The X Factor 2017 finalists: Grace Davies
From: Blackburn, Lancashire
The singer-songwriter has constantly wowed both the X Factor judges and viewers at home with her beautiful and catchy songs, which Grace has written and performed throughout the live shows. From Roots in her first audition to Hesitate and Wolves, her tracks have stormed up the iTunes chart and secured her as one of the favourites to win this weekend.
RadioTimes.com caught up with Grace ahead of The X Factor final to find out more about her series journey – and what she thinks of her chances…
How does it feel that this crazy X Factor experience is now coming to an end?
It’s so emotional. It feels like it’s flown by, and it also feels like it’s been about four years. So it’s been an absolute rollercoaster. But do you know what? I think that I’ve made it to the end, and that’s the main thing. So I’m just happy to be here, man. If it’s finishing, at least I’m there to finish it.
What will you be performing on The X Factor final this weekend?
I mean, I can’t say too much, but I think you can always expect original songs with me. That’s where I’m happiest, and that’s me expressing myself as an artist in the final. That’s where I really need to bring it.
I did hint last week that I would want to get back to my roots and do my first audition song and I’ve said this week that’s one I’ll be doing. It’s one I wanted to really book-end my experience with. So yeah, that’s all I can say…
How are you dealing with the extra attention in the street and in the press?
It’s madness. It’s something that you’ve really got to get used to. It’s made me a stronger person and I feel like a different person since my first audition. I watched it back the other day, and I was like, ‘Wow, how things have changed.’ And no one can prepare you for this experience ever, because it’s like, ‘OK, now you’re in the public eye. Deal with that.’
But it’s genuinely the most incredible thing, because people see your music and they hear your voice.
You say you feel like you’re a different person now to your first audition – how?
I think I’m just a lot stronger. I was very vulnerable when I walked into that audition because I’d been doing music for a while, writing songs every day and I was living somewhere completely far away from home not earning any money. I was just sad that it wasn’t going anywhere.
So when I walked into that audition, I was probably a bit giggly and a bit giddy and a bit like ‘please like me!’ So I think now I feel like myself again, the artist that I’ve always wanted to be. It’s been a few months, and I feel like a completely different person.
You’ve said before that for a few weeks during the competition, you feel as though you lost yourself…
I came on as an artist, and I was like ‘these are my songs’, and then it’s like, ‘Here’s a Latino theme.’ And you’re like, ‘Mmm-hmmm. Right. So we’re going to get around that one…’ It’s hard to adjust to it. You’ve just got to take it on board and get on with it. So yeah, I probably did lose myself for a couple of weeks. But you get used to it, and you learn, and you just learn to get over things and move on and concentrate on the music.
You know what, it’s really not. I said it in week three when I did George Michael. I was like, ‘I can’t make everyone love me.’ Not everyone is going to take to you, and I’ve known that. So I read a lot on Twitter, and I’m like, ‘That’s fine, that’s your opinion. I completely respect that.’ But sometimes it’s nice to just go, ‘Alright, love, pipe down!’
If you do win, what’s going to be the first thing that you do?
Scream, probably! But if I come third, second or first I’ll be out of the competition on Sunday and into a studio on Monday. I will work my socks off to get to where I want to be and to get that album out. Because it’s not just me that wants that album out there; it’s the people who have streamed my music. They’ve bought my music. They’ve voted for me.
So yeah, I will definitely be on with that album straight away.
Here is Grace Davies’ X Factor journey so far…
Bio: Grace Davies was already a bit of an internet sensation before her X Factor audition, as her cover of Adele’s Hello had already racked up 50 million plays on Soundcloud.
Not only does Grace write a lot of her own stuff but she also plays the piano. On her website, Grace lists her influences as Carmen McRae, Etta James, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
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In 2015, she released her debut EP My Kingdom and was named as a Rising Star in Lancashire Life magazine.
You also might have heard her on BBC 6 Music and Radio 1 – her song My Kingdom was chosen as one of the Top 40 tracks of 2014 for BBC Introducing Lancashire.
Curiously, Grace is managed by Insomnia Music, and the only other artist they have on their books is Janet Devlin, who came fifth on The X Factor in 2011… could this be an indicator that Grace is going to go pretty far in the competition?
What did Grace Davies sing at her audition?
Grace has now also proved a hit on YouTube, as her first closed-room audition on The X Factor has garnered 2.9 million hits and counting.
Instead of singing a cover of a track, Grace performed an original song of hers called Roots for judges Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh.
Her performance bought both Nicole and Sharon to tears, while Louis described Roots as a “hit song” and Simon said he “loved it” and that it was a “beautiful song”. She obviously got four yeses from the judges, before Grace revealed that she hadn’t performed that song for anybody before.
How did Grace Davies get through to Judges Houses?
Grace went for another original song at Boot Camp, called Don’t Go, about an ex that she was, happily, well over by the time she performed on the show.
The tears from the judges told you everything you needed to know.
Then it was on to the Six Chair Challenge, with a spot on Sharon’s Girls at Judges Houses up for grabs.
Sharon’s Six Chair Challenge segment was particularly brutal (when isn’t it?), but Grace deserved her spot in the final six.
And, yes, it was another original song, “the sequel to my Boot Camp audition”, called Do It Better.
The X Factor final airs Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3 on ITV