IN THE NEWS: Janet Devlin – something she ate or stage fright?

X Factor’s Janet Devlin suffered every singer’s worse nightmare when on live TV and in front of millions she forgot the words to her song. X factor Janet Devlin felt sick The 16 year-old reportedly blamed ‘something I ate’ explaining she felt as if she were going to throw up. But while it might well have been a bug, it wasn’t first time amnesia for Janet. Earlier this month during a version of the Jackson 5 song I want you back, she forgot the words then.
And she isn’t alone in having a ‘feeling ill’ experience on stage. One Direction’s Harry Styles has revealed when he first began performing on X Factor, he got so queasy he was sick before and after performances.
In fact, it appears as if both performers were suffering from an attack of stage fright – also known as a panic attack – and is probably where the phrase ‘sick with nerves’ comes from.
You don’t have to be performing on a stage either to have an attack. Unfortunately, stage fright can happen to anyone and often hits at a time when it is incredibly important to be seen at our best.
Feeling nauseous and losing your words can happen during an interview when you dry up, during a presentation or an important pitch or during any sort of public speaking. It is likely most TV presenters can recall at least once when it’s happened to them.

So what can you do to avoid stage fright?

* Firstly prepare. Practice makes perfect – practice until you really do know your piece off by heart. If you are making a speech, take some notes in with you just in case – you are unlikely to need them but it will give you confidence to have them with you. If possible visit the scene to familiarise yourself properly.

* Physically relax. Don’t eat anything unusual beforehand or skip a meal due to nerves. Before any sort of public performance – be it on the stage, or while doing a pitch to a client – take deep breaths to lower your heart rate.

* Get a handle on nerves. Put this into perspective. You are not going into a life or death battle. If something goes wrong, you won’t die – ultimately, nothing will happen.

* Enjoy yourself. If you’re on TV, it might well be your five minutes of fame so go on in the frame of mind to have a good time. If you are doing a big pitch to a client, relish the experience.

* Finally if the worse happens it might not spell disaster after all. Even if you do muck up people are often very forgiving – sometimes a calamity can endear you to your audience. Ultimately, the more interviews or pitches or speeches you do, the more confident and expert you will become. And don’t let one bad experience put you off. One Direction’s Harry Styles clearly overcame his nerves and the rest as they say is history…

Have you ever suffered from panic attack or a phobia that made your life a misery? Tell us how you overcame it below. Or if you would like to share your story then do contact us here: My Phobia story


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Behind the scenes of X Factor…


Nicole Hiatt’s X Factor story appeared in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper at the weekend.

Sell story to a Sunday newspaper

Nicole Hiatt in the Sunday Mirror newspaper

This year’s X Factor has already proved controversial and many people have recently asked if contestant Ceri Rees, a widow who has appeared four times on the show and clearly cannot sing, was too vulnerable to appear again – with a Twitter campaign claiming she was ridiculed for the ratings because Producers believe she ‘made good TV.’ This follows the Sunday Mirror’s investigation into what goes on at Bootcamp and Featureworld interviewee gave a peek into what happened when she got through.

In a Sunday Mirror story that went over two pages, Nicole, 24, described how incredibly before Bootcamp she was quizzed on her love life and whether or not she would want to meet someone during the show. She claims she wasn’t the only one – with people who didn’t want a romance finding they did not go through. She also says that those contestants who acted more outrageously during a jacuzzi party were more likely to be picked – she believes this is because their antics are more likely to boost the ratings.

Sunday Mirror exposes what happens behind the scenes of X Factor

Secrets of X factor Bootcamp - the Sunday Mirror's front page

And while the show seems ultra glamorous on TV, Nicole didn’t find that to be so at Bootcamp. “We had to wait hours for our coach to arrive to pick us up to go to the hotel,” she told me, “and then so the TV crew could get enough footage of the coach journey to Bootcamp, we kept going round the same roundabouts. I kept on thinking we were there – and then we’d drive off again to get some more footage. It was exhausting.”

