Bullying is wrong. No ifs or buts. Don’t bully. Caitlyn Vanbeck was bullied at school when she posted music videos online. Before she sang on her X Factor 2017 audition she explained that some people at school just never took to her singing, so she was subjected to a lot of negative comments. With the help of her parents she built herself back up and, although it’s not stated on the X Factor video, in 2011 Caitlyn Vanbeck won the regional competition Edinburgh’s Got Talent.
For her audition, Vanbeck sang Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece (which explains why Simon tells her that for a moment he felt like he was like going back 15 years to the year Kelly Clarkson won American Idol). Vanbeck got three yeses for her performance and soon became the bookies favourite to win the competition. Here, then, is the audition video. It shows both Vanbeck and Nicole Scherzinger in tears at the end of the song and Vanbeck getting a hug from Simon Cowell after the judges’ comments:
After the audition aired, @gphx wrote on YouTube: “She comes out looking gorgeous, looking down to earth with the hat and camo jacket, and then she does that. Just found a reason to watch this season.” Referring to Vanbeck’s experience of bullying at school, @user-je9ye4hz3j asked, “How could anyone NOT like her voice?? She’s perfect”. Vanbeck’s audition was posted on the YouTube and Facebook channels of X Factor Global with the heading Be Careful Who You Bully: They Might Be The Next Big Star
The video was viewed 64M times in four hours, according to Daily Record UK. For the Six Chair Challenge, Simon Cowell oversaw the girls’ category. The chair challenge was where the contestants competed for places at the judges’ houses. Vanbeck sang Andra Day’s Rise Up, a favourite song of Cowell’s. Scherzinger joked that Vanbeck, better take a chair home. Cowell quipped, “I don’t want to give you a chair. I want to give you a sofa.” Let’s have a look at Vanbeck’s performance:
Soon after winning her seat, Caitlyn Vanbeck was punched in the face by Simon Cowell, according to Heat World. The publication soon sets the record straight: “After making his final decision, he (Cowell) went up on to the stage at London’s Wembley Arena to congratulate the remaining six hopefuls in his group and aspiring pop star Caitlyn Vanbeck excitedly ran straight into him” Vanbeck soon recovered from the accidental on-screen punch and joked that she might sue Cowell as he had lots of money.
X Factor fans were surprised when Caitlyn Vanbeck was axed from the show during the Judges’ House stage. Vanbeck sang Praying For Time by George Michael, but forgot some of the lyrics. Cowell commented: “I don’t want you to come away thinking you did bad because you didn’t do bad. You didn’t.”
After X Factor, Caitlyn Vanbeck trained as a primary school teacher, and has juggled singing gigs with her day job. She also had a public spat with Piers Morgan in 2019. When Kylie Jenner became the youngest self-made billionaire, Morgan called her a “vacuous, talentless dimwit”. Vanbeck responded “Just got to laugh at @piersmorgan really… makes a living out of belittling people and has the nerve to talk about people having no talent. You’re about as talented as a wet noodle mate. Cue a reply from him with another degrading comment.” Vanbeck was right. Morgan responded: “Hi Caitlyn, I don’t know who you are but just Googled you & discovered you were eliminated at the judges’ houses stage of X Factor. So I bow to your expertise when it comes to people with no talent.”
Vanbeck can take consolation from the fact that Justin Bieber has liked some of her social media posts and once serenaded her at a gig. Take that Piers Morgan, and stop acting like a schoolyard bully. If you would like to see more from Caitlyn Vanbeck, you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.