X Factor acts reveal true pain behind heartbreak song choices

Emotions run high as the acts discuss the feelings behind the tracks they'll perform this weekend

This weekend the X Factor acts are taking on songs under the ‘love and heartbreak‘ theme and for some, the tracks are particularly poignant. 


As they prepare to face yet another double elimination (thankfully the last of the series) some of the remaining seven have revealed to us the true feelings behind the lyrics they’ll be singing and why they mean so much to them. 

Anton on his recent heartache 

Simon Cowell’s last remaining Overs act Anton Stephans is singing One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men for heartbreak week, admitting he’s got a former relationship in mind. 

“I was involved in a relationship. I was going to marry this person, even though I knew that they were unfaithful. They just couldn’t help doing what they were doing. It was beyond them,” Anton told RadioTimes.com. “I don’t want to hurt them, just because they hurt me doesn’t me I have to stab back at them,” he said as he searched for the words to explain the history.

“It was a sad situation,” he continued. “Living with someone who doesn’t love you as much as you love them. So I’m singing it with them in mind a little bit.”

But Anton said he has to be sure not to let the words overwhelm him as he says the song isn’t just for him, that people in their living rooms may be feeling it, too. This sense of reaching beyond the TV screen was something he was particularly feeling today. 

“Today, I’m taken aback, because someone lost their father and at the funeral they are playing a song that I sang. And I think, wow. How incredibly…” he said, before pausing to collect his emotions. “I just got off the phone talking to them,” he explained, notably moved. “I wanted them to know how much I appreciated it and for them to know that the loss of their father hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. I want to help. You want to let them know that they’re not alone. That’s the main thing that I try to do on stage. I think the songs that I sing well are the ones that reach people and touch people. That’s what I want to do. I want to not feel as alone and make them feel they’re not alone either.”

Ché Chesterman on family loss

Nick Grimshaw’s act Ché Chesterman admitted this week’s song choice, Yesterday by The Beatles, will be an emotionally tough one to sing, as the words relate to his feelings about his granddad passing away three years ago.

“Me, my dad and my granddad were like three best mates, like the same person. When he passed away me and my dad never got through it, never really processed it. I’m the kind of guy that, if I have a problem, I stick it to the back of my mind and don’t talk about it. I keep it all in. So this song, some of the words are like, you’ve got a problem and it’s not going away. So some of the lyrics I really relate to on that level.”

But the singer admits he needs to keep his emotions from taking over. “It’s just about showing that emotion but not showing too much otherwise I’ll start crying during the song and I won’t get through it. 

“Rehearsing it I’ve got too emotional,” he continued. “When I’ve spoken about it, I’ve cried. I spoke about it on camera and I cried. It was one of those things that I didn’t really want to talk about or get out. But this song it’s just brilliant, the words are amazing. I can connect to it so much, it’s just not connecting to it too much so that I come away from the performance.” 

“It’s been three years now and I’ve never sat and thought about it. It’s not something you can ever get over but it’s something you get through,” Ché continued. “It’s not something I’ve done yet, I’m not through it yet. I haven’t passed that. It is really hard to go back to it. I was a 16-year-old, it was a horrible feeling. It wasn’t something that I could deal with at the time mentally. I still don’t feel like I’m ready now, but I feel like there’s pain that I can get across on the stage. But as I keep saying, it’s not crossing the line and affecting the performance, which is going to be really difficult.”

Mason Noise talks jealousy

Mason Noise is singing Jealous by Nick Jonas this week. He teased that I should ask his mentor Nick Grimshaw whether there was any jealousy in his past given it was his song choice, but Mason admitted he’s had some experience of it and thinks plenty will relate.

“I think everyone can relate to it – it’s the big green-eyed monster. I used to be a jealous person, I’m not anymore.”

So how did he calm the monster? “Just when you have to deal with something that’s quite heartbreaking, you kind of have a shield over you after that point. I’ve been through that period where it was like so intense jealousy, that now I just never feel it.”

Although he admitted sometimes he likes the feeling. “That mmm,” he said, miming looking over at a girl. “It’s hard to open up if you’re not like that.” 

Mason hinted there’ll be a few dance moves with his dancers on stage, but his focus is to convey the story. “Love and heartbreak week, if you don’t believe what someone’s singing then there’s no point.”

Louisa Johnson on tapping into everyone’s emotions

At 17, Rita Ora’s act Louisa Johnson is the youngest in the competition and admits she’s not got much experience of love to draw from. But she says she’s singing a song that everyone will be able to relate to in some way, as she takes on James Bay’s Let It Go. 

“I’m sort of relating it to other people and how other people would feel,” Louisa told RadioTimes.com. “It’s a song where it’s relevant to everyone. Everyone’s been in a relationship. It’s basically telling the story of a relationship. I’m basically just going to try and tell a story.”

Louisa said the performance, and those that have come before it, hint at the type of artist she wants to be. “I think every song I’ve done is a taste of what I’d do. I’d never, ever do something I didn’t feel comfortable with or I didn’t like. Which is annoying sometimes,” she admitted because it takes time to settle on an idea. “But I want to get it right.”


The X Factor continues Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV