Since being voted off X Factor last year, Exeter’s Shelley Smith has enjoyed a whirlwind of performances and public and TV appearances. She has given up her day job as a van driver and is finally getting to achieve one of her biggest ambitions – a homecoming gig. She talks to Anita Merritt ahead of the show
IF you’re expecting a rendition of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies then you’re either going to be relieved or disappointed because those days are long behind Shelley Smith.
The X Factor live finalist Shelley Smith is performing her first homecoming show since appearing on the television talent show, and apart from revealing there won’t be any Beyoncé songs, the rest of the set list is being kept tightly under wraps.
The former white van driver and single mum will be performing at Mama Stones on Friday, April 11, with a full band.
I want to keep it a total secret,” teases Shelley. “The one thing I will say is it’s nothing like you saw on X Factor. I did enjoy being on the show but as people know, the songs were not my song choice. The music I love is funk, soul, classic disco, pop, R‘n’B, and rock. It’s going to be quite spectacular!
“This is my roots and it’s my chance to show people what I’m all about. People have got this image of me singing Beyoncé’s Single Ladies and dancing like a lunatic. I’m trying hard to wipe that out.
“I wish I had £1 for every time a person said how good I am in real life!”
Dubbed the Devonshire Diva by her X Factor mentor Sharon Osbourne, Shelley’s time on the show came to an end during the second week of the live shows.
It was her bubbly personality, rather than her songs that shone through, and since leaving X Factor, Shelley has enjoyed a whirlwind of live gigs, appearances, TV shows, celebrity parties and film premieres, and turned on the Christmas lights in Exeter Guildhall’s Shopping Centre.
For months she has been trying to fit in a show in Exeter and finally it is about to happen.
“I’m so excited!” admits Shelley, who lives in Exminster. “To be back in my home town with a live band and backing singers, doing the music I love, will be amazing.
“The biggest thing for me is I’ve not had an opportunity to thank everybody who helped, supported and voted for me. This show is for all those and it’s for the local people. There will be a few special people there but I’m not telling you who!”
One person who won’t be there though is Shelley’s seven-year-old daughter because the show is for over-18s only, but that might not be such a bad thing.
“She hears me singing all the time,” says Shelley. “Everybody is talking about it at the moment and she did ask to come. She would love to and she would be at the front trying to grab my microphone!”
Shelley is now under new management after mutually parting ways with Quest Management, and is now looking to what she hopes will be a very successful future.
“I’ve got a few very exciting things coming up on TV,” reveals Shelley, who is unable to give any more details. “I’m also kind of planning a debut album because I do write my own songs. I’m 35 so I’m under no illusion and it would be hard to put an album out when people have got the image of me they have.”
But for the time being, Shelley’s main focus is her homecoming gig – a two-hour live set – and proving to people what she is really capable of.
For tickets call 01392 848485.