the very first audition, 42-year-old single mother Stacy
Francis captivated the judges. She was a force to be reckoned
with on The X Factor, so everyone was surprised
to find her, not just in the bottom two, but the one leaving
the competition as the pool went down to nine acts.
As a Broadway singer, Francis always thought her chances
were slimmer to break into the music world, but when judge
Nicole Scherzinger chose her as one of the Top 17 contestants
to participate on the show, Francis' whole world changed.
PCM's Kristyn was able to participate in a conference call
with Stacy about her time on the show, her lessons learned,
her real opinion on Simon Cowell and much more! Read below
to find out everything she had to share!
So, when we talked to Stereo Hogzz last week they made
an interesting comment. They said that it wasn't so much
about winning the show as it was getting that national exposure.
So, I'm wondering for you, I mean, in your heart of hearts
did you really think that you could win this show or were
you just looking to have a bigger audience to showcase your
I mean I think that at the end of the day, of course, I
would have loved to have won. I'm not maybe as confident
in myself to say that I think I should have won. I think
that everybody in the competition, at the point when you
get to top 12, top 10, I think we all definitely have a
shot at it. So, I was definitely going for the $5 million
for sure. I had my eye on the prize for sure, yes.
And, you know, Simon and L.A. have been, I guess especially
hard on the contestants, but also I think especially hard
on Nicole, and at this point both of their teams are intact,
so what did you think about Nicole and would you have rather
had Simon or L.A. be your mentor instead?
Well, you know, I love Nicole very much, but the game was
going really, really hard core. I feel like Simon Cowell
definitely threw me under the bus as a judge. I definitely
have an admiration for him as the creator of the show and
the executive of the show. That's doesn't go into the game.
You know, as far as being in the game of the competition
he only stood up, he gave standing ovations to his contestants.
He made it very clear that he wants to take the crown for
one of his girls. He was not supporting any other contestant
that was not his contestant and for that reason I would
have loved to have been in his category because he has a
very strong voice and America listens to him and they appreciate
what he has to say and he's very influential.
Now, as the creator of the show that was the moment that
I had to take last night to thank him as I did, because
he gave me the opportunity to be there and for that I have
so much admiration and respect for him.
Do you think that your past professional history affected
your outcome? Because I know there were a lot of tabloids
and things saying how you had a very successful career before
joining the X Factor. Do you think that played a role in
the amount of votes?
I would hope not because Simon did come to my defense to
make it clear that some people did have a professional career.
Obviously, my career wasn't as "successful" as
people were saying because no one knew who I was until I
cam on the X Factor stage.
it wasn't like I was Janet Jackson and I came to do the
X Factor, you know? So, I think that that was kind of silly
that that was brought up. I think that people were looking
for some sort of news to dish on me and those people got
their wish. They wanted to see me off the show and that's
what they got.
It was quite the dramatic elimination, so can you tell
us what was going through your head at that moment?
I was in a pure state of shock. I didn't expect to go home.
I had said to Nicole and Josh that I thought I'd be in the
bottom two. Once we got to that stage for some reason my
gut was telling me that. And I didn't expect to go home
and when I saw there was Astro standing next to me I was
hoping that because he's not a singer that they would have
taken a position, you know, we're going to let a singer
And then when he had sort of a little attitude about it,
he was kind of throwing it away I was hoping that they would
take advantage of that, but they didn't. I think Simon,
he loves a little rebel and at the end of the day Astro
is a very talented kid. You know, it's hard when you're
standing there and you're being judged and America is watching
and the world is watching, it's very stressful and I think
he responded like a child would respond.
He's 14 years old and it's very difficult. I mean, I'm
42 and the night before and I stood there and my face wasn't
exactly as what it should be as far as smiling and being
as light as I should have been. Sometimes we lose it. As
artists, it's very personal and it's hard. So, I think that's
what happened to him.
And my heart goes out to him. I think he's super talented.
I watched him backstage writing lyrics and making beats
and for 14 years old, he's an extraordinary person and an
extraordinary talent and I think he's going to have a bright
future ahead of him.
Did it worsen the blow of your elimination at all knowing
that the judges basically felt Astro had kind of a poor
attitude towards the competition and didn't even want to
sing his survival song? I know you discussed it a little
bit, but it basically seemed like he was giving up because
he felt that America didn't even want him on the show.
