Ayda Field, wife of Robbie Williams and former US soap actress, now has the fates of four X Factor contestants in her hands.
This year’s mentor of the Overs category, 39-year-old Field received some public backlash over her abilities to judge on the singing talent show. But three of her mentees, Janice Robinson, Giovanni Spano and Olatunji Yearwood sat down with us to defend her good name.
Robinson, who had an international hit with Livin’ Joy’s 1994 dance hit ‘Dreamer’ admitted she was a bit shocked at the judging process – but immediately felt rest assured when she found out Field would be mentoring her category.
“I will say this. When I first heard found out about the whole process of being judged I was just like whoa! But when I found out that Ayda was our judge and she didn’t come from a music background I actually got really excited,” Robinson said.
So much so, that she added she’d even trust Field with producing her next album.
“People at their keyboards saying ‘oh Ayda doesn’t have any experience in the industry.’ Listen this is coming from someone who has been in the music industry.
“Ayda is one of the most brilliant women I have ever met. She is the real deal. I would put making an album in her hands, that’s how smart she is!” she said.
“If you’d been around someone who has had 20 years in the music industry do you think you would know a thing or two about it? Having a husband that has been in the industry the whole time you are going to find things out and have asked advice,” rocker Giovanni Spano confirmed.
Are they concerned at all that there hasn’t been a huge star to emerge from X Factor in years? (Leona Lewis remains the biggest selling solo winner, and she won back in 2006…). Not really. They say they’re just grateful for the chance to showcase their music.
“Regardless of what happens the exposure is life changing. Back home for me I’m a household name now. When I next go home I might see a statue!” joked Trinidadian Olatunji Yearwood.
“I think all of us here, especially us lot in the Overs, we’ve all been grinding for ages. We’ve been all doing it and enjoying it but we’re not new to this industry at all. If I had to go back to the dive bars so be it. At least I’d still get to share my music,” Spano added.
Robinson said she leans on some life advice she was given from none other than Tina Turner.
“I always tell people what Tina Turner told me – ‘make sure you have a private life.’ Make sure you exist well in this private life and be proud of that private life. When the winds change or it’s time to go again be prepared to share your gift and artistry.
“There is no perfect place to land. Whether you get dropped or not, continue on your music journey, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
X Factor continues on Saturday at 8.30pm on ITV.