Tyla Bertolli said goodbye to The X Factor last night, the result of a difficult decision for her mentor, Mel B. Tyla was in the bottom two with fellow Under 25s female Jacqui Newland, who Mel decided to send through to the next round. But her early exit from the competition hasn’t stopped Tyla from dreaming of even bigger things. We chatted to Tyla to discuss her post-show thoughts, working with Scary Spice, and if anything’s going on between Christina and Reece!
Mel B fought for you from the beginning. How did it feel to be in that situation where she had to pick between you and Jacqui?
It was a little bit heartbreaking. Ultimately Mel likes to be in control, she likes to see the situation through, and I’m actually really glad that she stuck to her guns; it shows what type of person she is. She said to me in the end, ‘It has nothing to do with my belief in you, how far I see your career going or your success.’ She just felt that Jacqui was probably in a better position in the contest.
Did you and Jacqui get close during the competition?
Oh, you would not believe. We’ve been roommates since first day boot camp. We’ve been each other’s support systems — we call each other our soulmates. We grew extremely close, which made last night even harder.
Even though you were close, was there that sense of competition between you guys, and Christina [Parie]?
Never. For myself, I was in this competition to grow as a person, and none of the contestants have a competitive bone in their body. It’s probably not what we’re meant to tell you guys, but we go out there to do our best, regardless of what everyone else is doing. We put the pressure on ourselves.
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The rivalry comes through much more with the judges.
Oh yeah! [Laughs] Definitely.
Did Mel say anything to you after the show?
She sat me down, we opened up at $110 bottle of Pinot that I bought her, and we had a really lovely chat over a glass of wine. She felt terrible. She just felt that Jacqui needed to be in this competition a little longer than I did. She said she has no doubts about my future — I asked her would she still be happy to mentor me, and she said yes. I said, ‘I’m gonna need about five minutes to feel sorry for myself and have a massive cry,’ about how much I’m going to miss all of this, and then I’m just gonna pick myself up and get on to the next thing.
Growing up, were you a big Spice Girls fan?
You have no idea! The first CD that I ever got was the Spice Girls CD — I had to buy a CD player ’cause we didn’t even have one in the house so I could listen to it. That’s how young I was!
My friends and I all took on one of the Spice Girls to be.
I was always Scary Spice! So you can imagine how much of a dream come true this has been.
It must’ve been so surreal, and then for you to sing in front of Mel C. What was that like?
I remember going home and saying to my mum, ‘A Spice Girl likes me,’ after my first audition. And then I was like, ‘Mum, half the Spice Girls love me!’ [Laughs] It was extremely humbling. When I was in that house we saw these beautiful backstage photos of the Spice Girls, and that really hit home for me. I just bawled my eyes out that I’d been given this opportunity.
Your styling on the show has been quite retro-inspired. Is that how you like to dress?
I definitely dress like that. I think that I have the body type for that; that’s how I feel sexy. I’m not really a jeans and top kind of girl. All of my outfits were from Wheels & Doll Baby, which are like a 1950s, ’60s, Marilyn-type of look, which suited me fantastically. I literally wear red lipstick every single day, so it was like myself times a thousand.
Often the judges commented on your pitch, so was that something you really focussed on during rehearsals?
It definitely was, but Mel B looks at this competition a little bit differently to the other judges. It might not be working in her favour, but she’s all about the entertainment factor. She doesn’t see The X Factor being a singing competition like Guy [Sebastian] does. She sees it as the whole package — how you look, how you’re holding yourself. Sometimes the pitch work comes down further on that list of things to do. I feel like I let myself down a little bit in terms of that sort of stuff, because I got so carried away, and it was purely because I loved what I was doing so much and I was thinking about everything else. Kelly Clarkson told us yesterday, ‘About two percent of performing artists are actually singing live, so give yourselves a massive pat on the back for having the guts to go out there and do it.’ You’re gonna stuff up, but that’s the joy of being live.
How did you like the live performances?
I loved it. Like, that is my drug! Even if you do terribly, you get off stage and you have a smile on your face ’cause you’re like that was the best fun I’ve ever had.
Was The X Factor experience what you expected it to be? What surprised you about it?
I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work. There were things I didn’t prefer myself for emotionally. I got myself really fit before the live shows. I prepared myself for people to not be as lovely as they were, and I was very happily taken aback by how wonderful everyone was. And I didn’t expect to finish now and be so excited about the future.
On that note, what is next for you?
Everything. I wanna do television, I wanna do film, I wanna work with fashion designers, shoes . . . I wanna do the whole nine yards as well as have a music career. The biggest thing that I’ve taken from Mel is that she’s created an empire, and that’s something that I really wanna replicate.
I heard that you think Reece will win thanks to lots of votes, so who do you want to win?
I want Christina to win. I think that she’s phenomenal, a beautiful person, and that this would do absolute wonders for her.
And do you know if anything is happening between Christina and Reece?
I think it’s been blown way out of proportion. They’re just really good friends — those two and Declan [Sykes], they have to do tutoring so they’re at school together all the time. They’re constantly on camera together but that’s because they always have to be with each other. But who knows what will happen? It’s a pretty stressful environment [and] I wouldn’t mind having a good cuddle once in a while! [Laughs]
Photo courtesy of Channel Seven