Hayley in Company Magazine April Issue
"I should be so lucky"
Pop Idol and Popstars finalist Hayley evetts, 26, is determined
to follow in the footsteps of her idol, Kylie, and make it big in pop.
"The funniest moment of my last night on pop idol was just after
my performance, when Simon Cowell told me he thought I was very sexy, I didn't know what to make of that comment! My
thought was, 'Thats quite flattering.' but a second later later, I thought, 'actually, no, its not - that's just not right!'
When Ant and Dec announced I'd lost, everyone was in tears. I was
sad I'd miss out on going to the studio with Darius, Will, Gareth and Zoe the next Saturday, as we were having such a
I did suspect I would be voted off that night. Darius and I had discussed
it during the week and each of us had said, 'If its not me this
week, it will be me next week.' So when it came to the
night itself, I was prepared for it. I gave it my best shot, because I wanted to go out on a high.
I may not have won pop idol but I dont consider myself as a failure.
Around 13,000 people auditioned for Pop Idol, and I made it into the last 5 - that's not bad!"
When Will I be famous?
Kylie Minogue was one of my earliest pop idols. I used to dance around
my bedroom when I was ten, singing 'I should be so Lucky' into my hairbrush. I've wanted to be a pop star ever
although I didn't start singing properly until much later. I was brought up in Quinton, Birmingham, by my mum Karen who's
training to be an optician, and my dad, Malcom, a lorry driver. My younger brother, Steven is 22 and a mechanic. So there
historyof performing in my family- although my nan's cousin, Denny Laine, used to be in Wings with Paul McCartney.
I was in the school choir and I loved being in
school shows, but
becoming a singer was just a childhood dream. I left school at 16, I started work for the Birmingham Health Authority looking
after medical records, then I worked in the liver unit looking after transplant patients, which I loved. But even though I
wanted to make a career out of nursing I didn't feel really settled.
It wasn't until I was 20 that I discovered I
had a talent for
singing- some friends and I ended up in a karaoke bar after a boozy birthday meal. The fact I'd had a few glasses of wine
definitely helped me pluck up the courage to sing. I had a great time
and we started going regularly.
A year later, I decided to leave nursing and got a part-time job
at a fancy dress shop. I was still keen to become a singer and would scour the local papers and the stage for
session singers or band auditions. Then, in the summer of 2000, I saw the adverts for the popstars auditions. It sounded like
a fantastic opportunity, so I went to the Birmingham heats. I'd never done an audition before, so I didn't know what to expect.
I was fine until I got there and realised I would have to audition
in front of all the other potential contestants as well as the 3 judges- Nicki Chapman, Nigel Lythgoe and Paul Adams. But
I managed it and sand the SClub 7 song 'Reach for the Stars'. When I watched myself on tv later, I looked petrified! I'm amazed
I got through to the London heats. We were in london for 5 days and that's when I met Darius. He got a slating on Popstars
which wasn't deserved as he's such a nice guy. But the people I got to know best were Taz and Noel, who, of course, made it
into hear'say. I knew Noel would make it- he was just so brilliant.
When I was told I wasn't going to make it into the final five, I
was devastated. The judges said I wasn't right for the project. In retrospect, I don't regret it, because I love singing on
my own. Anyway, I think I'd have cracked up if I'd got into Hear'say. It must have been hard for them: they had to live in
each other's pockets 24 hours a day.
After popstars, I gave up my job and made a charity record for a
local cancer hospice. I also did vocals on a dance track called more by
the band Mareeko, which is on a cream compliation.
last summer, I saw the advert for Pop Idol, and decided to give it a go. When I got to the audition in Manchester, the first
person I saw was Nigel Lythgoe. He remembered me from popstars, and was encouraging. I never thought he deserved his 'Nasty
Nigel' nickname- UNLIKE Simon Cowell.
I sang 'One for Sorrow' by Steps. The feedback I got from Pete, Foxy
and Nicki was great. Pete said I weas the only person from that day's audition who had the right idea about what to wear-
I was wearing tight white trousers, a big black belt and a black and silver top.
Then Simon said, 'Will I remember you in 12 hours' time? No I won't
you have no sparkle and no charisma.' That was when I started disliking him! But because the other 3 had given me the
I was through to the next round.
Reaching for the stars
To win my heat and get into the final 50 I sang the Whitney Houston
song 'I have Nothing'. I remember thinking, what can I say to Simon
Cowell when he's nasty to me? I had a speech prepared!
When you perform you feed off the other people in the room. So, when
you smile at Nicki she smiles back. But Simon never gave any reaction during the whole of pop idol, simon never gave any reaction
during the performances. He looks blank. I don't know what it takes to excite him. I should have brought a pole in to dance
around- maybe I'll do that for pop idol 2! As soon as he said, 'Hayley,' I thought, 'Here we go, stand proud girl'. Then he
said 'I'm not going to criticise you, you have what we're looking for.' I couldn't believe it.
Being in the final ten was great. We were all living in a suite in
a London Hotel, and we really bonded. We did everything together during the day, and at night, we'd sit in someone's room
and chat.The first week, we went out to a pub to have something to eat, and the next day, there was a photo of us in a newspaper
under the headline, 'pub idols'. I
thought the press attention was hilarious. Most of it was positive, but it did annoy
me when one of the tabloid newspapers ran a poll the day of my final show and put me last. There wasn't any need for that
and it made everyone uncomfortable.
But the other things that went with the show were great- the place
we lived, the voice coaching and travelling around in buses with blacked -out windows. The clothes I wore were fantastic-
getting styled and groomed was a dream come true, because I'm clothes and shoes-mad! It was true star treatment. Even though
we had to work hard, too, I knew it was the life I wanted.
It was horrible when people had to leave. It hit me hardest
when Aaron left because for the first time I realised this was a compeition.
The run-up to final night was complete madness- it was like a big
reunion in the sudio the last 50 were all there. There was a brilliant atmosphere but you could feel the tension. I
we all thought, thank god its not us up there!
The final 50 were waiting in the wings before the winner was announced,
because we knew we'd be going on to sing with Gareth or Will. None of us had a clue which one of them would win, but I was
in tears already. I have to say I always had faith in Mr Young. From the day we met, we gelled. We're all friends, but he's
my best buddy. I knew he could do it.
Now its all over, I've decided to stay in London, and my boyfriend,
Will, plans to move down here, too. He's been incredibly supportive; even though its the kind of experience that really tests
a relationship. Will has kept my feet on the ground.
Although I didn't win Pop Idol, I now know I can go out there and
do it. I really want a record deal and I hope it happens soon. But
this has been a fantastic platform. Millions have watched
us sing- you cant ask for more than that. The whole experience has made me even more determined to succeed as a singer. I
really want to make it big.