When she finally arrived at the luxury hotel, she expected a hot meal. But instead she claims the contestants were simply given a ‘packed lunch’ consisting of a few sandwiches and a carton of juice.

But most disappointingly, she says she never even got the chance to sing. “The day after the jacuzzi party they called everyone at breakfast and said they had an announcement to make,” she says, “I was still in my pyjamas but wasn’t even allowed to change. I couldn’t believe it when they divided us into two groups. My group was then told we were going home – I wouldn’t have minded but I’d been rehearsing for the Bootcamp audition for weeks and yet I hadn’t even sung a note.”

X Factor told the Sunday Mirror it is the toughest Bootcamp yet – but for Nicole, she was left wondering what the point of it was…

This is the second time Nicole has told her story. Read about the other newspaper deal I found for Nicole here: X Factor is just Sex Factor

Whether you have an X Factor story to sell, or just want to sell your real-life story and would like the chance to appear in multiple newspapers, contact me here: Sell My Story


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X Factor row has ruined my life…


X Factor contestant Vanessa Threadgold from band Angel appears in today’s DAILY STAR newspaper talking about her appearance on Saturday night’s show.

Daily Star

Vanessa's X Factor experience appears in the Daily Star

Millions of TV viewers watched Saturday night’s X Factor on ITV and many were shocked at a row that developed between singer of girlband Angel and the judges.
When Judge Tulisa claimed the girl’s dance moves were only there to ‘cover up for the fact you can’t sing’, singer Vanessa was so put out, she spat back, ‘That’s rich coming from you…’
The girls were then booed off stage with judge Kelly commenting on Vanessa’s ‘bitchy’ comment. Needless to say every judge said, ‘it’s a no from me’ and the girls left.
Vanessa came to me via my website last week upset about what had happened. She had never wanted to go on the show but was persuaded to by other band members. They then had to change their song at the last minute for a more energetic one leaving them barely any time to rehearse the song they sang.
Unfortunately, this clip has now been trailed every Saturday before the show and although friends and family have been supportive, she can barely leave the house without someone shouting out, “that’s rich!”
She was also upset about how she claims the show was edited to make her look ruder than she is. She says she is just a ‘straight-talking Yorkshire lass’ and was upset about how Tulisa took her comment to heart.
Needless to say what happened caused a rift between Vanessa, a dance teacher, and her two band mates, and they have since split.

To read another X Factor story I recently sold to a newspaper click here: Nicole’s X Factor story.

Have you been on X Factor or do you know of someone who is on this year’s show? If so, and you think you have a story to tell then do contact me here: Sell My X Factor story.


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X Factor should be renamed ‘Sex Factor’ – story in Daily Star


X Factor contestant Nicole Hiatt’s story about the TV show appears in the DAILY STAR newspaper today.

Sell X Factor story to the Daily Star

Nicole's X Factor story appeared in the Daily Star

Nicole emailed me about her X Factor – or as she described it ‘SEX Factor’ story last week. The mum of two was upset that having got through two auditions to this year’s Boot Camp – and having been praised by the judges for her singing – she was then sent home having not sung a note.
Nicole says it was because she didn’t ‘pair off’ with anyone at a Boot Camp jacuzzi party. She also refused to strip off for the pool in what she claims was wild behaviour at the party. She adds that prior to going to X Factor Boot Camp, she’d received a phone call from a researcher asking her if she hoped to meet someone on the show. And because she didn’t want to meet anyone, she was kicked out.
In the Daily Star newspaper today, a spokesman for X Factor says judges decided which acts to send home before the party and the contestant behaviour was not encouraged. Added to this, the party was strictly supervised with male and female contestants roomed on separate floors of the hotel.

But Nicole, who wowed judges with her performance of Halo, by Beyonce, says: “If I’d wanted to go on a dating show I would have auditioned for one. I thought X Factor was about singing, not taking your clothes off.”

Read more X Factor stories sold by Featureworld in previous years here: X Factor stories. and here: X Factor stories sold.

Do you have a story about this year’s X Factor to sell? To sell your story click here: Sell story about X Factor.


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