You can pretend not to be interested, but really X-Factor is irresistible, and inevitably most of our nation get involved in the hype, even if that is just ‘loving to hate it.’ I love to love it, and even auditioned for the programme this year, keen to experience the process for myself. (Read about my audition here.)
With a stroke of genius luck I got invited to the live show last Sunday, in none other than the VVIP section (that’s right Very VERY Important Person!) I went along with my best friend. We met up a few hours before the show to get ready and prep ourselves for the night ahead. With a little guidance from my younger sister and other helpers we decided on sequined dresses – of which I have two, a glitzy Primark number for my pal, and I wore my beautiful vintage Butler and Wilson dress that normally hangs in pride of place on my bedroom wall. Make-up was applied, sparkly gems glued to our cheeks, heels fastened and feathers tucked into our perfected hair. We were finally ready to go.
The journey in the car there was relatively easy, the venue, Fountain Studios in Wembley, isn’t far away from my house. We passed rowdy queues of excited fans as we circled the studios trying to find a parking space. Thankfully we didn’t have to queue, in fact we just quoted our names and waltzed in with the other lucky VVIPs. The ladies toilet was where we found our first exciting encounter of the night – one of Nicole Scherzinger’s dancers, noticing her (even more glittery) make-up we plucked up the courage to chat to her.
We were soon ushered into the, surprisingly small X-Factor studio which, I later found out, was in fact the largest in Europe. We sat in our seats (about 10 rows behind Louis Walsh), and waited for a painfully exciting 15 minutes. With five minutes to go the audience warm-up man came up on stage to prepare us with cheering instructions. It all came and went by very quickly, but I absolutely loved every second – the atmosphere, the music, the bitchiness, the celebrities. We decided that perhaps the most intriguing part was seeing the action in the studio when the cameras weren’t filming: who talked to who, which contestants were friends and which judges demanded the most pampering.
Performing on Sunday night’s show were The Wanted, Nicole Scherzinger and mini popstar Justin Bieber. They all put on a fantastic show, and it was fascinating to see how swiftly the management team transformed the stage. The Wanted boys drove around in dodgems and Nicole came down from a circular construction in the air. The star of the three was little Bieber, who I had previously dismissed as a phoney untalented kid... as it turned out, his new single is pretty catchy and as a dancer he is absolutely exceptional. Adorably he played up to the audience too, throwing his leather gloves to nearby screaming girls.
I don’t need to tell you who was evicted, I’m sure you all know, once Katie Waissel had gone it was down to Louis’ two contestants, Mary and Wagner to wow the judges with a final offering. Both belted out classic songs, but it was (unsurprisingly) Mary that made it through, with all four judges choosing the Tesco check-out lady over wacky Wagner. I liked Wagner and his presence in the show, and was sad to see him go; he left the stage with great dignity.
After the live show, we went into the special canteen-type room to greet (well more like mob) the remaining X-Factor contestants. The One Direction boys were super cute and very friendly, all of them willing and enthusiastic about having their photo taken with the fans. We chatted to One Direction Louis’s little sister for a while about what it was like being the sibling of one of these famous young boys, she seemed unphased and instead told us all about the news from the X-Factor house, and some excellent gossip! We shamelessly fought through the people to meet most of the X-Factor stars, and have the photos taken to prove it! I have to say after meeting them all, my alliances have changed rather dramatically... with One Direction and Matt Cardle firm favourites at the top.
An unforgettable evening!
Apologies for the ultra long post – I assumed you’d all want to know EVERY detail!