As far as these televised singing competitions go, a contestant’s back-story can prove to be as vital to their success in the competition as their talent is. If the viewers are voting, it definitely doesn’t hurt to win the audience over beyond just performing well. But what happens if that back-story turns out to be false, or else, edited to garner more sympathy than what might be deserved? That might be the case with Stacy Francis, the 42-year-old single-mom from Brooklyn.
PerezHilton.com seems to be intent on exposing X Factor contestant for lying about her musical and professional past. The site has posted numerous articles which point to the fact that Stacy, who is among the few contestants over the age of 30, has had much more success in her field than she’s led on. Among the recent evidence posted by the site is a screenshot from her now-deleted website which links to clips from Stacy’s new CD and other credits. As PH states, Stacy “has continued to assert that she's been an unemployed, single mother for the past 12 years, more and more proof continues to surface that suggests quite the opposite!”
Here’s the thing. I agree that if she lied and specifically said she was unemployed for twelve years, then she should come clean. With her talent, she really doesn’t need to lie about where she comes from or what she’s been through to get here. However, I got the impression that it’s just been hard for her over the years. She references a bad relationship and the fact that it’s been hard getting her career off the ground while also trying to raise two kids. Does that mean she’s never found work?
Here’s her audition video for The X Factor...
?In the video below she says, “I just sort of got stuck. I’ve been told I’m too old since I’m thirty, so I’ve been living for twelve years believing I’m too old...”
Maybe that kind of implies she hasn’t been able to find any work for twelve years, but if that’s the statement PH.com is basing this on, they’re making a pretty big assumption. It’s possible PH.com's accusations stem from tweets or claims made by Stacy during other episodes, in which case, I stand corrected.
Looking beyond what Stacy may or may not have claimed about her employment status over the last decade or so, let's look at the rest of the point. Does it matter if she has a long list of professional musical credits? PerezHilton.com includes the bio that was up on Stacy’s website, which includes mentioning that Stacy performed in a made-for-TV movie called Girlfriend, which was produced by Oprah. It also says she appeared on Broadway in “Boys Choir and Friends” and starred opposite Chaka Kahn in a West End production of “Mama I Want to Sing.”
Those are some pretty notable credits. Still, how many people watching X Factor actually remember her from any of that?
What this seems to come down to is whether Stacy and/or the X Factor producers are trying to hide the fact that she has a history of working professionally as a musician. If they are, I agree with what PH.com says in that they should just come clean. There’s no shame in working and but if it even looks like she’s trying to present herself as someone she isn’t, which is starting to be the case, it could only serve to hurt her in the competition.
As for whether or not it matters that Stacy may have some notable credits to her name, I say it doesn't. One of the things I love about The X Factor is the inclusion of older contestants. A lot of aspiring singers spend decades beyond their twenties trying to make it in the music industry. Disqualifying anyone who managed to land a part, sign with a label and maybe make a modest living off their talent could mean cutting out a huge chunk of the talent among the over-thirties. If they haven’t hit it big and we don’t know who they are, I say let’em play! Just don’t present them (or allow them to present themselves) as someone they aren’t. That isn’t fair to the people who tune in every week and vote.