It is a rainy Tuesday afternoon and two days have passed since
Jade Ellis was evicted from TV's biggest singing competition, The X
Factor. In a tense Sunday sing-off, judges picked boy band Union J
over the lesbian mother from London whose final performance became
Dido's White Flag.
Jade picks up the phone and I instantly recognise the husky voice
we've heard covering classic songs by artists like Sugababes and
Amy Winehouse. She speaks with a strong London accent and that raw,
sensual, aspect to her tone gives me goosebumps.
Hi Jade. You have amazing arms. Did you get them from working at
the bike shop?
Jade lets out the first of many heartfelt laughs.
"I never really noticed that my arms were that muscular until I
started seeing myself back. I think it's from picking up a
six-year-old," she laughs, hinting at daughter Caiden.
How do you feel?
"Obviously I'm completely gutted. I'd love to still be on the
show, however now it just means I can concentrate on touring and
doing a bit more of the music that I want to do."
Looking back, she admits song choice was a problem on the show
that changed its traditional set-up this year, allowing
semi-professional artists to compete with their own material.
"It's not as easy to go on there as an urban artist, simply for
the fact that you're not allowed to really sing songs that resonate
with yourself. You've got to pick songs that will work with a
Days after her eviction, the press is full of speculations as to
why such a talented singer was given the boot in favour of yet
another mainstream boy band. Jade herself has been quoted
complaining of "tactical voting" on the judges' part.
"I don't think it's a fix in any way," she insists now. "The show
itself is evolving and it is getting to a point where more urban
acts are getting into it but people have to realise that it's not
going to happen overnight."
Do you think Union J were kept because you were a greater
"I don't know how they [decide but], to be fair, they're a boy
band so they are going to have lots of screaming girls around them.
If they were a winner they would be like a new One Direction…"
"Personally, I believe I would be on a smaller scale, I don't
really, generally want to sell out huge venues, I prefer private,
more intimate locations."
Here at DIVA we see many examples of young female artists
disguising their sexuality to reach a "wider" audience and boost
sales. Could this have played a part in your early exit?
There is a long silence while Jade is thinking.
"I don't believe that… I don't think the general public care who I
sleep with... Obviously it's nice to have such a big support from
the lesbian community but I don't think people did not vote for me
because I'm a lesbian."
Read the rest of this interview in our December issue,
on sale from November 22 2012.
Buy the issue at DIVAdirect.co.uk