X Factor USA hopeful, Emily Wilson has turned a ‘humiliating’ experience during her audition stage into an award-winning standup show.

Emily went on the show with her pal Austin, together they were known as Ausem. Following the auditions, the group was accepted into the competition’s next grueling round. However, sadly they left during the live shows and didn’t leave with a $5 million record deal.

At the time they said they were aspiring to be on the same level as Lady Gaga but a decade later, Wilson is forging a new career venture of her own.

X Factor - Liverpool Auditions - Judges Photocall
Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

X Factor USA hopeful on ‘humiliating’ audition

The TV talent show was renowned for being brutal but Emily had her dreams crushed during her time on The X Factor US. In fact, the whole audition process was rather dramatic as the judges couldn’t make their minds up on the act.

Along with an audience of over 10,000 people who applauded and cheered as they sang Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. Ausem stood before a panel of celebrity judges including Simon Cowell, LA Reid, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger.

Wilson recently did an interview with The Guardian where she explains that Simon Cowell was the only one rooting for her. Cowell instantly said ‘yes’ but walked away from the panel when he became angered that the other judges couldn’t make a decision. Ausem stood on stage for 45 minutes whilst their fate was decided.

Emily Wilson buried her X Factor US ’embarrassing moment’

The experience had “impacted” the young auditionee greatly and as a 15-year-old “It was total humiliation.” Wilson was so desperate to bury the embarrassing moment deep in the myriad of her childhood memories. It was over eight months into a therapy session as an adult when Wilson brought up the nightmarish experience.

Wilson recalls: “When you bury a childhood experience down as a kid, you don’t process it. When it comes up, you still feel the same raw emotions you did back then.”

Emily describes the audition as the “biggest moment of my life” but says that it was “soul-destroying” when she felt the judges “loved” Austin but “hated” her.

Emily reveals the criticism and moments of rejection “broke” her, stating: “I thought I was a good singer, a pop star in the making. And suddenly I sucked. In front of 10,000 people – and on national TV – my whole world was crumbling.”

Wilson embarks on a new career as a standup comedian

After finally closing the chapter on singing, Wilson embarked on a new career in standup. She made light of her embarrassing moments and this time, she got to “make fun of myself before anyone else did.”

Wilson has come a long way since burying the experience as she now writes and performs about her time on X Factor. In a hilariously vulnerable one-woman show Wilson even shares archive clips from her time in the contest.

This is something she could never imagine herself doing a couple of years ago: “I genuinely didn’t know if I’d be able to even talk about it publicly at first, I was still really embarrassed and mortified.”

In fact, Wilson now looks back on her X Factor experience as being one of the main reasons she pushed herself into comedy.

If you are affected by any issues raised in the article or would like someone to speak to, please call the Samaritans for free on 116 123. You can also email them at [email protected] or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch in the UK. In the US, please visit Samaritans USA for more information.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to get in touch with the Crisis Text Line. Americans can now call or text 988 to reach out and speak to a counsellor

Emily Wilson: Fixed is at Soho Theatre, in London, from 12 to 21 January 2023

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