X-Factor Diary: It’s showtime, and it’s scary

December 19, 2013
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Adir on stage in X Factor Israel

Adir on stage in X Factor Israel

British teenager Adir Tov is competing as part of a boy band on the Israeli TV talent show

“We’ve been busy rehearsing all week for the first live show.

“At the beginning of the week, we had a serious talk with our mentor, Ivri Lider, who is a really big pop star in Israel.

“The five of us in the band are always jamming and singing together, but Ivri told us we have to save our voices and take it seriously — and really remember that this is a competition.

“He got us into the right mindset and gave us that kick we needed, so we now feel serious and ready.

“On Monday, we came to the X Factor live studio for the first time, which was amazing. It looks exactly the same as the one in London.

“We were so scared to get up on stage for our tech rehearsal. We’ve each had ear monitors built for us so have all been walking around with them in to get used to them. Your hearing is all muffled when you wear them.

“Ivri chose our song — it’s a mash-up of the Hebrew song Ani Shelach, by Moshe Peretz, who is one of the judges, and Mirrors by Justin Timberlake.

“Ivri said that, because we have four languages spoken in the band, we could do a nice mix to show the audience what we could do. After the rehearsal, he said we needed to work on our performance.

“The song is very fast-paced and it’s challenging because we’re singing and dancing at the same time. We’ve been rehearsing in a dance studio but that doesn’t help us get used to the lighting they’ll use when we are on stage.

“We each have been partnered with a backing dancer and we’re using these really cool mirrors to create the illusion that our partner is our mirror image.

“It can be really complicated because the mirror is spinning and we have to be in the place to fit the camera angle as well. It’s not the same on stage as it has been in rehearsals because we have to remember to keep the microphones close to our mouths, which is a challenge when we’re doing frantic moves with our hands.

“Knowing your steps and the lighting is also harder when there are four other people, because we all have to be in the right place at the same time. But it’s becoming much more natural, which is good because the nerves can really get to you if start to forget your moves.

“We’re actually feeling quite confident — we just want to do our best. Last night, we worked on polishing up the dance and working on our vocals, but the night before we were able to go a little bit crazy.

“It was the birthday of one of my bandmates, so we all went out and didn’t get back to the hotel until two in the morning. But we didn’t go to a club — most of us are under-age.

“We woke up today at four in the morning. It’s difficult not to be disturbed when you’re sharing rooms and everyone needs to use the shower and things like that. But we’re used to each other’s routines so it’s probably harder for everyone else than it is for us.

“We’ve managed to catch a few of the other competitors’ rehearsals. One of the girls sang Listen by Beyoncé. We were shocked.

“Everything that has been shown on TV before was actually filmed two months ago, but we’ve all had a lot of training since then. It’s amazing how much people have improved, and they’re all revealing their ‘show’ side now.

“It’s scary, but this is a competition.”

Interview by Charlotte Oliver

Last updated: 4:45pm, December 19 2013