The journey of Ivy Grace Paredes on The X Factor UK may have abruptly ended after the British tabloid The Sun reported that the Filipino contestant who has been living in Dubai had been forced to quit the reality-singing programme after she failed to attend the filming of the competition in the United States due to visa issues.
Paredes, 33, impressed the judges on Sunday’s bootcamp round and had advanced to next week’s six-chair challenge, where the slate of contestants will be whittled down to 24 acts, or six contestants for each of the four categories: boys, girls, groups and over-25s. Paredes belonged to the over-25s group, which is mentored by television personality Sharon Osbourne.
According to reports on British entertainment websites, Paredes apparently makes it to the top 24. But she has been forced to leave the show after failing to secure a visa to the US, where the next round of the competition — dubbed the Judges’ Houses — was filmed earlier this month. A source told The Sun that her visa application “was rejected ‘point blank’ over an issue in her past”.
Reached for confirmation, Paredes told The National that she could not comment on the matter at this time.
In the Judges’ Houses round, the remaining 24 contestants will battle it out to secure one of the final 12 slots. These 12 acts will then advance to the live shows. Each of the four judges typically host the round in an international location, with Osbourne reportedly holding her team’s eliminations in Los Angeles, California.
As word spread of Paredes’s supposed disqualification from the competition, her fans expressed their disappointment on social media, with some hoping that she will be brought back as a wildcard contestant. The entertainment website Unreality TV questioned the programme’s decision, writing: “Why couldn’t she sing via Skype? Does she really have to be in the same physical location? Surely exceptions could be made.”
A single mum of a 2-year-old daughter, Paredes moved to Dubai in 2009 in search for a better life. For the past seven years, she had been performing as a singer at the Regent Palace Hotel and the Comedy Junction Bar in Al Mamzar. Last May, she flew to London to audition for The X Factor UK, which started allowing international contestants to join the competition last year.
During her audition, which aired last week, Paredes covered Whitney Houston’s All the Man That I Need, her powerful vocals impressing the judging panel of Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh. Cowell called Paredes “one of the best we’ve had”.
Asked why she came to the UK to try her luck on the show, Paredes said: “The X Factor can provide me the stepping stone that I need for my future, because this is for my daughter.”
Paredes said she had been inspired by 4th Impact, the Filipino girl group who flew from Manila to England last year to audition for The X Factor UK. They eventually finished in fifth place and are currently based in London, where they are in talks for a record deal.
“If they can make it, I can do it too,” Paredes said.
During last Sunday’s bootcamp episode, Paredes was paired with contestants Mike Hough and Lascel Wood. Singing a cover of the Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men hit One Sweet Day, the group impressed the judges, who unanimously advanced all three of them to the next stage of the competition.
“She’s just effortless,” Osbourne told her fellow judges. “It was just a great, great performance,” Cowell said.
Source: art & life