X Factor 2012: Cheryl Cole’s niece Melissa says “I queued for 11 hours to audition but judges only wanted to talk about Cheryl”
However, as soon as Melissa revealed to the judges and the audience that her aunty is former X Factor judge – and general pop goddess – Cheryl Cole, the focus of attention shifted from Melissa’s voice to her role as niece.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror Sunday, Melissa – who was a bridesmaid at Cheryl’s wedding to Ashley Cole – said, “I queued up for 11 hours from 2.30 in the morning, wrapped in a blanket.
“After the first audition, they ask you to fill out a form giving three interesting facts about yourself.
“I said I had been in OK! magazine. They asked me why and I reluctantly said I’d been one of Cheryl’s bridesmaids. I’d wanted to keep it private…”
After two further auditions for the show’s producers, Melissa was invited to perform in front of judges Louis, Tulisa Nicole, which Melissa described as the “moment of a lifetime, but things didn’t go as she’d hoped.
She said, “The whole day producers were prompting me to say something about Cheryl.
“I felt I’d spent the majority of the day talking about Cheryl. It’s all they wanted to hear about.
“I didn’t want people thinking I was riding on the back of her fame.”
When it was her turn to sing, Louis asked Melissa – who is the daughter of Joe Tweedy, Cheryl’s older brother – why she’d never auditioned for X Factor before.
Melissa replied, “I said because my auntie used to sit on the judging panel next to you.”
Melissa explained, “He put his hand up after the first chorus…
“I’d got quite a good audience response, so Louis asked me to sing Cheryl’s song Promise This.
“The crowd were clapping and I felt it was going well.
“Then the judges started. Tulisa said I had a sweet voice but it was a ‘no’ from her. She said ‘this is going to make it awkward when I next see Cheryl’.
“Nicole said she could see me doing country music songs. So that was a ‘yes’. And Louis said it was a ‘yes’.
“Gary was last, but said my song choices weren’t right so it was a ‘no’ from him.”
However, Melissa isn’t going to give up on her dream, and she said, “Cheryl sang in loads of pubs before she found fame; I’d like to follow that route.
“But I don’t want to become famous as Cheryl’s niece. I want to be famous as me.”