Her nap became interrupted by Ester moving what sounded like heavy items.
‘What are you doing?’ She strained to open her eyes and felt stiff from lying down on her back and heard another thump.
‘Just going through my make-up stuff.’
‘Yes, but you don’t have to throw it around. You might break something.’ After stretching she sat up on the bed still connecting back to reality.
‘I’m almost done now. We’re all thinking about putting a film on, you coming?’
‘I’m having a chat with Russell, but I shouldn’t take long.’ She would of called earlier but he’s been working late and it’s the weekend now, so he’s staying up late to chat.
Some food had been delivered to eat, she’s in a rush to stay, picked up a plate and went into the spare room up on the first floor.
‘I’m just going to grab a plate and if I am not back in time just start the film without me.’ Dashing upstairs pronto with her laptop ready to log in.
‘Hi, can you hear me?’
‘Are the cameras on us?’ He appeared rude and not pleasant.
‘No, they made it clear in here they aren’t doing that. It’s the quietest room in the house, which is pretty cool by the way….’ She went into details about the place and what she’s been up to this week.
‘Sounds like your having fun.’ He said, she sensed he’s distant and not receiving a happy vibe.
‘What’s wrong?’ It should sound concerning but she’s bored of it.
‘I’m still not keen on you doing this.’ She rolled her eyes from his negativity.
‘Here we go again, we already discussed this and I don’t want to hear it anymore. Why can’t you be happy for me?’
‘Because I don’t understand why you’re doing it? What do you need to prove?’
‘There’s a point where I don’t want to say “what if?” and regret not taking this chance, this could be my opportunity.’
‘Isn’t being here with me and your family not enough?’ Russell grew uptight ‘You’re just chasing some silly dream.’ Ryleigh’s stomach sank and her mind travelled to a horrible place where people used to tell her she’ll never accomplish anything with it.
‘It’s not just some silly dream!’ She raised her voice. ‘I thought out of all the people who would support me, I didn’t think you would act like this. This is something that I wanted to do for a long time even if I didn’t boast about it. People like you made me believe that I wasn’t good enough.’
‘Ryleigh, please stop yelling at me. I’m looking out for you, I don’t want you to be laughed at and be embarrassed from it all.’ She started to see his belief in her.
‘You don’t think I can do it.’ He went quiet and thought carefully.
‘I never heard you play and I don’t know if it’s the right thing, you’re not thinking straight.’ She attempts not to show her eyes are watering up and strokes her hand over her face not looking at the screen.
‘I’m not sorry for what I am doing, when you hear me on Saturday - you’ll understand why I’m doing this.’ Russell never replied ‘If you can’t say anything positive, I’m going to go.’
‘I’ll do it for you.’ He tells her aggressively and hangs up the video chat. She sinks back of the chair attempting to not cry, the tension between them since she got accepted to the competition hasn’t implied a smooth journey and doesn’t know if this will repair its self. Ryleigh is continuing to stay hopeful that he’ll watch her and Saturday and see how good she is and start supporting her.
Courageous enough to make her way downstairs, she puts on a black hoodie and the hood up, the living room remained dark with sofa practically cramped. She sat on the floor with a cushion leaning on the sofa sitting hiding back the tears. Rory rested on the other side of the sofa studying her and is not convinced if it’s the blue light from the TV but her eyes were bloodshot red and glassed over, he didn’t want to believe she’s been crying while arguing with her fiancée. It could be she hasn’t seen his face in a while and got upset, somehow he desired to be the opposite and repay the favour for being kind to him.
She didn’t sleep very well that night, her encounter with Russell and the doubt skips in her mind. This wasn’t supposed to happen on the live show day, she should be excited for her first, on her way downstairs she had a video message overnight from her co-workers. They squeezed to the small camera wishing her luck and they’ll be up late watching, it placed a smile on Ryleigh’s face.
‘You already getting fans?’ His cocky remark should of made her react back but decided not to.
‘No, just my workmates wishing me luck.’ She sat on the island in the kitchen eating the last piece of her cereal, Rory came over to join this time he’s fully dressed.
‘You nervous for tonight?’ She is but didn’t want to show when the camera’s are operating.
‘Er no, more like excited.’ He can see she’s playing on and hope to get a private chat while at rehearsal today.
On the way to the studio, she kept picking the skin around her cuticle getting anxious, luckily Kelsie is was there to help her out again. Each gets a turn with their mentor watching while the rest of the team can watch.
One by one each perform and move throughout the stage and communicate with the band too, she analyses each one and makes mental notes to do the same. After watching the first two out of Marcus team she was next, herself, Rory, Blake and Ashton are on the team. She got on stage noticing all the empty seats that will be filled tonight, there were people still wondering on the stage sorting stuff out and won’t be in their way.
‘Right Ryleigh off you go.’ Marcus called out and heard the clashing of the drumsticks of the drummer counting in.
Ryleigh does her best but moving around put her off and pitched in some of the wrong places, it showed on her face it wasn’t good and if it’s going to happen like this tonight there is no way she’ll be through next week.
‘Come down a sec.’ Marcus tells her and moved her to the corner to speak privately. ‘I know you’re feeling nervous but don’t perform that way if your not comfortable, let your music do it for you. I’ve heard the track it’s amazing you’ve got nothing to lose.’ She needed to start believing in herself.
