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Can Hayley win The X-Factor?

With one of the strongest voices in the competition, 20-year-old Hayley Teal is stunning us with her star quality each Sunday night on Australia’s X-Factor.

We chatted to Hayley about life in the X-Factor house, her musical aspirations and her biggest fan – Izzy, her girlfriend.

“I’ve just come out of the studio,” she excitedly tells Same Same when we call. “I’m doing a classic this week for Rock Week, it’s going to be an awesome show.”

She’s not allowed to say which song she’s doing, but offers us a clue when we probe: “I’ll tell you it’s a Led Zeppelin song… and I am so excited!”

Last Sunday’s show was a particular highlight. Hayley descended from the roof, sitting on a huge ‘LOVE’ sign to belt out Kelly Rowland’s When Love Takes Over. “I don’t have a fear of heights at all, actually,” she says. “It least not at six metres high anyway!

“But the first time I went on that sign, it was very scary. The pressure wore off, which is good, but it gets the heart pumping… it just adds to the adrenalin.”

There are still eight acts remaining in the competition, with one voted out each Monday evening. “There’s definitely heaps more pressure every week, because every week is so crucial,” Hayley reflects. “You learn a huge amount through staying here. So every week, there’s more and more pressure to stay in the competition, you gotta fight to be in here.”

Amanda Grafanakis, who was widely tipped as a strong contender to win the show, was shown the door recently. So does Hayley have a hard time saying goodbye to people she’s bonded with on the programme? “Absolutely. Amanda was one of my best friends in the house. She is, in my opinion, brilliant in every way – she’s a brilliant singer and a brilliant person. So it’s really sad, I miss her a lot. But at the end of the day it’s a competition, and somebody’s gotta go every week… it would suck with anyone going, you know?”

The judges give harsh feedback sometimes – Kyle Sandilands is particularly critical, but Hayley defends him: “I’m a pretty tough girl, so I don’t see him as being mean. He’s there to do a job, and his job is to be honest about me and have his opinions.

“I don’t always agree with him, like I’m sure a lot of Australians don’t, but he does his job well, and I take everything that he says on board… I don’t necessarily agree with it, but he does his job well.”

We see Hayley perform live on Sunday nights and join the crew on Mondays for the decision, but what’s the rest of the week like in the X-Factor house? “We basically get into the studio on Tuesday, when everyone’s pretty tired, but we sort out a new song then and put it through a workshop, which you see in the packages before we sing,” she explains.

“We go through it with Natalie [Imbruglia] and a few of the music coordinators. Then throughout the week we work on the vocals in the studio and we do rehearsals with the band and dancers. It’s not too full-on, it’s good.”

Before her time on the X-Factor, Hayley wrote her own songs, and even completed an album, called Parkway Road. Same Same asked if there were any particular singing stars she admired. “I love Mariah Carey, she’s always been my number one,” she answers. “I love Keyshia Cole, Renée Geyer, Tina Arena, *Whitney Houston*… all the big divas really!”

Hayley says she first started singing when she was about 12 or 13, then soon got out there on the pub scene in her home city of Adelaide, and signed up with talent agencies. “So I’ve been doing it for a while, but doing it in front of a million people each week is a very new thing for me,” she laughs.

How is she handling having a huge audience and fans for the first time? “It’s really fantastic,” she beams. “I think I’ve definitely worked for that. It’s kind of like all those years of hard work that I’ve done is finally paying off, so it’s really great. The fans are just so amazing, and we all appreciate them so much.”

Her family and friends are so proud. “They all know how hard I’ve been working at this for most of my adult life, so it’s very exciting. But they’ve always been proud of me, even if I was just playing at small pub gigs. I guess now though there’s a feeling of satisfaction for them. All those times when they’ve supported me at gigs – it’s finally paid off, which is great.”

After her very first appearance on the X-Factor, getting a resounding ‘yes’ from all four judges, Kyle asked Hayley if she had a boyfriend at home. “Girlfriend,” the talented redhead corrected him.

“Her name’s Izzy,” says Hayley now. “We met at a karaoke bar! No she’s not a singer. She’s got a decent voice but she’s not a singer. We’ve been together for almost a year and a half.”

And naturally she’s a huge fan of Hayley’s singing. “She is so dedicated… she’s out every weekend with Hayley t-shirts that she makes.”

“She loves my voice and comes to every gig in Adelaide with my band, so she’s very much into it. She makes me sing to her at home too.” Aww.

Good luck Hayley!

Track Hayley Teal’s progress on the X-Factor live show each Sunday night at 7:30pm on 7, then the live decision show – this week featuring Adam Lambert – on Mondays at 7:30pm.

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crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 15th Oct, 2010

Sally Chatfield is the best and I think should win!!!

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 15th Oct, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhomfNCrMcw&feature=related

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 15th Oct, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEN43Cg864&p=7B74018AB13C7F13&playnext=1&index=23

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 15th Oct, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8gWYlJWxJw&p=7B74018AB13C7F13&index=25&playnext=2

feedlimmy

feedlimmy said on the 15th Oct, 2010

Stunning photo on the "LOVE" sign, too! I'm so pumped for our gurl.

debinbris

debinbris said on the 15th Oct, 2010

hayleys Gorgeous and can sing! Go sister we two are proud of you also! Hugs Deb and Relle Brisbane

meezon04

meezon04 said on the 16th Oct, 2010

That is freaking adorable