25 October 2012

I Could Have Been On The X Factor

Vicki tells us about her near-popstar experience in the first installment of a weekly X Factor update...

I Could Have Been On The X Factor

My sister applies for us to go on every TV show going. You name it, she's emailed them. And all behind my back.

Take Me Out, Dating in the Dark, Britney: the World's Greatest Tribute, and, most recently, The X Factor.

I know she does this, because she makes one fatal error every time - she gives the production company my telephone number (apparently it's easier to remember than her own).

They've called me on the train, the bus, once even while I was in the biscuit aisle at Tesco deliberating over hobnobs or bourbons. Let's just say I'm pretty practiced at the art of suddenly and unexpectedly 'losing signal on my phone.'


Anyway, in March of this year, I got the usual email through, the one I get every year around this time. "Congratulations! We'd Like to Invite You Along to the X Factor Open Auditions!" And every year, I react in the same way: by deleting the email and refusing to speak to my sister for at least 20 minutes, until I need to ask if I can borrow her hairbrush.

But then, in April, we got another email. Not just any email. The email to end all emails. From the X Factor itself. OMD.


"Dear Contestant. We would like to invite you to a special audition day where you bypass the huge open day crowds [...] It's a much quicker process and all auditions are held inside in private audition rooms."

We'd been invited to a private audition?! Who even knew they even existed?!

Now I've always been dead set against doing the X Factor because I've always thought we were far too credible (which is ironic given our 'act' wear matching dresses, have been compared to Jedward and sing songs about Britney being dead behind the eyes), but even I was tempted.

Recent revelations about researchers approaching acts and getting them to audition mean most of us have a sneaky suspicion X Factor's not quite the straight-up talent contest we'd like to believe it is. But if it makes for good, fun telly, maybe it doesn't matter?

Plus I REALLY want to be a popstar.


So, what to do? On the one hand, I knew it could be the best experience of mine and my sister's lives (and we've met Alan Titchmarsh). On the other, if we got through, it could be single-handedly the most embarrassing (and we've had hair extensions fall out on stage).

In the end though, I knew I had to go with my gut. I had to hang up the popstar dream, for now at least. I had to pretend I was going through a tunnel with no signal. Yep, it was a no from me. My sister was dismayed; my friends thought I was nuts, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Maybe I'm an idealist at heart who just likes the idea of doing music the DIY way, or maybe I just know our band are so ridiculous we'd definitely be put through, mocked in front of the nation and then have tomatoes thrown at us in the street when we go out in the first round because people discover we can't sing.

Either way, watching the X Factor live rounds on Saturday, it was weird to think that we maybe could have been there, or at least had a better chance at it than most. 

I mentioned this to my sister, but she didn't reply.

Then I realised why. Of course. It was her turn not to talk to me.

Related links:

Missed an episode of the X Factor? Would rather wait until the boring acts have gone before you start watching, but still want to know what's happening? Don't worry, we've got the low down and will be reviewing the show every weekend right here.

Vicki lives in Manchester and runs the Hollyoaks website. Her band are called Me and My Sister (Fun Fact: Anna (one of the founders of Whatever After) wrote them a song which they performed at Bestival). Follow Vicki on Twitter @vickilutas.


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