'Six Chair Challenge is the most brutal part of X Factor so to have overcome it we're more relaxed' - Sean and Conor Price gearing up for Judges' Houses
Nerves were shredded across the nation last weekend as Irish X Factor hopefuls Sean and Conor Price endured the notorious Six Chair Challenge.
And the boys from Blessington admit that reliving the trauma on TV on Sunday night was just as intense for them as filming.
"Watching it on TV you go through it again - it's just as intense as being there," Sean tells Independent.ie. "Even when you know the outcome it's still really nerve-wracking."
While there may have been tears of relief on the show and Sean reveals their parents were "in bits" in the audience, there were only celebrations at home at the weekend.
"We were just happy we weren't sitting there doing it again," laughs Sean. "Our parents are so proud of us to get past that stage."
The challenge, which saw the groups in Simon Cowell's category compete for just six chairs, was made a little easier for the lads as they performed second last.
"I think it would be a worse situation if you had gone on first and you got a seat and then sitting through every act thinking you could lose the seat this time," says Sean.
"At least we didn't have that to worry about. We just knew we had to go on and do enough to get a seat and we were lucky enough that we did."
They initially sang Something in the Way, an original song, but Simon stopped them and asked them to sing another song. They chose another original called Time.
When the same thing happened at Bootcamp it did not go so well.
"[This time] we were just like, 'fair enough' and just prepared ourselves to give it another shot, and just start afresh with it," says Sean.
"Bootcamp was a brand new experience. We had never performed to a crowd that big. We were used to singing on the street and we knew we were too nervous at Bootcamp so [this time] we said to ourselves we’d be more composed and calm and relaxed and take it all in rather than rush through it.
"We thought the Six Chair Challenge could be our last performance so we wanted to relax and make it a good one."
However, earning their seat was a bittersweet experience as they had to take it from Easylife, who had become close friends.
"They were really good friends of ours within the groups category," admits Sean. "They were in our line challenge at Bootcamp. They’re really, really nice people and we really got along so it was difficult to take their seats. We were hugging and crying when we were swapping seats. It had to be done but it was hard to take their seat."
The potential for acts who have earned a seat to then lose it again is one of the most brutal aspects of X Factor and Sean and Conor had a worrying few minutes when the final act took to the stage.
"When the New Girl Band came on and smashed it we knew they were going to get a seat so it was sort of like being in school when the teacher asks a question and you don’t know the answer – you don’t want to make eye contact in case you’re picked on so we kept the heads down and hoped we’d keep our seat!"
This weekend they face Judges' Houses which will see them perform for just Simon Cowell and his guest judge Cheryl.
"The Six Chair Challenge is, for me, the most brutal part of the show so to have overcome the Six Chair Challenge part of the competition I’m more relaxed now about our performances," says Sean.
" We know what’s at stake and what we have to do so hopefully we’ll make it.
"I think the intimacy of the Judges’ Houses and just singing for two people – we’ve sang for two people before for friends and family so we’ll be thinking about it like that. They’re just two people there and they’re nothing to be worried about. We’ll just try to impress."
He adds, "With Simon he knows what he’s doing so it’s hard to imagine what he’s thinking and what he’s going to say. You have to be completely confident in yourself before you go out to sing for him. But we are confident in our own material."
The X Factor is on ITV/TV3 tonight 8.20pm to 10.20pm and ITV/TV3 Sunday night 7pm to 9pm.