‘Is there a chance that I could have another go?’
‘No, we’re on a tight schedule as it is, but hey just do what you think you should do.’ She nodded and made her way back to the seats, she did look down from her performance.
‘Killer track.’ Ashton told her and smiled, she didn’t see Rory until he was stage on getting the microphone on. He started to sing and she heard the verse that Ryleigh introduced to him and it suited his song well.
Once Blake finished they made their way to the changing rooms and she walked fast not to mix with her team. Rory did call her but she ignored him and went into the girls one.
Ryleigh sat on the chair and looked into the mirror, curious if she should just pull out now while she has the chance.
‘That was fucking awful.’ She mumbled to herself.
‘They say a bad rehearsal will be a good show.’ Kelsie said detecting she’s in distress.
‘I don’t think it can get any better.’
‘You have a killer video that got released yesterday and has had over 8,000 views.’ Ryleigh forgot and should’ve mentioned it to Russell. ‘Stop worrying, you’ll do great.’ She smiles thanking Kelsie for her uplifting spirit. ’You’re the 5th on set tonight. Knock ‘em dead.’
Ryleigh watched side stage waiting for her turn seeing Melody performing and the audience seems to like her, Ryleigh palms started to sweat and paced back and forth behind the stage.
‘Ryleigh?’ She scans to see Rory all clothed in his leather jacket and hair geld perfectly, he has the good looking vibe that’ll get some points. ‘Are you alright?’ She wipes her hands on her jeans to get rid of the sweat.
‘Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?’ Her voiced trembled with nerves.
‘I know you weren’t happy with your rehearsal today but you’re going to be fine.’
‘I can’t do this.’ She panics and decides to run off.
‘Hey, hey….’ He grasps her by the arms to prevent her moving. ‘Stop beating yourself up, whatever people have said to you, it doesn’t matter. You’re here doing what you love to do.’ Ryleigh started taking deep breaths and him talking made her relax. ‘Somebody told me that the other day.’ She chuckles with him recalling their last conversation.
‘She should listen to her own advice too.’ Mocking herself, he lets go of her arms.
‘I really liked your track.’ He comes up closer, ‘They’re going to love it out there.’ He draws her for a hug ‘Good luck.’ He walks off and places a smile on Ryleigh’s face.
It wasn’t the conversation Rory wanted to have, but to provide her a faith she’s amazing singer fixed it.
She’s next to take to the stage and the lights are low. Ryleigh takes a deep breath and clenches tight to the microphone and hears the first note played,
and went into a world of her own.
As she opened her eyes the crowd cheered and applaud including the judges, there’s so much to take in and couldn’t believe what just happened. She didn’t want it to end it happened too quick.
‘Ryleigh, seeing you the first time and until now what a completely different person you’ve become and I’m looking forward to hearing from you more.’ Aimee commented.
‘This is only the beginning, every challenge we’ll give you would be able to lead you to the Rockstar that you can be. I’m proud of you.’ Marcus informed her.
‘Overall it’s not a bad song or performance, well done.’ Bruce said. The positive feedback made her feel better.
Kelsie was the first person she noticed first coming off stage.
‘Fucking well done.’ And clutches her tightly into a hug. Ryleigh thanked her and couldn’t believe what just happened, she needed to pinch herself a couple of times. At backstage, she heard some clapping from her opponents.
‘Now that’s what we’re talking about.’ Ester proceeds up to her for a high five.
‘Nice one Ry.’ Elliot called out and she thanks them all resting back on the sofa next to Rory.
‘Well done you.’ He said to her.
‘You’re right, I shouldn’t listen to what people say.’ They transfer a smile to each other.
After all the performances the phone lines open and went to a break, Kelsie kept tight on Ryleigh’s phone and she passed it to her with Russell’s name popping up.
‘Hey, I saw your performance. You looked good.’
‘Thank you, did mum and dad see it?’
‘Well I told them to, so I hope that they are.’ Ryleigh had short chats with them and she thinks they’ve given in. ‘Can we have a chat again at some point? Privately.’
‘We can do that now.’ She leaves the room and finds a quiet part backstage.
‘I think I’ve found a quiet place. What do you want to talk about?’
‘No cameras are there?’
‘No, I don’t even have a microphone on.’
‘Good.’ He speaks, it appears the conversation is back to what they originally are.
‘So you liked my song then?’ She flirts a little bit.
‘I’m not happy with you in that house with those people.’ Russell said aggressively.
‘Sorry?’ Ryleigh appeared confused.
‘That guy coming near you like that, you need to report it to the producers.’
‘Russell, I don’t know what you’re talking about?’
‘Have you not seen the show, of what you’ve done this week?’
‘No I haven’t, why?’
‘I think you need to watch it and understand why I am mad, then we’ll talk.’ He hung up, the aggressiveness in is tone baffled her, she’s never heard him speak like that.
Having a swift drink and going back on stage to announce who is through to the next round, Ryleigh strived to put on a brave face and not to think what Russell said.
She heard her name being called out which meant she’s through and the bottom two where Melody and Jayden, they sang again and the judges decide who stays or goes and decided Jayden should stay.