Well, I think when you're standing in that moment you feel
very invalidated as an artist. You feel like people gave
up on you. You don't really know why you're standing there
in that moment. You feel like maybe people don't like you
anymore and we've got to look at who he is.
He's a hip-hop artist first. There's a little Kanye West
in him. Hip-hop artists they have their integrity about
who they are, they stand by what they do. They don't get
caught up too much in what other people think. They're going
to do what they want to do. And I think that when he's standing
there he's like wow, what's going on. And he kind of felt
And so he reacted in that way and so we've got to look
at it like it is. Like I said, he's young. I'm old enough
to be his mom. And I've got to tell you something, on the
other side of that at 14 years old for him to have the confidence
that he has, he's standing on the same stage as a 42-year-old
woman who didn't have that confidence at 14 years old, so
in that way I respect him and I admire him for taking a
stand for himself at such a young age. He has that New Yorker
in him that's fighting for it and I can't blame him for
it. I'm really very proud of Astro. I think he's really
you said you weren't always happy with your song choices.
Did you always decide what to sing or how much of a role
did Nicole actually play in that? And, looking back, what
changes would you have made? Would you have sung different
songs or would you have liked to have tried different artists
Well, you know, the thing that I regret, you know, Simon
Cowell he picked up the announcement for that week and you
know, that was a really good song choice. I really respect
Simon as a recording executive. I think that unfortunately
had his ego not come into play and had he not beat up Nicole
so much about the fact that he picked my song, I would have
loved for us to continue to work in a team sort of effort
with Simon because I think he did have the right direction
for me and up until that point, up until he stopped helping
is when everything went crazy.
And I think we needed his viewpoint. I respect him for
what he does for people over 40. Look at what he did for
Susan Boyle. You know, I respect Nicole and I love her,
but I think as a creative executive, that's the lane that
he's in. So, that's when I think I crashed and burned, those
last two weeks when I did have his help and, unfortunately
I wasn't in his category. So, unfortunately, I had to bite
Having achieved so much in the X Factor, do you still
feel like you have something to prove?
I think as an artist you always feel like you do. The
X Factor is such an amazing machine, it's such an amazing
vehicle and me not being on it weekly anymore I'm hoping
that the attention span of America, they remember me and
even though I'm not in front of them every week that they
will buy my music whenever we do it and hoping that I have
that opportunity to record.
So, I don't know. I'm just hoping for that.
You know, you talked a little bit about Astro leaving.
Do you think that it was unfair that they saved him considering
that he was acting like a child and kind of disrespectful?
I know why they saved him. He's a talented kid and he
does have the X factor and I think that I have the X factor
and I think it was a very complicated decision for them
to make. Simon Cowell did say that it was very complicated
and he tweeted later on that he nearly changed his mind.
I think the two of us being on the bottom two was very
unfortunate and I don't know if anybody expected it. I don't
know. I don't look at it that way. I think that he had an
initial response that was honest. He felt rejected. He felt
as an artist that people weren't supporting him anymore
and that's a really hard feeling to deal with.
I mean dealing with it at 42 is always hard so him dealing
with it at 14, I can't even imagine what that's like. As
a mom, I looked at him and I said, wow, I get it. If that
was my son, I would just want to hug him and embrace him
and let him know that we love him and we respect his craft
and that's the way things go. It's a competition.
Right. You were in utter shock it looked like last night,
but you were still very gracious. Was it important for you
to leave the competition with your head held high?
Well, you know, I was in utter shock, but I was not numb
to the fact that Simon Cowell is a brilliant executive and
he gave someone like me a 42-year-old who for years had
been told that I would not make it, I could not make it.
I had a Broadway voice. I was never going to make a record.
He took me and took a chance and I had to take a moment
that I thought I was probably going to have that only moment
in front of the world and thank him graciously. It wasn't
rehearsed, obviously, I didn't know I was going to be there.
I just spoke from my heart.
