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The Big Reunion Jodi Albert's blog: Hammersmith & 5th Story heartbreak

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It's been a big week for The Big Reunion. Not only did we get introduced to brand new supergroup 5th Story, but the big Hammersmith gig was last Friday! Well, Girl Thing's Jodi Albert is blogging about her time on the show for DS, so read on to get her take on Hammersmith and which 5th Story member's story broke her heart, as well as much more...

Girl Thing's Jodi Albert on The Big Reunion

© ITV


"First of all, Hammersmith was just incredible. The whole thing came together right at the last minute and the reaction from the crowd was just unbelievable. We weren't expecting it, to be honest, and it was amazing. I don't know about getting into it full time, though. I always love performing - it's in my blood to want to sing and dance and act. And when I do something like that, I really do live in the moment and enjoy it. But I also am at the point where I appreciate things for what they are. I'm quite excited for the tour, if that happens, but we'll play it by ear. Still, it was a great night and it's something I'll never forget. Kian came down for the gig. He was nearly crying when we sang 'Pure and Simple' - it was so cute! His eyes filled up.

"It was a really surreal kind of feeling to get the opportunity to perform 'Pure and Simple', but it was the way that the crowd reacted that was just amazing. We'd only really been on for one episode and they were just so behind us. When the key change kicked in there was a great big cheer and everyone got their hands in the air. It was really unexpected. I felt like they were going to cheer for boybands and we would have to work really hard, but they were so warm to us and it was amazing. But we'd been working so hard, all day and all the night before and literally living on no sleep - it got to about 12 o'clock and I was so tired! I crashed - all the adrenaline left my body and I was like, 'Oh my God, I must be getting old!' Before, we'd be like, 'Yeah, let's go partying!'

Girl Thing pose for The Big Reunion

© ITV


"But back to the show! I didn't know what to think when I heard that there was a supergroup called 5th Story. I was like, 'This can go one of two ways - it could die a death or it could be unbelievable'. But at the same time, I was willing to be a part of Girl Thing again so I didn't really have a leg to stand on, judging anyone! When I met the guys I got it straight away. I really just thought they were all so funny and really just interesting people. They totally deserved their place on the show.

"Gareth spoke about lying about his fling with Katie Price. I don't think at 17 years old you really know what to be saying or what to be doing. It was probably the easiest thing to do for him, but probably not the best idea! I felt really sorry for him when I realised it had such an effect on his career. I met Kian at 15 and we didn't get together until I was 19. I don't think we've ever felt the pressure of us being well-known, or whatever you want to call it. It would have been harder meeting him now and then both trying to be in the public eye and have a relationship. But we were probably young enough that we just bounced through it without even really paying too much attention to it.

"It was hilarious hearing Kenzie talk about being picked up outside school in black Mercedes, because I remember leaving school and going straight to the recording studio and then coming back to school just to take my exams and then going off to some other big thing whether it be a performance or a record company meeting. I don't think it's hard doing that when you're young, because at that point it's really exciting. But it makes the fall harder.

5th Story member Kenzie on The Big Reunion

© ITV


"There's a lot of people that you work with that make you feel like they're your best friends - choreographers and whoever. Because you're the next big thing, or you're supposed to be, everyone's really blowing a lot of smoke up your arse. When you're young, you don't see it as that - you just see it as people being really friendly. It's not until it all disappears that they all disappear with it. That was a tough lesson for me - I remember being really hurt by people that I thought were my friends. But if you are young enough you can just dust yourself off and get up again and just go for it. Me and Kenzie are both from Chingford, which is funny. He seemed to just bounce back up the way I did and just get on with life. It must be where we're from or something! I like Kenzie's attitude and I like his personality a lot. He's really grounded - such a normal, lovely guy, and he's really funny as well.

"Kavana spoke about his struggles with drink and drugs. Obviously you get all sort of offers come at you, and for me, I've always been very much like, 'No'. I just knew that it wasn't for me. I think it depends on your network - your family, your support system. What made me really sad for Kavana is that his dad got sick and his mum was in a wheelchair, so it was kind of the world against him and he was sort of on his own, whereas I didn't have to do that. That's what breaks my heart for Kavana. He did have to deal with a lot of s**t on his own, and that would mess you up. I could understand how he looked for something - a bit of fake happiness in the bottom of a bottle. His story just really broke my heart; I actually got quite upset when I watched it. I just thought, 'The poor guy had to witness his dad dying', which is hard enough without being this big popstar and your money disappearing and your mum getting ill and having to tell your parents they've got to leave the house that you bought them. I mean, God, that's a lot for one person to take on by himself.

5th Story member Kavana on The Big Reunion

© ITV


"And then he had to hide his sexuality. He said, 'I was in a time before Stephen Gately came out', and I was like, 'My God, yeah, I remember that'. I remember it being a real hush hush thing and I remember the huge fuss that was made over Stephen Gately coming out, so if it was before then, you can only imagine how trapped he felt and living this lie. I just think, Jesus, that guy went through so much. He wasn't allowed to be himself at all. I just don't know how he coped. But his rivalry with Adam was funny! Definitely when you're in that position where you feel like you're being tossed to the kerb and there's someone else coming along, you're a bit helpless. You just think, 'What have I done wrong?' That's the harsh reality and the lesson that you learn fairly quickly about the industry - you're just part of these big wheels that have to keep turning. I think it's really quite s**tty to go through that. Though he probably really didn't have a problem with Adam, just like we really didn't have a problem with the individual members of Hear'Say, you do have a problem with the idea of being just tossed to the kerb when you haven't done anything different to what you did when you were getting signed.

5th Story member Adam Rickitt on The Big Reunion

© ITV


"But I didn't have a clue about Adam's struggles with bulimia. And it's really strange for me watching someone, a young guy, talk about that. I have a son and the line where he said that his mum was like, 'If you throw all this food up I'll never speak to you again'... my son's only two but it makes me go, 'Oh my God, imagine being in that situation where your son's ill like that'. I'm probably completely over-sensitive now that I am a mother but it really does tap in to something.

"Adam went from soaps to music, whereas I did the opposite. But no-one really knew that I'd done music before I was in Hollyoaks. When I did Wonderland, a lot of people assumed that I'd literally tried to do the soap thing to popstar thing, and really, it didn't feel like that for me. It just felt like it was part of what I did. I think because people didn't know about Girl Thing in the beginning, people instantly took me on board as an actress - it was kind of easy. Adam did that whole Martine McCutcheon thing - the big soap character turned popstar thing, he did a male version of that and that was really big to do that at the time.

5th Story - Adam Rickitt, Kenzie, Gareth Gates, Kavana and Dane Bowers - on The Big Reunion

© ITV


"Now I've seen 5th Story in action, I definitely think that they're great at making their product good. The reason that they're good at it is because they're kind of self-critical. I do think that individually they're all very strong and that as a band they could create something. It'll naturally fall into place over time - they're still learning about each other, they're still a fairly new band - but judging by the ratings from the show or the reaction they got at Hammersmith, I don't see why they couldn't have a huge career. People love them.

"And you got to see a bit of Girl Thing's reunion in the promo at the end of last week's show. I am literally s**tting bricks about it being on TV! I knew it was going to be intense, but I haven't seen it edited together. I don't know what to expect. I was there in the moment and I remember the next day feeling like I was hungover and I hadn't even had a drink - I was just absolutely drained. So honestly, I'll probably be watching that one from behind the sofa while chewing on a pillow. You'll need a glass of wine, absolutely..."

The Big Reunion continues on Thursday at 9pm on ITV2.

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