Reach teenager Ellie sets her sites on X Factor live auditions

Ellie Melville

Ellie Melville - Credit: Archant

EQUESTRIAN student Ellie Melville is dreaming of riding her way to stardom – as a singer playing to audiences of millions.

The 17-year-old is studying at the College of West Anglia at Cambridge but has already sung her way through three auditions for TV’s X Factor and is waiting to hear if she has been selected for the all-important final stage - the first televised auditions.

Ellie, from Reach, near Burwell, is in her first year of a two-year Level 3 equine course at the college at Milton.

A keen showjumper who owns her own horses, she hopes for a career in yard management – unless her decision to apply to be on the X Factor takes her life in a different direction.

It was back in November that she was encouraged to enter by her mother Denise, but had to wait until February when she queued for eight hours at the ExCel centre in London for the first open auditions.

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Since then she has been invited back twice to Excel, singing one-to-one to a judge in a booth during auditions with the last time before an X Factor producer who also interviewed her about her interests, tastes in music and favourite judge (Gary Barlow).

She sang numbers by Beyonce and The Kooks for her final audition.

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One trip to ExCel, which staged 11 Olympic sports last year, was a marathon effort in itself.

She was there from 8am to 11pm, missed the last train home and she and her mother had to stay overnight in a hotel.

Being selected for the final audition brought Ellie into the last 800 from 10,000 who had taken part and she will hear within the next few weeks if she will go through to the TV auditions, watched by millions.

She said: “I was quite nervous, but excited at the same time. I am pretty proud of what I have achieved, whatever happens next. It was a great experience.”

She studied music while at Bottisham Village College and with two friends formed a group, Giraffe Academy, playing local gigs.

She is the singer. Also in the band are Connor Wynn, from Burwell, who also sings and plays guitar, and drummer Ollie Bidwell, from Newmarket.

Mostly the band plays cover versions of numbers from others such as Ed Sheeran, the late Amy Winehouse, and The Kooks.

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