INTERVIEW: X Factor star sets sights on country music career

Crissie Rhodes auditioning for the X Factor. Photo courtesy of Thames and Syco for ITV

Crissie Rhodes auditioning for the X Factor. Photo courtesy of Thames and Syco for ITV - Credit: Archant

A wedding singer who auditioned on the X Factor says the show has given her a “massive platform” but she won’t be giving it another go next year.

Crissie Gudgin, who performed as Crissie Rhodes on the ITV talent contest, is a former pupil of the Robert Bloomfield Middle School – now an academy – in Shefford.

The 25-year-old auditioned in front of a live audience of 4,000 in the Bootcamp stage of the show, broadcast on Saturday.

She had survived being whittled down from 100 to 50 singers in the first stage of Bootcamp, but, in a new format, was not one of the six contestants selected to take a seat on stage.

Judge Nicole Scherzinger, who was picked to mentor the girls, said: “I am going to go with my gut on this one. Crissie, I am sorry, I’m going to have to send you home.”

Crissie, who grew up in Shefford, said her experience of the X Factor was a positive one.

“I absolutely loved the show,” she said.

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“I loved being backstage, and singing in front of that many people. I am very grateful it showed me as I am. I just wasn’t what they were looking for, perhaps as I am a country singer.”

Crissie had created a country ballad version of Elivs Presley’s Suspicious Minds for her Bootcamp audition, but was asked to sing Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.

“I was disappointed I couldn’t do my own version, but I only had the night before to learn the song lyrics,” she said.

“I was so nervous because I still had to perform the song in front of 4,000 people at Wembley Arena, the judges and the millions of people watching. I truly believe I did the best I could on the day.

“Sharon Osbourne (another judge) said to me she was disappointed I was not in her group. Perhaps it might have been different.”

Crissie’s plan now is to develop her duo The Shires with Ben Earle.

“I have put the wedding singing on hold to concentrate on The Shires,” she said.

“I found my partner in May in the middle of filming X Factor and we are currently writing our own songs. I would call our style new country in the vain of Lady Antebellum.

“I don’t feel I need to do X Factor again. It has given me a massive platform and following. Now I know what I need to do and am looking to the future.”

The six remaining contestants in the girls’ category will go through to the next round at the judges’ houses.