Filipina mom Ivy Grace "Ayegee" Paredes breaks her silence after her unfortunate early exit on The X Factor UK Season 13.
Last week, it was reported that Ivy Grace secured a seat in the Six Chair Challenge of the singing competition and was supposed to join the show's Judges House round.
The Pinay singer was part of the Overs category being mentored by TV personality Sharon Osbourne.
However, the 33-year-old single mom failed to secure her visa before flying out to the U.S. to fight for a spot in the category's top 3.
With her exit on the show, Ivy Grace was replaced by rapper Honey G.
The Six Chair Challenge round of the show aired last weekend and it was officially revealed that Ivy Grace earned a spot after her performance of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing."
In an interview with Gulf News, Ivy Grace speaks up about the visa issues that kept her from flying to Los Angeles for the Judge's House round.
The Pinay mom said that she applied for a U.S. visa under the wrong category which delayed its approval. She pointed out that her visa application wasn't rejected.
"When I first applied for the U.S. visa, the U.S. embassy officer found out that I had worked as a professional artist in the Philippines and in the UAE.
"The U.S. 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.'"
She added, "I was not out because I failed as an artist. I was not able to continue because of some paper work, so it didn’t hurt that much.
"I know performance-wise they are happy with me. They all love me and I had all positive comments from them."
Ivy Grace is still thankful to X Factor UK for exerting extra effort to help her with her visa.
She was quoted as saying, "They helped me a lot. I stayed in London for about two days waiting for the issuance of my visa. They didn’t want me to go until my visa was released. They were still hoping it would be released just in time for me to travel to the U.S. They tried to expedite everything, but in the end all we could was wait."
She asked the production team of the show if she can fly to the U.S. when her visa is released but she faced another problem.
"The problem was that my visa was released on the last day of filming of the Judges Houses segment of the show,” she told the entertainment tabloid.
The Pinay contestant was one of the early favorites on the show and her fans were disappointed by her early exit.
However, the artist known as Ayegee revealed that she was assured by the show's staff that she can still join next season.
She said, "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."
After the show, Ayegee is moving on with her life by performing to help her family's expenses.
She said, "Maybe it’s not really my time yet. God gave me these challenges and they are part of the spice of life. However, there was a time that I wanted to give up and go back to getting a regular job. But I realised that I still have a chance to prove myself as an artist."
On her Facebook account, Ayegee also released a statement which reads: "After the delay in the issuance of my visa, I was not able to continue in the competition. Though I am devastated with this kind of exit, I am still hopeful for the future. I left 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.
"Despite the emotional pain, frustrations, I can still say I am happy and I will always be thankful to the X Factor team for giving me the break and exposure. The comments given by the esteemed judges will serve as my guide in pursuing my dreams of becoming a professional singer and artist. To the X Factor UK; especially to my mentor Sharon Osbourne for her unfailing support, Simon Cowell for the opportunity which millions did not have… the chance to hug you; thank you very much! You changed my life…
"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.
"Thank you and God bless us all!"