Rhydian Roberts

Rhydian Roberts

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Rhydian Roberts

Background = solo_singer
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1983|2|14|df=yes
Origin = Sennybridge, Powys, Wales, UK
Instruments =
Genre = Musical theatre
Classical crossover
Operatic pop Wagnerian rock
Voice_type = Baritone
Occupation = Personal Trainer
Genre =
Occupation = Singer
Years_active = 2007 - Present
Label = Sony BMG, Syco

Rhydian Roberts (born 14 February 1983) is a Welsh singer best known for his appearance on the fourth series of the British talent show "The X Factor", In which he came second.


Rhydian Roberts was born in Brecon and is the son of Malcolm, an electrical contractor, and Angela, who works for a charity called Crossroads that gives breaks to family carers. His brother Gareth is a solicitor in London. Rhydian attended the Pontsenni Cylch Meithrin and then went onto Ysgol y Bannau Welsh medium school in Brecon and is a Welsh speaker. He represented the school and Powys in the Urdd Gobaith Cymru Eisteddfod from the age of five. He kept his links with the Urdd whilst at Llandovery College and on through his time at university. He often says that his time at Llandovery College was one of the happiest times of his life and he felt very privileged to finish his school life as Head Boy. [cite web |url=http://www.llandoverycollege.com/view.aspx?id=186&linkID=869|title=Llandovery College Information on Rhydian'! |accessdate=2008-01-07|format= |work= ] He was a very keen rugby union player, playing with the Gwernyfed RFC club, near Brecon, as a junior and later for his school. He also played cricket for Powys County Junior teams. [cite web |url=http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/sports/sports-news-round-up/2007/12/29/cricket-my-brush-with-rhydian-91466-20295467/ |title=Cricket: ‘My brush with Rhydian’ |accessdate=2008-01-06|format= |work= ] "My plan was to be a professional player for the Swansea RFC Ospreys (rugby team)," he says. "From the age of ten that was all I could think about - and I wasn't interested in singing any more."cite web |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=500208&in_page_id=1773 |title=Rhydian and the no seX Factor'! |accessdate=2008-01-04|format= |work= ]

Eager to get into peak condition, he embarked on a stringent exercise programme which he continues to this day and goes to the gym daily. He used to be the strongest bench presser in Wales during his teens. [cite web |url=http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/wellbeing/story/0,,2210112,00.html|title=Guardian Well Being Article'! |accessdate=2008-01-05|format= |work= ]

He won a place at the prestigious Llandovery College public school, which is famous for its rugby prowess and worked his way up to rugby captain. School sports master Huw Thomas remembers him well: "Rhydian was mad on rugby. Whenever you saw him he had a rugby ball in his hands. He was a bustling centre and was a strong, hard-running player. Never in a month of Sundays did I think he would end up doing this - he was always sports mad."

He was noted as an excellent team player, Nigel Roberts, his uncle told "Sorted Magazine" "He was always playing above his age group and was once involved in a massive local derby. He'd already scored two tries and was clean through for his hat-trick when he passed to a team-mate to score. Afterwards I asked him why he'd done it, and his reply tells you all there is to say about him. He said: 'Well, it was the last year for the chap I passed to. I have a year left.'" [cite web |url=http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=20667762#post20667762|title=Rhydian - The Sex Factor |accessdate=2008-01-06|format= |work= ]

Roberts says it was when his mother took him to a Bizet opera at the age of 14 that he fell in love with music all over again: "I didn't want to go to the opera but my mum forced me and I fell in love with it. From then on I started doing musicals at school and having singing lessons."

Roberts had to make a decision about his future and opted to pursue a career within the field of music rather than rugby: "I had lots of rugby injuries and had a groin strain that got worse. And in the end I thought I might not be good enough for rugby. I knew that I could never be the best at rugby. With music I never thought I was going to be a megastar, but I always hoped to get a recording contract."


Brought up as a non-conformist Christian by his parents, he does not drink or smoke. On his celibacy he says "I don't want to shove it down people's throats but, yes, I do have a faith. I am a Christian and I believe in God and I do think celibacy is part of my faith. That is not to say I don't fall short sometimes - I am like any other guy. I get attracted to ladies. But if you have faith and you say you are a Christian you can't then twist it and abuse and compromise it. You can't say, I'm a Christian, but I'm going to hump away. I have too much respect for ladies. I think sex is a great thing but it shouldn't be abused. So no, I haven't had it."

