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Interview With The X Factor's Audio Vixen on Working With Ronan Keating and Mel B's "Daggy" Comments

Audio Vixen on Their Time on X Factor and Mel B's Comments

Audio Vixen were the first of Ronan Keating’s groups to be eliminated from The X Factor. The siblings — Ria, Christine and Ross — impressed week after week with their strong vocals and harmonies, though Mel B had quite a few things to say about their look and styling. Things got a little confusing last night, when the deciding judges’ vote went to Mel and she said she wouldn’t push it to deadlock (Johnny Ruffo had two votes, Audio Vixen had one). As Mel gave her elimination vote to Audio Vixen, the results then returned the decision to the viewer votes, which unfortunately sent Audio Vixen home. We chatted to the groups’ sisters, Ria and Christine, about a final glimmer of hope, working with Ronan, and their response to Mel’s “daggy” comments.

What was going through your mind when Mel B said she wasn’t going to send it to deadlock?
Ria: We knew that Mel knew who she wanted to send home. We were prepared for that. As for her throwing it to a deadlock, looking back at the footage, by the look on her face she miscalculated. We truly believe that it was an honest mistake on her part. I don’t think she realised what that actually did.

Did you feel a little hopeful at that point?
Ria: For just a split second, we were hopeful, but our heads were in two minds — we were prepared for both. Like anybody we were trying to hold on to that little shred of hope, that perhaps it could’ve gone our way.

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How did you guys feel about singing “Chains” by Tina Arena on Monday night?
Ria: “Chains” was a song that Ronan chose for us. We gave it our all. Our challenge was to turn a song by a solo artist into a group performance, and we gave everything that we had. It was a very emotional song, and we hope we conveyed that through our performance.

Overall, were you happy with the songs Ronan picked for you each week?
Ria: Definitely. Ronan, right from the get-go, has always wanted to pull out the best in us. He always told us that he believed in us, and his job as a mentor was to highlight our best assets, and that was our vocals. We feel that we grew each week, and we can only continue to do that beyond this.

What was the experience of working with Ronan like?
Ria: He’s been around for a long time and he’s had a very long career. It just goes to show what kind of an artist he is. It was an absolute honour to work with him. He’s a very honest person; he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to what is real and what isn’t. I think it’s important that you have someone like that in your corner. You do need to understand that the industry isn’t all what it seems to be, and people do need to be honest with you. At the same time you need to have a thick skin and understand that. Things can’t always go your way.

How long have you guys been known as Audio Vixen?
Ria: Ross joined us about five years ago, but prior to that, Christine and I were a duet as Audio Vixen for another five years.

Where does the name come from?
Ria: [Laughs] Well one night we were trying to come up with a name, sitting around with a notepad and just random words, and we were trying to work out which words had a nice ring. Those two words came together and we thought it sounded special.

Was it easier to be in this competition with your siblings?
Ria: Yeah, absolutely. We’re not only siblings, we’re best friends as well. We’re honest with each other; we’d come off stage and immediately debrief our performance, and keep it real as much as possible. It definitely made the day-to-day mechanics of things easier.

You copped quite a bit of criticism with your styling on the show. What kind of image did you want to project?
Ria: Our look is clean rock. There are different types of rock — boho, punk-rock, grunge. We were going for a cross between young Beatles and young Fleetwood Mac, but we tried to modernise that. That’s a challenge, and we had an amazing styling team, who really understood us and tried to capture that. With a show like this it’s all about evolving every week.

How did you take Mel’s “daggy” comments?
Ria: We took it on board. Stylistically, Mel is completely different to us, and that’s understandable. Some people love what we wear. We love what we wear; we’re very comfortable on stage. If we weren’t comfortable we’d look quite awkward! Mel’s wardrobe is completely different to what we would wear; we’re not her cup of tea. And that’s cool, there’s nothing to take personally about it.

Is there anything you’d re-do if you had the chance?
Christine: We’d re-do last night [laughs]. Not our performance — we were really, really happy with that — but we’d obviously re-do the results of last night.

Who do you want to win?
Ria: There’s a few in there. We strongly believed that [anyone in] the groups category was a great contender this year. So we’re backing the groups all the way. If you’re asking for a soloist, it’s clearly a kid like Reece who just stands out to us.
Christine: With the groups, 3 Wishez have something special that I don’t think Australia has seen before. And Young Men Society, they work for hours and hours on end. Their dedication alone deserves a lot of attention.

Photo courtesy of Channel Seven

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