The X Factor Celebrity's Jenny Ryan: 'I thought it was the end of the road!'
As the celebrities sing live for the first time for YOUR votes, can The Chase star Jenny Ryan prove she's got The X Factor?
After a surprisingly powerful rendition of Queen's Somebody to Love at The X Factor: Celebrity auditions a few weeks ago, The Chase's Jenny Ryan seemed a dead cert to make it through to the live shows.
So it came as a huge shock when, last weekend, Overs judge Nicole Scherzinger told Jenny she hadn't made the final cut. Fans were up in arms and, following an outpouring of public outrage, show boss Simon Cowell made a dramatic U-turn and invited Jenny to join the other 12 celebrities as the live shows begin on Saturday night. The Vixen is back, folks!
Jenny, 37, talks to whatsontv.co.uk about getting the chance to keep her singing dreams alive...
How does it feel to be through to the live shows?
"When we all auditioned at Simon Cowell’s house in LA, I had no idea how the judges were going to make a decision to cut anybody because it was a really competitive line-up. I thought it could be the end of the road for me, so to be told I was going to progress to the live shows was an immense relief. Although, if I hadn’t made it through, I think my mum would have had words with Simon!"
On Saturday night, you’ll be performing live alongside, among others, ex-EastEnders’ actor Jonny Labey and US talk show host Ricki Lake. Are you nervous?
"In theory, I should be comfortable in a studio environment but the difference between this show and The Chase is the live aspect of it. There’s absolutely no room for error! As for nerves, we’re here to prove we’re worthy of being a recording artist. So if I can’t handle this show I probably won’t handle performing all over the world!"
You’re known on The Chase as your alter ego The Vixen. Will she emerge in your performances on this show?
"I definitely think The Vixen helped me in my first audition; she allowed me to be unafraid of the situation and to be a little bit cheeky with Simon and the panel. But part of this journey is about showing the side of me that isn’t The Vixen. She’s my armour and my mask when I’m on The Chase – but I want to show there’s a lot more to me when you take all that away."
Will The Chase host Bradley Walsh and the other ‘Chasers’ be supporting you?
"Absolutely. I think the other Chasers want to appear as my backing singers. I know Anne Hegerty can definitely carry a tune! I do need to pick Bradley’s brains a little bit because he is Mr Showman. He’s got a brilliant voice and he’s a great performer. So I’ll hopefully get half an hour when I can have a coffee with Bradley and get some tips."
What would it mean to you to win the show and bag that all-important record deal?
"It would certainly be a real twist in my career path, considering where I was just a few years ago before joining The Chase. I was working behind the scenes on TV shows writing quiz questions and I’d just sing every now and then on the karaoke. Winning would be validation for me, particularly in how I’ve come to terms with some mental health issues. I’m more resilient now. I’ve learned that if you have faith in yourself and don’t give up, you can do anything!"
The X Factor: Celebrity continues on Saturday October 26 at 8.20pm.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!