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 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 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.
‘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. Next 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. All 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.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. On 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