Q&A :Emily Wilson
Fixed is Emily Wilson’s Edinburgh Fringe debut, sharing the story of her disastrous experience as a finalist on The X Factor USA at the age of fifteen. Emily takes her audience through her most embarrassing, cringey, and downright hilarious moments of this nostalgic adventure with a mix of stand-up, original music, and archival footage.
After sold out runs in New York and L.A., Emily could not be more excited to expose her embarrassing past to the UK, and we couldn’t resist asking her some questions about the show.
Are you glad we seemto have passed the peak of the reality TV era?
As someone who was on a reality show: yes! As an avid consumer who grew up watching American Idol: no! I very much cherish all the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of my childhood where I'd rush to finish my homework in time so I could sit with my family in the living room and watch these shows. It's such a core memory for me. However, I am a little glad that these shows don't seem to have the scope of exposure that they used to, so the people auditioning can have more realistic hopes (I hope??). Although maybe I'm dead wrong, and they do still have a huge scope. I went home recently and walked in the door to find my mom watching American Idol. Like, live on the air. And she was voting for contestants. Some things don't change I guess :)
How many X Factor couples do you think might be secretly in love? Or might one half of a duo be in secretly unrequited love?
Oh man. I'd suspect there's at least a little bit of crush energy with every music duo. Music is sooo...romantic. How could you not fall in love to the sound of you and your partner's gorgeous harmonies? I'd also bet that the large majority of those cases are indeed unrequited love. Speaking from experience, of course.
Looking back, do you now see your experience as a finalist on The X factor USA as a good thing in your life or you’d rather wish it never happened?
Call me crazy, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason (I am Jewish, after all). I think so much of who I am today is because of the experience I had on that show. Whether that's objectively good or bad I'll never know. But I do know that I like who I am now (most of the time), and I love and believe in my show FIXED. So, I guess it was a good thing. I mean, if I was never on The X Factor, what show would I be bringing to the Fringe? "Emily Wilson: One Time I Went To Camp And It Was Kinda Underwhelming Based On What Everybody Says Camp Should Be" ?
Your partner - and your crush on The X Factor - was deeply in the closet. Did you eventually encourage him to come out?
I did not. But that is entirely because I was so head over heels in love with him, truly up until the moment he came out to me, so I did not think he was gay. I mean, I was definitely in subconscious denial the whole time, praying that he was also in love with me and that we'd one day get married and make music-loving-singer-babies. But as soon as he inevitably came out to me, I accepted my little heartbreak, and we naturally became even closer friends.
Do you think that the judges would have viewed him differently back in the day if they knew he was gay?
Probably! But not just the judges – I'd say all of America would have. I mean, it's 2022 and we still have A-list singers and actors that are rumoured to be in the closet to maintain widespread adoration. The entertainment industry is so funny that way!
Do you feel that you are you still on the path to becoming an international superstar?
I hope not. It sounds exhausting. I've been seeing these TikToks of Harry Styles on tour, and I watch thoseand I just think "God, he must be so tired." I like my sleep!
This is all of course half true. I do love sleep, but I'd also love to be a successful, touring comedian. I'll let the reader decide if that career path has international superstar potential.
Emily Wilson: Fixed, Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath, 10.25pm, 3-29 August (not 17)