Monday 9 December 2019

'The crowd forgets the person on stage is a human being' - Janet Grogan on X Factor, the chairs, Simon's regrets, and future plans

Janet Grogan sang 'Crazy in Love' by Beyonce for her final audition.
Janet Grogan sang 'Crazy in Love' by Beyonce for her final audition.
Carer and mum Helen Fulthorpe (34) was given Janet Grogan's seat on The X Factor
Janet Grogan
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (centre)during the six-chair challenge stage for the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor. Picture: SYCO/THAMES TV.
X-Factor judging panel Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh losing viewers
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Irish X Factor contestant Janet Grogan has revealed she was "devastated" to be ousted from her seat on last night's show but is "delighted" that Simon has since tweeted that losing Janet was a "mistake".

Janet (26) from Kingswood in Tallaght earned one of Simon's six seats for the over 25s with her rendition of Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' only to lose it to the very last performer in her category, Helen Fulthorpe.

Initially Simon asked Lizzy Pattinson (sister of actor Robert Pattinson) to vacate her seat for Helen, before changing his mind and choosing Janet instead.

"With the chair process you feel like you’re living on borrowed time anyway - it can be taken off you any second so when they said Lizzy’s name I was shocked but I also relaxed a bit," reveals Janet.

"Lizzy was nearly over to Helen by the time they told her to sit back down and I knew I was gone.  I knew immediately. 

"They had said the crowd was the fifth judge and I went on straight after Stevi (Richie) who had entertained the crowd so much.  I just couldn’t follow that.  I did the best I could do, I changed up the song, I showed myself as an artist but when the whole crowd is up on their feet for the act on before you it’s a hard act to follow."

The audiences in Wembley throughout bootcamp have been very vocal in sharing their opinions on the performances and judges' decisions, something which Janet found particularly difficult.

"I think that the people in the crowd forget the person on stage is a human being," she says.

"That was the hardest part for me, that the crowd forgot I was a human for a second.  They wanted Lizzie or Stevie kept and it’s brutal but that’s just the way it is.  Some people like you, some don’t.  But reading some of the comments on the internet now kind of makes me think it wasn’t the right decision."

Janet also says she's "delighted" that Simon admitted he made a mistake in sending Janet home.  Last night he tweeted, "I should have kept Janet.  My mistake."

She is also gracious in defeat when it comes to the rival contestants, including Lizzy and novelty act Stevi.

"Lizzie is great, I’m really fond of her, I really clicked with her and I think she’s brilliant, fair play to her," she says.

"We’re different singers so I don’t think it was fair to say one is better than the other.  I’m happy for her.  I’m happy for everybody who got a seat.

She adds, "I think the novelty acts go through out of public interest.  The crowd wanted Stevi there so that’s what happened,.  I think it’s very polarized, a large portion of people think it’s ridiculous, a large portion want to see the fun.  I do think you need to have a balance. 

"Obviously I was heartbroken to be kicked out but I don’t think I deserve it more than that person."

The sultry singer describes the pressure of bootcamp as "crazy".

"I’ve never known pressure like it in my whole life," she says.  "I couldn’t even describe it to you.  Imagine how you feel when you’re watching it and multiply that by 100 for the person in the chair."

Although Janet says she is "okay" now and has had several weeks to recover from what happened, she says watching the show with her parents was tough because they hadn't been there on the night.

"My mam and dad watching it back were just devastated they weren't there," she says, "Every other contestant had family there, but it was too last minute for my parents or my boyfriend or anyone to get there so I was on my own.  The hug off Dermot was one of the best of my life, very comforting."

As tough as the process was for Janet, she says she feels for the younger contestants who endure the chair process, although she says it is a fair representation of the music industry.

"I think in a way it’s so much tougher for them because they maybe don’t have experience to know the music industry doesn’t work like that.  It’s not just handed to you," she says.

"There’s uproar about the chairs but that’s very true to the music industry – you can be given something and it’s taken away from you the next second.  It has happened so many times to me.  This is not the first time."

However, she adds, "I went into it with a lot more experience than a 15 year old but at the same time at 15 you’re young enough to try again if you don’t get it.  There are two sides to it."

Every year X Factor throws a few surprises into the mix, including wildcards brought back to compete in the live shows. 

Of the prospect of returning, Janet says, "Honestly, I’m not in the position to know or to say whether that could or couldn’t happen.  As far as I know my  X Factor journey is over.  But you never know what will happen."

If it really is the end of her X Factor dream, she says she'll "just keep going, keep singing, keep writing."

"I love X Factor but I was doing this before X Factor and I’ll be doing if after."

Asked if she would consider returning next year she says, "I think it’s all a little too fresh to answer that question!"

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