There's, obviously, been a lot of talk and there was
on the show Wednesday about the rock theme. From the standpoint
of a contestant who is not a rock artist, I'm wondering,
first of all, whether you felt the theme was fair and then
if you kind of agree that maybe the contestants should have
been more rock and roll with the kind of performances they
Well, this is what I'll have to say about that and I'll
stand by it and I said it that night. The week before I
had done "Queen of the Night" and I had gotten
slammed really hard from the judges and from my supporters
and I felt like if I was going to be given a rock song,
I wanted to then take that song and try to make it my own
that best that I could and go back to what I did, you know
what I mean, like before that, before the "Queen of
the Night," and so it was just really a tough place
for me to be because I could have come back and done another
kind of "Queen of the Night" song and then I would
have gotten in trouble again.
So, I don't know. The song choices that I had were not
that great. I'm not a rock singer. I was hoping that rock
night meant take a rock song and do what you do, not necessarily
do a rock version of it, but take a rock song and do what
you do because I think as artists we should stay true to
our selves. I'm a gospel, soul, church; I'm not a rock singer.
So, I was hoping I could take a rock song and make it
a soul song because I believe that rock is raw and you sing
from your soul anyway. So, I wasn't going to get out there
and like scream and do some other thing. I would have gotten
in trouble for that, too. So, you find yourself between
a rock and a hard place on that kind of thing.
Well, so then is that the style that you want fans to
remember you by? Because I know for you, in particular,
there has been a lot of conflict and controversy about who
you should be. I know Simon and Nicole had different recommendations
and different opinions about where you fit in. So, I'm wondering
since you did do so many performances, what should we remember
you as? This is Stacy Francis. This is who she is and this
is who she is going to be down the road.
I think that when I did "Natural Woman" I sang
from my heart, I emoted from my emotions, I was very genuine.
I think when I did "Up the Mountain," you got
that. I think at the end of the day fans are telling me
they don't want to see my crying, but they want me to sing
the songs that make them cry. And that's the kind of music
I want to do.
I want to do soul stirring music. I want to do soul music.
And that's the thing that I'm going to do. I've got to stick
close to that and if that means Aretha Franklin or Whitney
Houston or Jennifer Hudson, then that's what it is. It's
not far off from that.
I'm curious to know, what is the most important thing
that you are going to take away from your time spent on
I think the most important thing is just keeping my integrity.
I learned a lot about my voice. When I was at boot camp,
I was holding long notes and sort of not really getting
what it meant to sing a song and deliver it and be in the
moment. For so many years I've sung to try to prove myself
and prove that I'm a great singer and I think this experience
just really showed me how to take a song and make it my
own and make it sort of a ministry to people and stir people's
souls, in the words of L.A. Reid.
that's the biggest thing that I got from it. Like I said,
I spent so many years trying to prove myself and that's
what I had done at boot camp and Simon Cowell taught me
how to not do that anymore, just to stand there and sing
the song and take my time and pull people in as best I can
in my music.
I read something a bit earlier this week. It was a quote
that you had given to MTV, actually, about how you felt
that you had been sort of unfairly judged by Simon and you
felt like you got beat up by him every week.
And, obviously, when you went out you gave him a massive
thank you for giving you this opportunity. Was the criticism
from him sort of the hardest to bear of all of the judges
because he is sort of the head of that or what was sort
of the significance of the feedback from him in comparison
to the other judges, even Nicole?
Well, the thing about it is that I have a lot of love and
admiration for Simon Cowell for giving me the opportunity.
When I thanked him I thanked him as a person that's not
in the competition any more, that was eliminated, that is
the creator of the show.
Now, when I was in the game and we were competing against
each other he definitely beat me up and I felt like he had
beaten me up because I wasn't in his category and I would
like to believe that I was a strong contender against his
category and he wanted to win and he plays hard ball.
If you think about it I sang a song that he said was soft
rock and yet his contestant came right after me and she
sang a "soft rock" song and he stood up for her.
He was definitely - and I see him doing this to everybody
that's not in his category - he keeps you down to the ground
and he's making it known that he wants to take it all the
Now, on the other side of that, you've got to separate
it. He's the creator of the show. He's an amazing, brilliant
executive and he created this outlet for me and I would
have been remiss had I not taken a moment to thank him for
it because there's no other show, no other outlet, no other
anything in this world that would give someone my age and
with all the things that go along with me, the opportunity
to stand in front of the world every week and sing and for
that I had to thank him and after the show I got a chance
to embrace him and show him my affinity for it. I love him
But I took a beating from him. I think he threw me under
the bus a couple of times and I don't know as an artist
if I deserved it or he was playing a game. That's not something
I'll every really know.