by Margaret Chrystall
IF there’s one thing that Welsh singer and performer Lucie Jones seems to love, it’s a challenge.
Last month the former X Factor contestant gained the UK a 15th placing performing Never Give Up On You in the Eurovision Song Contest.
And most recently Lucie has taken on the singing and dancing role of Holly in stage musical The Wedding Singer which comes to Eden Court on Monday.
In the years since X Factor in 2009, Lucie has built on her original dream of a career in musical theatre.
And as well as playing Elle Woods in the West End in Legally Blonde, and winning the role of Meat in the 2013 arena tour of We Will Rock You, Lucie has also toured Asia in Ghost: The Musical, the stage version of the 1990 Demi Moore-Patrick Swayze movie.
Lucie said: "I try and make the most out of all the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to be given over the years.
"X Factor was definitely the first of those and without that, gosh knows what I’d be doing.
"I thank it for a lot.
"I learned a hell of a lot, good and bad – and ugly!
"But overall we had an amazing time on the show that year, I totally loved it.
"I’m very much in touch with Danyl Johnson, Olly Murs, Joe McElderry and Lloyd Daniels – quite a few people from my year on X Factor. You are from the same bubble and you bump into people again. Later this year I’m working with Matt Cardle and he’s been a good friend."
And there’s one more quite significant person Lucie met on series six of X Factor...
Lucie said: "I’m engaged and getting married in August to Ethan Boroian – I met him at X Factor bootcamp.
"So obviously I am still in touch with him – ’cos that would be awkward if I wasn’t!" laughed Lucie.
Lucie had been applying to study musical theatre in 2009 when the chance came to audition for X Factor.
"I decided to give X Factor a go and I’m very glad I did.
"The theatre was something I always really wanted to do, it’s a big love of mine.
"But it’s difficult to get into, so I was very lucky to get the start that I did."
After the X Factor Lucie signed with top model agency Select and became the face of Wonderbra’s Full Effects campaign.
"Whether it’s a big personal learning curve or a professional one, I’ve tried very hard to make the most of it," she said about her modelling experience. "It was hard work – I like my food and to have a drink and I’m not very good at taking advice about my body from people.
"I look after myself, but at the same time I don’t follow any kind of diet or fitness plan – and in the short time that I did, I resigned myself to never doing it again.
"My life is relatively healthy and because of my work I’m generally quite fit anyway."
In May 2010, Lucie was signed up for the role of Cosette in the West End production of Les Misérables by Cameron Mackintosh.
And one of her most enjoyable career experiences so far was being part of a new musical American Psycho being created in the Almeida Theatre in 2013 in which Lucie played Victoria.
"We had two months of rehearsal – normally you have three or four weeks – and we had workshops every day where we came up with ideas.
"Characters and scripts were changing every day and a songwriter was working with us and he was changing things and writing new lyrics and songs.
"It was so much fun.
"It was probably the biggest learning curve I’ve had on a job. But I learned so much, it was great."
Just hours away from her debut in The Wedding Singer, Lucie said she was looking forward to visiting Inverness for the first time – and testing out character Holly’s dance routines.
"I’ve never done anything like this role before and it’s going to be a challenge – but my adrenaline’s pumping!
The Wedding Singer is at Eden Court until Saturday, June 27.