Have you ever wondered what a pep talk from Anna Wintour sounds like? Well, now we know, thanks to Hamish Bowles's piece in this month's Vogue, which chronicles his assignment to audition for X-Factor.
"You can sing," says Anna, who has heard me warble some comedic Noel Coward songs at The Rug Company during Fashion's Night Out. "This will be easy for you." Her enthusiasm buoys me along, until a moment over dinner at the Metropolitan Opera ... when she insouciantly announces that she is, in fact, completely tone deaf.
Hamish consulted Liza Minnelli and Cheyenne Jackson before arriving at a most excellent song choice: Britney's "Oops! ... I Did It Again." Come audition day, he dresses up in a gold Mugler suit and Christian Louboutin shoes, stands in line with the hoi polloi outside the Prudential Center in Newark, and ultimately performs before the judges with "a saucy little hip swing (as though I'd been pinched on the bum)."
Perhaps the best part of it is, though, that he invents a nom de croon for himself, "Leo Mercuré," so that his Vogue status doesn't taint the judges' responses. His disguise works on almost everyone.
"Isn't that the guy who owns Vogue?" asks one of the security guards. "Wicked shoes."
X-Factor premieres on Fox tonight, and sadly, Hamish didn't make it past the auditions, so we won't be seeing any more saucy bum-swings in the near future (fingers crossed they put a clip of him in one of those "look at all our funny auditions!" roundups). In the meantime, you can read the full story on page 158 of the magazine.