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Hayley Evetts Online
OK! Magazine Interview 25/9/02
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Meeting Pop Idol finalist Hayley Evetts in the flesh, you can understand why judge Simon Cowell described her as 'sexy' on the popular television show. With legs that seem to go on forever, flowing blonde locks and a curvaceous figure, you can understand why she gained a legion of male fans during the show.
And it's surprising to learn that the attractive 26-year old singer is single, despite rumours that shes having a fling with Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates. Hotly denying any romance, she says they are just 'very close friends' and, although she sees a lot of him, she is keen to point out that she keeps in close contact with all 10 finalists.
The down-to-earth lass is now determined to follow in the footsteps of Gareth Gates, Will Young and Darius Danesh and acheive pop success. Her perseverance is certain to reap rewards as she has bucket loads of ambition. Though she hasn't shot to the top of the charts like her male counterparts, Hayley is happy to take it at a slower pace and is currently recording material at a London studio.
Despite having no musical background, Hayley applied to ITV1's original talent search show, Popstars, and got through to the final 16. After getting a taste of the big time, she was determined to try again and applied for Pop Idol, in which she came fifth.
Having just returned from a sunshine break in Tenerife's Playa De Las Americas with her best friend, Tammy Fletcher, Hayley exclusively tells OK! about landing a presenting role alongside Dane Bowers on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals......

Congratulations on your new job as a presenter on Popstars: The Rivals....
Thanks! Although I had talks with them a while back, I only heard that I'd got the job the day I came back from Tenerife - the day before it went on air!
What will you be doing?
I'll be doing the after-show, reporting with Dane Bowers, talking to pop stars and journalists about their views on the night's show.
Do you think there's a good interaction among the judges - Geri Halliwell, Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh?
Yes, I do, and I think Geri, in particular, is brilliant. She's definitely giving them some stick.
What did you think of the first auditions?
They were just hilarious, especially the Indian guy. I think there were fewer people who could sing in that first episode than in the first auditions of Pop Idol and Popstars put together!
Did you watch American Idol?
I saw a few clips on RI:SE. I just wish they'd shown it on television here. The performers are absolutely brilliant! They really go for it big time in the States.
Do you think Simon Cowell was as nasty as he was on Pop Idol?
He goes over the top sometimes, but that's Simon and that's why people love to hate him. Poeple do take his comments on board as it's constructive criticism.
Have you ever lived down Simon's comment about you being 'sexy' on Pop Idol?
I've watched the show back and it's so funny. I gadn't a clue what he was going to say - I certainly didn't expect him to say that. But I have to take it as a compliment as he doesn't say that to many people.
Are you disappointed you don't yet have a record deal?
No, I'm not. After Pop Idol, I went on the concert tour, then I dd some presenting work for This Morning, so it's only now that I've had a chance to sit back and think about what I really want to do.
Would you rather present or sing?
I still want to do my music. If I can do my music and present at the same time that would be brilliant. I've just been for a screen test for MTV, which would be an ideal combination. But I still definitely want to sing. I'm currently recording material in London.
Tell us about the music you're recording......
It's very rock chick with powerful vocals. I like the rock of Bryan Adams and the powerful vocals of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion - it's a mix of that.
Did you always want to be a singer?
I used to sing into my hair brush to Kylie Minogue when I was young and dance around my room, but that was about it. I never went to stage school or sang in public. The first time I did was when I entered Popstars.
You seem to have made some very good friends on Pop Idol. Are you really all that close?
I've still got some very good friends from home, like Tammy, who I went to Tenerife with, but my Pop Idol friends are the only people who know exactly what I've gone through and, during the weks, we formed a very close bond.
Did you realise how big Pop Idol had become when you were in it?
We talk about it a lot now. The problem was, when we were in the final ten, we were working seven days a week so we didn't realise how big it had become. I think it hit us when something like a photograph of Zoe buying a packet of crisps made front page news!
You're very close to Pop Idol winner Will Young....
He's just such a nice guy. He was the first person out of the final ten that I spoke to on the phone. And you know when you speak to someone and you just know you're going to get on? Well that was it with Will and I. Basically, the Will you see on TV, that's really Will. He's got a really good heart and would do anything for you. I think his music is brilliant and he'll be in the charts for a long, long time.
And you share a flat with Rosie Ribbons.....
I got to know Rosie on tour - we just clicked instantly. In every hotel, Rosie and I were opposite each other and we were constantly in and out of each other's rooms. I not share a flat with her in west London and Jessica (Garlick) just lives around the corner. I love Jess to pieces. She's just so funny and also cooks a great Sunday chicken!
Do you keep in touch with all ten finalists?
Most of them , yes. Though it's obviously more difficult as Laura's (Doherty) in Ireland, so we just speak on the phone and text, and Aaron (Bayley) still lives in Newcastle.
Did you think Gareth would win?
To be honest, I really didn't know who would win out of the two from week to week. One week I'd say Gareth was the frontrunner, but the next week I thought it was Will. Even right at the last moment, Zoe, Rosie, Jessica and I hadn't a clue who was going to win as both of them were so good but so different.
There have been lots of rumours of a romance between you and Gareth. Is there any truth in them?
Gareth moved to London at the same time as I moved down here. He's not in a serious relationship and neither am I. People always want to put us together like they did with him and Zoe before. Will and I go to the pub and nothing is written about us, but if Gareth and I go out, the next day it's splashed across the papers that we're having this full-blown relationship. It's difficult as he's my friend and a great guy, but that's it.
So you're not going out?
No we're just very close friends.
It's been reported that Gareth gave you a 1,000 bracelet. Is that true?
No (laughs) he hasn't. It's difficult coping wih all these rumours. I have girls shouting horrible things at me in the street but we are just really good friends.
You shot to fame on Pop Idol, but who's your idol and have you met them?
I have idolised Kylie Minogue since I was 11 and I got to meet her at the Brit Awards when I was working for This Morning.
What happened - were you nervous?
I was standing in the queue with Kate Thornton - who was also reporting - and she said: 'Are you going to be alright when Kylie comes in?' I said: 'Yes, I'll be fine.' As she was about to walk past, I was thinking to myself, I must say something otherwise I'll kick myself. So I said:'I'm from This Morning.' and she looked at me and went:' Oh hello there, nice to meet you,' and I just thought, oh my God she watched Pop Idol and knows who I am.
Then later that night, I met another one of my pop idols - Anastacia! I was at the after-show party and I saw her. One of the guys I was with knew I wanted to meet her, so he went over to her PA and told her I sang one of her tracks on the Pop Idol tour.
She just came over and said: 'Hey how are you doing?' I just couldn't believe how small she was. I thought she'd be really tall as she has that powerful voice!
Before Pop Idol, you made it into the final 16 of Popstars. Were you disappointed that you didn't make the band?
Of course, I was absolutely heartbroken, but then again I sat there on the train home and said to myself, I have never done anything like this before and I managed to get to the final 16 from the initial 3,000 entrants, so I had to be proud of that. I'm really glad I did it before Pop Idol as I learnt so much from the whole process and the show gave me so much more confidence.
Do you still keep in touch with anyone in the show?
I did Party in the Park in Birmingham and I saw Kelli (Young, from Liberty X) there and we keep in touch.
You've just returned from a holiday in Tenerife. Did you have a good time?
I went away with my best friend, Tammy, and we agreed before we left that we weren't going to do anything but chill out. We did some shopping in Playa De Las Americas and relaxed by the pool. The place we stayed at was just beautiful, so we didn't feel we had to go anywhere else.
Your dream has always been to swim with dolphins and it came true. Did it live up to your expectations?
Even more so! I always watched programmes on them and, when I saw a video of one of my mum's friends swimming with them in Mexico, I just knew I had to do it. I was a bit scared to start with as I hadn't realised they were so big, but when I was holding on to two dolphins' fins and being pulled around the pool, it was absolutely brilliant!
And did you go out at night?
Sometimes we went out for dinner and a walk, and other nights we just stayed in and Tammy cooked up a delicious lasagna or something in the apartment's kitchen. It was lovely. We both really wanted to chill out and just relax.
So what does the future hold for you?
I just know that I want to sing. And, for all those people who voted for me, I'll just keep going and get there eventually.
Check out the pictures from the Interview on the Pictures Page