You may have noticed that here at GraziaDaily HQ, we're not backwards about coming forward when it comes to our not-so-secret obsession with all things X Factor related. So you can imagine the office's squeals of excitement when our very own style director Paula Reed was hand-picked to appear on The Xtra Factor last night to impart her expert fashion advice. And we couldn't miss the chance to get the scoop on Cheryl's latest look, Mariah Carey's lipsynching and what Jedward are REALLY like. Here's Paula's backstage blog...
It took me five hours to get ready for the X Factor (purple dress: Alberta Ferretti, new chop: John Vial from Real Hair). FIVE HOURS for three minutes live discussion with Holly Willoughby, Sinitta and a man from The Sun in front of 2 million viewers. There is something about those figures and a TV camera in the face that makes my mouth open and rubbish come out. It’s an out of body experience.
There was so much to talk about! Why does Stacey have to wear those big bad ballgowns. How does the stylist expect her to breathe, let alone sing, in a corset and 20m of taffeta? She’s got great legs and looks way better with undone hair and a bit of a tunic dress. Why does Olly have to wear such tight trousers? Every appearance is fraught with the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction. What is Louis’s style plan for Jedward? Someone mentioned Las Vegas. Does he realise they are a couple of big cats away from being the new Siegfried and Roy. How fabulous does Dannii look: loving the Donna Karan and the Dolce & Gabbana; and how her hairdresser can find so much to do with so little hair defies logic. And why is Cheryl’s stylist determined to make her look as uncomfortable as possible in those teeny body con numbers? Asked the producer to doublecheck that the pink number from Saturday night was indeed a Giles dress and he came back with a worried look on his face that he was sure it wasn’t a child’s dress, it was actually by a well known British designer.
The audience was hilarious. Front row was full of Simon Cowell’s family celebrating his mum’s birthday. There is definitely Cowell hair. The row was punctuated with black, tufty, sculpted barnets. We all had to rehearse cheering, booing, swaying and chanting. I kept a black coat on throughout. Call me a killjoy, but I wasn’t about to be spotted in the X Factor audience swaying between Gordon Smart and Sam ‘n’ Mark.
Mariah Carey was pre recorded and lip synching. Subo was pre-recorded but singing the song herself. The X Factor contestants lip synched the group song. Anyone who queued for tickets for hours in Sunday’s weather would be forgiven for being a bit cross. By the way, Olly Murs really can sing and I had a tear in my eye when he did Wonderful Tonight.
But the most fun of all was hanging out, with the contestants, at the bottom of the stairs to the Xtra Factor studio in a space the size of a big broom cupboard, waiting for the judges to have done their bit so we could all go on.
Stacey is a sweetie, who introduced herself by name to everyone she met (she has NO idea she is famous). Joe is smaller than my 11 year old. Lloyd is cuter than you think. Olly is very serious and business like. And Danyl bosses every one around just like you know a teacher of 8 year olds would do. Jedward are my new boy crush: funny, dry and sweet. They are way cooler than they come across on X Factor: way more Mighty Boosh than Louis Walsh and I wish them all the best. And, for what it’s worth, I reckon they’ll be around a lot longer than any of the people they were on stage with last night…
If you missed it, check out the videos below (skip ahead to 7 mins 55 secs to see Paula in Video 1):