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Reality TV Interview

Exclusive: 'X Factor' Janet Devlin interview: 'I hated myself for singing Chilis'

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Janet 'The Devlinator' Devlin finally met her match on Sunday's X Factor. After coming a cropper with Hanson's 'MMMBop' in Guilty Pleasures week, the Northern Irish teenager was given the chop by the judges last night (November 27).

One of 2011's most popular X Factor acts as well as one of the most divisive, Digital Spy caught up with Janet to discuss her musical tastes, her excitement at leaving the reality show and her real feelings for Kelly Rowland.

The X Factor 2011: Live Show 8

© Ken McKay/TalkbackThames/Rex Features



You said last night that you were excited about leaving the show. Do you still feel like that?
"Yeah, I'm really excited. Now is really the future, isn't it? You've got to start working hard and begin building your own future now."

Jessie J suggested last night that it was the right time for you to leave because the show wasn't suiting your style. Do you agree with that?
"Yes, I think the week that I've left, week 8, is brilliant. I've had enough time to get my name out and it's been a great platform. But it also means that I might not always be associated with The X Factor and that I can get my music across and people can appreciate it without thinking of the association with a TV show. Hopefully, people will think of me as my own person."

Was it hard for you to blend together your alternative musical taste and style with appearing on X Factor?
"It was hard for me in the sense that the songs I like aren't pop. They are either rock or underground, folk or unheard of. Whenever your favourite songs are like that it's quite hard because you can't sing any of them. You have to understand when you're on a show like that you have to sing songs that are known. People at home don't want to be bored to death by songs they don't even know. You've got to do what you've got to do and I've still done songs that I like and that's alright."

Were you pleased that for your last Saturday performance you got to sing a song by one of your favourite bands?
"Definitely, my last live performances being Chili Peppers and Snow Patrol was the perfect way to leave in my opinion."

You probably weren't even born when 'MMMBop' was out first time. Is it really a guilty pleasure of yours?
"[laughs] It is a guilty pleasure song of mine. I think it's a lot of people's guilty pleasure song even if they won't admit it. It's a bop-able song and I enjoyed it. And I even enjoyed the fact that I messed up my lyrics. It just kind of showed that I'm a human being. Everyone makes mistakes and I'm not a robot. I can't just go out there and be perfect. I'm not perfect, I've never claimed to be. And I've never claimed to have the X Factor either, you know."

Did you have to stand up for yourself when it came to song choices?
"Yeah, I've had numerous little run-ins. It wasn't even run-ins. It was just having to sit down and talk it through. This song I don't want to do, this song doesn't suit me. It was just things like that. That's why I have absolutely no regrets now about anything that I did. I'm not unhappy about my songs and I never felt uncomfortable about anything I was doing and I think that's important."

The press claimed that you were isolated by Kelly. Was that true?
"It was the press who decided that, because that's really not true. They like to make up their own little stories, don't they?"

What was your relationship with Kelly like?
"My relationship with Kelly and the other girls was great. I am a bit of a loner, so I know I can be quite hard to talk to, but the other girls always made an effort with me and were really nice and I'm really grateful for that and their company in the house. I'm incredibly grateful for Kelly giving me this opportunity. She didn't have to. She could have got rid of me at Judges' Houses and let me go."

Do you think she may have favoured Misha and Amelia by the end, though?
"She didn't favour them. There are things like connections with people. She connected with Misha because they are more similar music-wise than I ever will be with Kelly. People have confused that with favouritism. There is a line. I can get on with someone because I share similar music taste. Music is such a big part of people's lives and my life, I can connect with people through that. But me and Kelly had a different sort of connection. We connected on a personal level. And that was totally fine."

The X Factor 2011: Live Show 3


Courtney Love tweeted you last week. Did that feel a bit surreal?
"Oh yeah, that was amazing. I am going to confess though, I would never sing a Nirvana song on this show. I wouldn't have wanted Kurt Cobain to be turning in his grave. You have to understand I respect him so much, so I wouldn't do that. I kind of hated myself for singing a Chili Peppers song. That song is brilliant, it deserves the right to be played in all five minutes of its glory. To cut it down on Saturday actually killed me, it disgusted me. It actually hurt me to sing it."

Will you be putting a band together now you've left the show?
"I can see myself in a band. I would want to audition for a good band and find some people that I have a real connection with, because I think you need that relationship when it comes to songwriting. But you know, I want to do my own thing. This show has given me a great opportunity now to do all the things that I want to do."

The Devlinator fans have been incredibly supportive. What's it been like to have those guys backing you every week?
"It's amazing. They let me get to week eight and that was so huge. I'm so chuffed that they've been there all that way. I would have been a tad disappointed if they'd voted me through this week, I won't lie. I totally didn't deserve to get through. I told people backstage that if I wasn't in the bottom two, I wouldn't be happy. I was totally deserving of being in the bottom two and I was glad my fanbase didn't vote."

Who's going to win?
"Top two in my head are Marcus and Little Mix. But whoever wins doesn't matter, because both those two have a great work ethic and they're really deserving. The girls are lovely and Marcus is lovely."

What was your X Factor highlight?
"I didn't have a real highlight moment. The best thing for me was sitting down on a Monday, picking the songs and working on how the backing track should sound, what instruments should be used. To work on the vibe of songs was totally amazing for me. It felt like I was in a recording studio every Monday. I loved that. That's something I'll miss."

We know you didn't get to sing some of your favourite songs, but who are your favourite musical acts?
"Erm, God, I hate thinking of artists off the top of my head in case I forget one. I'd say Warpaint, City and Colour, Beirut, Wild Beasts, there's this Italian band that are amazing. Things that people probably haven't heard of."

The X Factor semi-final airs on Saturday (December 3) at 8pm on ITV1

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