X Factor songbird Anna Wilson's second chance

By Lynley Bilby

Glamorous X Factor singer Anna Wilson is hoping that the TV show will jumpstart a career dogged by bad timing and unpopular songs.

Wilson has already released an album and singles, made music videos and acted in film and TV.

But she said wrong song choice and limited radio exposure had left her with a day job in men's fashion.

Wilson, 26, this week told the Herald on Sunday her first single was released to only one radio network and was a country music track. Her second single as a featured new artist "didn't stick either".

"I think again it wasn't quite the right song."

Her former producer said "rotten timing" meant Wilson wasn't a household name seven years ago.

When the album Just For You was released in 2006, the since-deceased Eldred Stebbing announced Wilson as the "fresh new face of country".

Stebbing Recording Centre engineer Steve McGough worked on vocal production for Wilson's debut album and said the release coincided with the demise of a major record chain. "We spent thousands and thousands of dollars on promoting the album on radio but when people went in to stores to buy it they didn't have the stock. Even her friends out west couldn't get hold of it."

Wilson said she was still living her dream. "I think timing is everything. I've kept chipping away at it my whole life. At 26 now I think I'm ready more than ever to stand up on that X Factor stage." Her first break was a major role in Disney film, Kids World, when she was a teenager. She has also modelled in advertisements and appeared on Shortland Street and Hercules.

In 2010 she received $10,000 from NZ On Air as a new recording artist for her music video single Say You Love Me. The song was a steamy departure from her country roots and featured a provocatively dressed Wilson in tartan mini-skirt, low-cut top and thigh-high black boots.

Meanwhile, the first contestant ejected from X Factor was back on stage 72 hours later but without television cameras and screaming fans.

Auckland University music student Eden Roberts arrived unexpectedly at the central city Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery with guitar in hand to perform a set of six original songs during Thursday night's open microphone session.

Floor supervisor Noora Jessie said a group of music students played throughout the evening recording their performances for a university assessment.

She said the "quiet" teenager spent the evening with her friends and it was very low key.

Roberts was the first finalist voted off by the judges on the reality television singing show live on air last Monday night after placing in the bottom two of the public vote.

- Herald on Sunday

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