Even though she shot to fame on The Only Way Is Essex, Jess Wright’s childhood dream was to be a singer, which is why she found herself auditioning for the band that would become The Saturdays.
While the Essex girl had previously appeared twice on The X Factor as part of a girl band, when a chance came to audition for a girl group, Jess jumped at the chance.
Speaking on White Wine Question Time, Jess told podcast host Kate Thornton that she’d been obsessed with being in a girl band since she was little.
“Basically, when the Spice Girls came out, when I was little, I was like: 'Mummy, that's what I'm being when I'm older - in a girl band’.”
The audition, which Jess had tracked down on Facebook by following Jane Collins, who was to become The Saturday’s manager, took place in a church in Tottenham, but it didn’t go as she expected.
“I went there with my mum and for some reason, I didn't prepare the song that I'd always sang,” she explained. “I just chose one that I heard on the radio. It was Son Of A Preacher Man.”
When the time came for Jessica to audition, choosing a new song came back to haunt her, as she opened her mouth to sing and things didn’t go as planned.
“I just stood there....,” she exclaimed. “And just nothing came out. Complete blank. I was like, 'I'm so sorry, like nothing's coming out.'”
Even though she had a second attempt, the same thing happened, and this unfortunate event has led to a life-time battle with stage fright.
“I'm not going to lie: ever since [then] I've had stage fright and this is what scares me the most about going on tour,” she revealed to Kate. “My confidence is so much better, but I have that thing where you get on stage and you just go blank.”
Jess, who is the sister of presenter Mark Wright, said that she is a little bit better at dealing with pre-show nerves now that she’s older, but said she may still seek out some therapy.
“I am teaching myself though,” she said. “I find myself now when I'm in that position, like calming myself down, whereas before I'd be all erratic and like being dramatic about it and then that would get worse.”
Jess said she doesn’t regret not making it as part of a girl band, as she’s now on a different path.
Jess told Kate: “A few months or a year later they [The Saturdays] came out and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that was me’. Obviously, it wasn't me and I didn't get it and I shouldn't have got it. I might not have met my fiancé if I had done.”