried her best to keep me engaged in some kind of musical training being the musical extraordinaire she is. And even though the whole 10 minutes of coaching was beneficial I was more focused on getting him to name drop… tell me who you’ve coached though, was she a bitch? Who’s a shit singer really? I felt as though I was trying really hard to pass the questions to him through some kind of psychic power I must have assumed I had while he was telling me how to breathe correctly. My attempts failed me and my dream of becoming Professor X’s protégé was crushed. Not really. I’m just a very nosey individual.

Soon after I’m waiting for the call to perform on my own, in front of the judges, in front of the cameras, with a future potential 10 million viewers watching the probable fail at my attempt of this song. And I still wasn’t 100% sure of the words. Bloody great. Instead of performing by category today we were split into two large groups. Half were singing today and half tomorrow, and the half not singing today could sit in the audience to watch those of us who were, great, more people to embarrass myself in front of. I was glad to be doing mine first, (well not glad, I was never glad) so I could get it out of the way and mock the others tomorrow while I’m totally relaxed. My name was called and down I went to wait behind stage once again, this time there was a set up of mirrors like a dance hall and two lovely looking dancing males were being filmed giving performance tips to auditionee’s, now as good looking as they were me being filmed attempting a mock performance for them was my worst nightmare, I kept my head down hoping not to be noticed. But obviously because of this I was noticed. The gorgeously majestic Anthony Kaye, model and celebrity dancer (yes not intimidating at all) was to watch me perform my chosen song to the mirror. Let’s just say there’s a reason it wasn’t aired. Let me just re repress that memory to the deep dark depths of my brain, thanks.

I was up, internal swearing was at an all time high, it didn’t feel good. I walked on stage clutching the microphone like it was the last piece of dairy milk in the company of emosh girls. I held eye contact with Simon while he asked me for my name, where I’m from, my age and my song choice. I shakily answered his questions like the quietest little mouse and waited for the music to start. My main worry was knowing when to come in on the track, I had messed up more than a few times whilst practising, which meant that my chances of starting at the right point when I’m nervous as f*@k were slim to none. Yep messed it up. Bring it back, bring it back, remember the words Sophia. I chose ‘What’s Going On’ because well, if you saw the song choice… I knew the most popular songs were going to be sung by everyone, which meant I’d be getting compared to loads of other people, better to chose one that many won’t chose, and I had liked the song as a youngster. I think the judges were a bit confused as to why I chose it but again that’s better for me.

I got through it. The torture was over and I stood there hoping for some sort of reaction from the judges. Nothing. Absolutely kick me in the face nothing. Just ‘thank you’. I left the stage feeling anxious and deflated, reciting every mistake in my head. Luckily my good friends John Wilding and Matt Cardle were still to perform so it helped me project some positivity rather than wallow in my own misery. It became a team effort and I don’t think I could have stayed sane without them there and it’s amazing how much you can come to depend on strangers.

The day of auditions were over and we were assigned to our hotel rooms, this time I was staying with the beautiful Rebecca Creighton, which I was very happy about, I was slightly obsessed with her and wanted to know more. We stayed up once more outside, Niall jamming on his guitar, some Led Zepplin or something, we had a good 38290_1484597231613_2704451_nold sing song, got our nightly McDonalds and then had a small random gathering in our hotel room. Zayn Malik, Esther and some girl that was obsessed with Zayn (the obsessions started early girls), and for some strange reason we were singing in the room, god knows why, it was like a private showcase (we’d had a bit to drink), Zayn hadn’t however and was extremely shy, he did sing though, and was very good. I was honestly quite shocked how good he was. The night ended somewhere and we all went to bed, I was looking forward to a relaxing day watching everyone else die with nerves.

PEACE.