Birmingham Conservatoire

After taking a gap year, when he taught in a school in South Africa, Roberts won a bursary to Birmingham City University's (then known as University of Central England) Conservatoire to study music and become a classically trained singer. [citeweb|title=bcu.ac.uk 1|url=http://www.bcu.ac.uk/news/releases07/4466.html] Director of Theatre Studies Michael Barry commented that "Rhydian was a star pupil at the Conservatoire from the very beginning." [citeweb|title=bcu.ac.uk 2|url=http://www.bcu.ac.uk/news/releases07/rhydian_winner.html] Roberts had lessons first with Adrian Clarke and then with Christine Cairns before graduating with first class honours in 2007.

Notably, he was the first singer from outside London to win the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers, beating 13 other second-year vocal students from music colleges around the UK. An esteemed panel of judges composed of internationally renowned singers remarked on his "formidable talent" and his "immediate connection with the audience". He also won the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize and the Mario Lanza Educational Award in 2007. [cite web |url=http://www.bmls.co.uk/awards.htm|title= Mario Lanza Award 2007'! |accessdate=2008-01-05|format= |work= ] In his second year he was also auditioned, on Barry's recommendation, by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's (CBSO) Musical Director Sakari Oramo. He was cast immediately in the role of Morales in the CBSO’s semi-staged performance of Carmen. Other successes include winning the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize and securing leading roles in virtually all of the Conservatoire's major classical operas and musicals during his time as a student. [ [http://www.bcu.ac.uk/news/releases07/rhydian_winner.html Rhydian – You Don’t Have to Win to be a Winner! ] ] This included playing Charley in Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim (June 2004, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham), and the lead role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the musical by Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn (June 2006, Crescent Theatre, Birmingham - directed by Michael Barry, and conducted by Ben Kennedy). [citeweb|title=Conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk|url=http://www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk/calendar/mx-nga-jekyll-hyde-the-musical?m=6&y=2006&calid=calTable]

His stage presence and charisma were often highlighted in reviews. His performance as Edward Kelley in Doctor Dee was noted by the Birmingham Post as charismatic, threatening and attractive. As Morales in Carmen he was noted for conveying genuine depth of masculine charisma. In Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri his commanding stage presence was again highlighted. [cite web |url=http://community.livejournal.com/rhydianroberts/87938.html |title=Rhydian Roberts Reviews'! |accessdate=2008-01-04|format= |work= ]

Knowing that he would never get a prominent Opera role early in his career, he decided to consider alternatives. After graduating he auditioned for the BBC talent contest "Any Dream Will Do" to find a lead for Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". However, he did not make it past bootcamp as his voice was not deemed right for the production's pop score.

The X Factor

Ironically, it was his future mentor Dannii Minogue that gave the only "no" vote at his audition, while Sharon Osbourne took an intense dislike to him during the "boot camp" stage, describing him as arrogant. There was much controversy over the way in which producers edited footage at this stage to make him appear, in Roberts's words, a "pantomime villain". Newspapers reported that although Minogue offered him a place in the live finals, he considered quitting for fear that he would be used as a figure of ridicule [cite news|title=X Factor's Rhydian: I have to work hard (Video)|url=http://www.whatsontv.co.uk/news/2123|publisher="What's On TV"|date=19 October 2007|accessdate=2007-10-21] Clips of him featured music from The Phantom Of The Opera.

His fears proved to be unfounded, as the live shows allowed Roberts to turn public opinion in his favour. The first live shows revealed an entirely new image, including a new peroxide blond spiky hairstyle. In early live shows, he quickly acquired a reputation as the most spectacular and unpredictable performer, with the judges and presenter Dermot O'Leary often acknowledging the audience's anticipation of his performances. These included a full theatrical performance of The Phantom of the Opera, and singing Shirley Bassey's version of P!nk's Get The Party Started in a fur coat and sequin-encrusted suit; Osbourne thought he looked like The White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. However, after performing the Pet Shop Boys' version of Village People's Go West in Navy Officer uniform surrounded by male backing singers in sailor outfits, judges commented that his theatrical presentation was beginning to overshadow his vocal performances. Later appearances, while still including dancers and pyrotechnics, saw Roberts tone down his on-stage antics. These performances garnered high praise from the judges, although some viewers lamented the loss of his spectacular presentation.

