A Leeds girl band has been lifting the lid on X Factor after being kicked off the show.
Voxe were knocked out at the bootcamp stage – but now they are just about to release their first single, Space Cat.
And the foursome, made up of Victoria Bailey, 26, Lauren Evans, 24, Sophie Wysoczanski, 26 and Melissa Walton, 24, are revealing what goes on behind the scenes of the massively popular show.
The girls, who formed Voxe just over a year ago, say they think judges did not want a girl band in the live final this year.
Sophie claimed: “We think they did not have any intention of having a girl group there because of Little Mix last year. I don’t think we fitted into what the producers wanted.”
Voxe left the show after being beaten in a sing off by From Above, a group that are managed by Beyoncé’s father.
“It was quite a compliment to be put with them because everyone got put with acts that were similar to each other, but it was a shame that we were up against that kind of competition,” said Melissa.
The X Factor has been under fire since its first live results show last month when controversy surrounded judge Louis Walsh’s conversation with a producer, and his subsequent actions during the judges’ decision over the bottom two acts.
“The producers are the main people in charge and the judges are just puppets really,” Sophie claimed.
But the girls said appearing on the show had been a dream come true.
The four met as teenagers –Viki and Sophie went to Intake Performing Arts school and met Lauren while cheerleading for Bradford Bulls. Mel was on the rival team.
Now the four are about to release their single, which will be available on iTunes in a few days’ time.
Talking about the X Factor live audition stage in Manchester, Melissa said that they were all really nervous when they were waiting in the wings.
“We all watch the show year after year after year and you see the judges on the show, but when you get on the stage and face them, it’s like you are in a dream.”
But it was not an easy experience, they said. “We were there all day, from 8am until almost 10pm and we were told every hour that it would be us soon, so you couldn’t relax.
“So imagine for the whole day having that feeling that you are going to be on soon and then you are not on until the end of the day. We were literally one of the last ones to audition on the day,” said Melissa.
The group said the process was disorganised and that they ran out of time during the day. Producers then had to tell contestants that they would have to travel down to London to audition instead. They said the two-day bootcamp was “a pressure cooker” and felt like a week-long ordeal.
They also revealed it was an eye-opener watching how other acts reacted to the camera being around them all day long.
“A lot of people made a beeline for the camera and acted up to it, whereas that isn’t what we do. That was the moment when we knew that the X Factor wasn’t really for us,” said Victoria.
“The final 12 weren’t really like that and we met some lovely people. Christopher Malony was really lovely. We really like James Arthur, he might do really well in the competition. Ella is an amazing vocalist as well.”
There has also been controversy in this year’s X Factor when it was revealed that more than half of the eventual finalists had been approached by producers to audition for the process,
Speaking after the live finalists had been revealed, judge Gary Barlow said: “This year we really have got the cream of the crop with our finalists and it was tough for all of us to choose our three acts. The standard of talent has gone up this year and I think it’s the best ever line-up of finalists.”
But Sophie said: “There should really be two competitions, one for people who have been signed and one for people who have not.
“We tried not to get too worked up about it because we were there to do a job but some of the other acts at bootcamp felt quite strongly about it.
“It’s a bit of a shame really that the X Factor has become this way. It’s not the same X Factor any more.
But Carran Davies, head of publicity at Thames, denied the show was fixed in any way: “The judges decide who goes through to the live shows and they didn’t find a group girl that was strong enough to go through this year.
“The X Factor is open to everyone to apply. People with raw talent all stand the same chance in the competition whether they have been made aware of auditions or not.
“The judges decide who go through and the judges are not aware of how individual contestants have become aware of the auditions.”
To watch Voxe in action, visit www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk