Ellie Lovegrove was the first contestant in Redfoo’s under-24 girls category to be eliminated from The X Factor when the show went to deadlock last night, the first time this series. Ronan Keating couldn’t choose who he wanted to send home between Ellie and brother boy band JTR, and in the end the public vote sent Ellie packing. But the bubbly 19-year-old from SA only takes away good experiences and positive memories from her time on the show, as she told us this morning. And she couldn’t stop gushing about her mentor, Redfoo. Keep reading for more from Ellie.
First deadlock of the series — does that make the elimination any easier or harder?
I didn’t mind. It was weird for me — we had spoken about deadlocks, but to think they were going to put us into deadlock was really interesting to see how it all panned out. It is what it is, and I had lots and lots of fun on the show. I got to hang around the most amazing people every single day. I’m not disheartened about the outcome at all. I really enjoyed my time while I was there.
It was your first sing for your life last night. What felt different about it compared to the other live show performances?
When I went backstage, I was talking to the boys, and we had all said to each other, “No matter what happens, we’re all going to have careers in the music industry, we’re always going to stay close friends.” We became a really close family and as soon as I got backstage I had to go into the zone, and not let my emotions and nerves get to me. I knew it would be the end of the show for one of us. It’s always really sad on the Monday night for all of us, it’s always bittersweet. I had to focus all of my emotions on the song and give it my all. That’s what I did, but the song I sang I absolutely loved, so I went out with a bang.
More from Ellie when you keep reading.
Ronan made an interesting comment about the communication between some of the mentors and contestants. What was your working relationship with Redfoo like?
I personally think that Ronan’s comments were based purely on what he’s seen onstage. Everybody knows how nervous the contestants get before we go up on stage. Everyone’s freaking out backstage, we’re performing in front of Australia, the judges can be a bit intimidating . . . [Laughs] I believe, and we’ve been told, that Foo and the girls have the closest mentor and contestant friendship that they’ve seen on the show. Foo has gone out of his way to get to know us as individual artists, and has been absolutely incredible. I cannot get over how much effort he’s put into looking after us. He takes his mentoring job really seriously. And to see how proud he is when we finish performing, it’s just the best feeling. He’s like a proud dad!
We’ve gotten to know more about Redfoo than ever before, but what’s something surprising about him we may not know?
That’s a good question! I know that Foo is really into his tennis-playing. He was saying his girlfriend [women’s world no. 2 Victoria Azarenka] likes to sing and will sing to him, and he always asks her about his tennis. So it’s like a reverse role, they always ask each other about the other’s [area of] expertise. He’s always really pumped up for the shows and gets excited like everyone else. He’s always energetic and really into anything he does when it comes to music. All the stuff we do, he really wants the best for us. He’s exactly how he is onstage. And he loves everybody! He’s so nice to everyone. He even mingles with the other categories backstage and will jam with everybody. He’s a really good friend and a really good mentor.
Which performance of yours was most representative of the kind of artist you’d like to be?
When the show first started I did sing lots of ballad-y songs, and I do enjoy singing ballads, but as the show’s progressed, Foo’s really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and he helped me be more open-minded with what kind of artist I can be. Now, for the future, I think my genre and repertoire is going to be expanding even more, now that I’ve been exposed to so much more of the industry and so many more ideas. I’ll definitely be intertwining everything together, and hopefully have something really cool to give Australia and the rest of the world when I bring out music of my own.
Your auditions and first performances were very stripped back and acoustic — what was it like to shift to such big productions on the live shows? Did they ever overwhelm you?
The big productions were crazy! But it was so much fun. On Sunday night I did a dance number and sang at the same time. I’d said, “I want to dance and I want to sing and I want to have fun,” and they were like, “We’ll try that.” What I didn’t take into consideration was how much energy it was going to take! But that’s another learning experience for me, and I don’t regret taking that risk when I decided to sing and dance at the same time. I felt exhausted after rehearsals when I was doing it. But it’s another aspect of my performing that I can definitely look into. It’s not just about being a singer in this industry, you have to be an entertainer, and that’s why Foo is so inspiring, because you get addicted to watching him do his thing on the stage. I want to be that kind of artist as well.
Will you keep your new bright red hair?
[Laughs] The hair’s grown on me. I really like it. I might go a little longer, but I guess we’ll see what happens. I changed my hair before we went over for the home visits — I changed it to an orange-y colour first, and then I went to a different hairdresser and my hair went bright fluoro orange. And the producers were like, “Oh my god, what did you do to your hair?” It’s not that they didn’t like it, but they were so surprised, so then they dyed it down to a more coppery red. I don’t mind, I’m really not a fussy hair person, I just do whatever.
Who do you want to win? Who do you think will win?
To say who I want to win is really hard. We’ve all become really close. The top 12 became a family. We know what each other’s thinking when they’re onstage, getting comments, performing, how they’re feeling before the show . . . So it’s really hard. I think everyone deserves to have the opportunity to perform on an amazing stage, and to meet all these amazing people. Whoever wins The X Factor definitely deserves it because I know they all work 100, 1,000 percent. Everyone wants it. Now it’s completely up to Australia.