Interview with The X Factor’s Stevi Ritchie
Attention X Factor fans! X Factor contestant and all-round nice guy Stevi Ritchie is hitting Viper Rooms tonight for an exclusive performance! Check out our interview with him as we chat about The X Factor experience, being best mates with Simon Cowell, romances and bromances.
Hi Stevi, how’s it going today?
I’m very good thank you. It’s been probably one of the busiest weeks of my life, but I can’t complain at all. I like to be busy, I’m not the type to lie down and be lazy!
I can imagine! So let’s talk about the X Factor, did you have a good time?
I had the best time!
A lot of people, Simon Cowell especially, were surprised at how well you did in the competition. Did you expect to make it this far?
God no! I’ll be honest; I never expected to make it past the first round, never mind so far in the live shows. I mean, you have the first round which is with the producers and when I started it was a bit of a joke, just wondering how far I could go. This was my seventh year auditioning.
Your seventh year?
Yeah, my seventh! I haven’t auditioned for seven years consecutively but yes I’ve auditioned for seven different series’. It got to this year; Simon was back, so I thought it was time to give it another go. When I turned up to the audition with another 4000 people I never expected I’d be one to get to the live shows. But of course I did and it was a dream come true and Simon has been an excellent mentor.
Speaking of Simon, is he still Mr Nasty off-screen?
Honestly, Simon is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. He’s absolutely lovely, genuine, kind and so charismatic. Going for a meal with him was absolutely mind-blowing – on par with a thousand orgasms! He’s not only a mentor, but now a friend. It’s not been that long but I’m missing him already!
So, out of the whole season, who was your favourite contestant?
Probably Jay James. We were in the same category, but we really became friends at bootcamp. I was stood on stage on the daunting X in front of 200 talented people, and I really couldn’t believe where I was. I just completely welled-up and was so overwhelmed and overcome with emotion. Then this bloke came up to me, I didn’t know it was Jay at this point, who just asked me if I was alright and gave me a hug. We’ve been best mates since then and we shared a room in The X Factor house. He absolutely cracks me up as he’s such a funny guy.
Speaking of contestants, Jake Quickenden has gone straight into I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here after leaving the X Factor. Would you ever consider reality TV?
Ooh, definitely! If they contacted the agency and said they wanted me for I’m a Celeb, I’d throw myself into it, it’d be fantastic! By no means do I consider myself a celebrity though, I’m just a bloke who’s got a bit of a profile at the moment. But yes, I’d love to get into the jungle and surprise Jake! Even Big Brother I’d consider – they’re all shows that I am a big fan of so it’d be great to star in them! As long as people still like me, I’d take on anything… within reason.
Fab! So, unfortunately, you didn’t quite grab The X Factor winner title, but there is still The X Factor live tour coming up! When do you start rehearsals for that?
Well, I’ve got a bit of a break after Christmas, and rehearsals start on the 28th of January. Then we have about two weeks of rehearsals before we start the first of the live shows on the 13th of February. Then its choc-a-block until March – so I’ve got a busy three months. I’ll be working hard on putting on a fab show. I still can’t believe I’m going to be there!
Which Stevi Ritchie performances are we going to be seeing again? I’d love a bit of Living La Vida Loca…
I’ve got to agree! I loved that performance on my first week. I had all the beautiful dancers around me rubbing me up! I also loved Footloose, which was a lot of fun. Music of the Night, that was great. Ooh, or maybe a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody. I just want to put on a massive show and get the audience involved.
On The X Factor you face a fair amount of harsh criticism. Is it hard to hear or do you just take it on the chin?
Well, I take from it what I want. I take all the good points and continue putting those in my performance. And the bad, well you can’t take it to heart. Some people do, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Trolls on Twitter can be very harsh, but again I don’t allow it to affect me too much.
Contestants are critiqued on a lot of things, as well as singing they’re criticised for clothing choices, hair, make-up, stage production. How much creative control do the contestants actually have?
A lot of people think we have no say at all which isn’t the case. Simon always said that, if I wasn’t happy, to speak up. One week they wanted me to sing Ghostbusters and I was like “no way!” But it was fine and they went along with my song choice instead. Besides from that I didn’t moan about anything and just got on with it. I was so happy to be there I didn’t want to ruin it by moaning!
Definitely not! And finally Stevi, will there be a Stevi Ritchie album any time soon?
[Laughs] I’m not sure about that! At the bottom of the 99p bargain bin in Sainsbury’s maybe! All jokes aside, who knows? I’ve got a very busy few months – so who knows after then. Simon holds the keys to the kingdom, so if he was kind enough to offer me an album deal, of course I would. It’d definitely be some cheesy up-tempo music that you’d play before a night out, I’d love that!
Fancy seeing Stevi at Viper Rooms tonight? Simply head to here to get your mitts on tickets.
The X Factor Live Show 2015 hits Sheffield Motorpoint arena March 5. To see Stevi on The X Factor 2015 Live Tour go to www.gigsandtours.com or www.ticketmaster.co.uk