17 secrets from the X Factor contestants’ house

Guitars in the bathroom, topless Jake Quickenden and funny internet messages... Emma Daly got the inside scoop on life inside the X Factor contestants' digs

Today I spent the entire afternoon backstage at the X Factor studios getting all the gossip on how the acts are feeling ahead of this weekend’s first live shows and just how they’re getting on living together in one big house.


“Big Brother”, “Glee”, “one big sleepover” – everyone had different views on what it’s like sharing a pad while they take part in the competition. So what’s really going on in there? Here are the secrets the acts spilled…

1. Jake Quickenden is very rarely dressed (oo-er!)

While Jake says he’s just comfortable in the house and wears what he’d wear at home, the eight-piece boy band joke that he even rolls his boxer shorts up. Charlie from Only the Young adds that he’ll think he looks alright, “and then Jake walks in with his chiseled six pack…” 

2. The eight-piece boy band share a room and sing until 3am

Yes, 3am. It sounds like a house party, the other acts say, with Blonde Electra joking they don’t have to tell them to keep it down, the researchers do that. Mikey from Only the Young even took his duvet and left the room in favour of a kip on the sofa for the night.

3. Ben Haenow gets some odd propositions on Twitter

There’s a man in Brazil who wants to be impregnated by Ben. The singer doesn’t reply. “What would you say? I’m a little busy right now…” Ben laughs. 

4. If Andrea can’t understand something he just laughs

The singer from Rome admits that it works to an extent, although someone asked him for a lighter and all he did was laugh and put his thumbs up, which didn’t really help them. It’s a dirty habit anyway… 

5. Andrea still has his Scary Spice doll from the audition and Mel B calls him

“I’m like, ‘Oh my god, Scary Spice on FaceTime!'” 

6. Louis Walsh enjoys an emoji 

Louis likes to text his acts and according to Jake from the boy band, he occasionally uses the shy looking monkey. Very down with the kids, eh? Although Parisa from Only the Young reveals that Louis has two iPhone’s and doesn’t know how to use either. “I have to tell him to slide it!”

7. The boy band are the messiest

Well, what would you expect? Eight boys all together. Although, they are quick to point out each other’s mess. “What was in the middle of the room last night? A yoghurt. And whose yoghurt was it?” with a bashful Casey admitting, “Mine…”

8. Blonde Electra like to flirt

They flirt with everyone, they admit. It seems to be going down well – all the acts did nothing but sing their praises saying they really help keep the positive attitude up around the house… 

9. Talking of which, Blonde Electra plan to surprise Louis

Louis doesn’t exactly know all the ins and outs of Blonde Electra’s performance on Saturday night. They want him to be surprised. “Expect neon,” they tease, also revealing that they tickle each other and do press ups just before they go on stage to get in the zone. Whatever works…

10. Jake got put on voice rest

While giving his vocal chords a break, he’d write what he wanted to say on his phone and ask Paul Akister to deliver the message. Paul smiled like he was hoping that wouldn’t happen again soon.

11. The boy band have had some pretty weird name suggestions

Including a message that read: “I’m on the 7th floor of The Gherkin tower – send help!” 

12. The Overs got to meet Simon Cowell’s son Eric

Fleur says he was very sweet and that he looks a lot like Simon. 

13. There are guitars everywhere

You’ll even find guitars in the bathroom.

14. Chloe-Jasmine hops into Steph’s bunk

Stephanie Nala admits the pair have become close friends during the competition and often snuggle up to talk things through and read messages from fans. 

15. Everyone keeps asking Andrea if he’ll have a pug-themed outfit for the live show

“Maybe. It’s a surprise,” he says with a smile. 

16. The boys are aware of their years

“We have ten minutes of banter and then we’re like, ‘night…'” laugh Jake and Paul. 

17. Jake has had a lot of rude messages on Twitter

So rude he wouldn’t even tell us what they were… 

The acts certainly seem like they’re having a lot of fun, but as they scuttled between wardrobe and the stage for some more rehearsals it was time for me to leave them to it. 


Now it’s onto the live shows, which kick off Friday at 7:30pm on ITV