Belfast Telegraph

Rita Ora: I earned my X Factor seat

Rita Ora insists she has worked long and hard for her role on The X Factor.

The 24-year-old singer has joined the ITV show for the upcoming new series, having previously been a judge on its BBC rival The Voice. She will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw and has hit back at people who've suggested she doesn't have enough experience to help wannabe singers.

"I’m a musician, I’ve built this bond with my team, with the music industry. I’ve worked hard to be involved with everything you see my name associated with," she told British magazine Glamour.

"It doesn’t happen overnight, and I feel I have as much right to be on that panel as everyone does."

Simon and Rita initially met just to run over ideas, with Rita insisting there was no pressure for her to sign on to the show. Their discussion happened at midnight because they both had such packed diaries, and it left Rita sure she wanted to be involved.

"We spoke about the changes in the show, about his goals and aims, and I started to agree with the changes that were going to happen," she explained.

"We had a two-hour conversation and I really liked his vision. And on that fact only, I looked at my diary, I spoke to my team because it is a lot of commitment."

The audition round of the show has already taken place, and Rita found it very stressful. She couldn't stop thinking of the impact she was having on people's lives, especially when young people took to the stage.

"It gets me emotional because I watch these kids performing in school and they're already above me for even finishing school," she said,

"It's so inspirational, that's why I do these TV shows. It's not about thinking, ‘Oh my God, I want to be on TV every Saturday night.’"

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From Belfast Telegraph