As the show progressed Roberts became favourite to win, tipped at 1/3 ahead of sibling duo Same Difference and Scot Leon Jackson, who were tied with odds of 9/2. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7144792.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Same Difference out of X Factor ] ] . Roberts sang a duet in the final with Katherine Jenkins. He had previously been quoted as saying he wanted to perform with her. [citeweb|title=ICWales|url=http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/2007/11/24/rhydian-katherine-jenkins-duet-my-goal-91466-20153814/]

Roberts was the runner-up on "The X Factor" series 4, which ended 15 December 2007. Simon Cowell has agreed to sign him up for a recording contract with Sony BMG - however, there are rumours that famous composer Andrew Lloyd Webber also has plans to control the new talent after a highly acclaimed performance of the theme song of The Phantom of the Opera after Roberts stated his desire to play the Phantom in Webber's new musical, The Phantom of Manhattan, in 2008. [ [http://www.theinternetforum.co.uk/rhydian-roberts/phantom-1.html Rhydian's Phantom: Simon Cowell v Andrew Lloyd Webber | The Internet Forum ] ]

Simon Cowell, when interviewed by the Daily Mail, admitted that even he was wrong about Robert's, saying: "He is nothing like the monster that you might have expected from those early scenes. He is incredibly polite and respectful. He stands out because he has an incredible voice but there is no arrogance or conceit. He's a very good guy and in fact I think he is very insecure."

X Factor Controversy

It was reported that Ofcom received at least 1,500 complaints from would-be voters for Roberts, the runner-up of the series, saying that despite calling numerous times, they were unable to get through to vote for him. The programme producers said that the high number of calls meant some people were greeted by engaged tones. Ofcom said that it had previously received 700 complaints, that later increased to 1,100. [" [http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7149934.stm X Factor voting complaints soar] ", BBC News, 2007-12-18. Retrieved on 2007-12-18 ]

ITV denied allegations and said that they had no reason to believe the result was biased in favour of either contestant, commenting that "As all numbers go through to the same lines and vote platform it is impossible for there to be any bias in favour or against a particular contestant." [" [http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/dec/17/realitytv.itv Fans sound off over X Factor voting] ", "The Guardian" 2007-12-18. Retrieved on 2007-12-18 ]

This controversy led to a local radio station in Wales banning Leon Jackson's debut single from their playlists. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7147931.stm] ] Robert's family later asked for the ban to be lifted.

Ofcom published its report of the findings of their investigation and concluded that in fact Roberts was not disadvantaged by the problems with the phone lines. [Ofcom Report (begins on page 23)] [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/obb/prog_cb/obb108/bb108.pdf]

The X Factor performances

* Top 12 - 20 October - "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"
* Top 11 - 27 October - "The Phantom of the Opera"
* Top 9 - 3 November - "Get the Party Started"
* Top 8 - 10 November - "You Raise Me Up"
* Top 7 - 17 November - "Go West"
* Top 6 - 24 November - "Somewhere" from "West Side Story"
* Top 5 - 1 December - "Somebody to Love" and "I Vow to Thee, My Country/World in Union"
* The Semi Final - 8 December - "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "You'll Never Walk Alone"
* The Final - 15 December - "O Holy Night", "Somewhere", "You Raise Me Up" (duet with Katherine Jenkins), "When You Believe"

Post X Factor Career

It has been reported that Rhydian has signed a million pound recording contract with Sony/BMG. A source commenting on the album has said “It will be typically Rhydian – lots of fun.” [19]

Rhydian stated on BBC Radio Wales that new material is being penned for his debut album. He also confirmed that Jim Steinman has shown an interest and will be writing some songs after seeing Rhydian sing "I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)" on YouTube. [20] There may also be a couple of covers but he refuses to record an X Factor memorabilia album. Rhydian has confirmed that his album is due for release in November. [21] In December Rhydian will be singing Have yourself a merry little christmas with the "voice of an angel" star Charlotte Church on the christmas special of her chat show.


External links

* [http://www.rhydianroberts.com Official Site]
* [http://www.rhydian-roberts.co.uk Rhydian Roberts Fan Site]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/halloffame/showbiz/rhydianroberts.shtml Rhydian Roberts at BBC Wales]
* [http://www.rhydianfansite.com Rhydian Fansite]

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