MANILA, Philippines – After leaving The X Factor due to issues with her visa, Filipino contestant Ivy Grace Paredes has clarified the situation and has spoken about her plans now that she’s out of the competition. (READ: Filipino Ivy Grace Paredes withdraws from ‘X Factor’)
In an interview with Gulf News, Ivy Grace said that her visa wasn’t denied, contrary to some reports. Instead, she ticked the wrong category and had to re-apply.
“When I first applied for the US visa, the US embassy officer found out that I had worked as a professional artist in the Philippines and in the [United Arab Emirates],” she told Gulf News.
“The US embassy officer said there’s no problem with my papers, but I applied in the wrong visa category. So I asked if I’m denied, the officer said no, you are not actually denied. He said ‘I advise that you apply for an artist visa instead.'”
Before joining X Factor, Ivy sang in competitions and professionally in bars and restaurants in the Philippines and in the UAE. (WATCH: Before she had to leave ‘X Factor UK,’ Pinoy Ivy Grace Paredes wowed judges one more time)
Ivy further explained to Gulf News that her US visa was granted late: “The process took 3 to 4 days and the X Factor team had to travel in two days.”
She added that The X Factor team helped her out while she waited for her visa in London. Though they tried to speed up the process, all they could do in the end was wait.
Ivy eventually got her visa, but still wouldn’t make it in time for the Judges Houses portion of the competition, because she got it on the last day that they filmed the segment.
Before she had trouble with her visa, Ivy had made it through the Six Chair Challenge portion of the competition, and was set to move on to the Judges Houses. For that segment, Ivy perform at Sharon’s home in the US.
“X Factor assured me that I can join next year. They will accept me and I no longer have to submit a video audition. They will just call me for the live audition,” she told Gulf News.
In the meantime, Ivy will try performing in shows in the Philippines and abroad.
“When I first auditioned, I was happy that many supported and recognized me. But when it was announced that I can no longer continue with X Factor, I got even more support from people,” said Ivy. “I was a little worried that people will stop supporting me when I’m out of the competition. But it’s like the support I got increased threefold.”
On Facebook, Ivy also posted about her withdrawal from the competition, saying: “Though I am devastated with this kind of exit, I am still hopeful for the future. I left [the] UK with a little heavy heart. I did all that I can. I know I gave the best that I could. In my heart I did not lose the battle. Perhaps, this is not the right time to show to the world my full capacity as a singer… yet.”
Ivy also thanked judges Sharon Osbourne, who mentored the group Ivy was a part of, and Simon Cowell, who also created the show.
“To my supporters, this is not the end of the road, our journey has just begun. Your unwavering support will guide me into becoming a better artist today and in the future,” she finished.
Ivy received a standing ovation from the judges, audience, and her fellow contestants at the Six Chair Challenge, before she had to withdraw from the competition. Her spot in The X Factor UK has since been taken by rapper Honey G. – Rappler.com