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