X Factor appearance for former St Albans Girls’ School pupil

A FORMER St Albans head pupil has described performing on The X Factor alongside last boy contestant Marcus Collins as both a privilege and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Stephanie Effiom, who left St Albans Girls’ School (STAGS) in 2010, was called “honey” by judge Kelly Rowland and met Tulisa’s dog backstage, before singing on the hit show’s movie themed night, on Saturday, November 19.

Although the former STAGS head girl, 19, has signed a declaration preventing her from revealing too many details of being on the ITV programme, she said it was an amazing experience.

Stephanie began a gospel choir at STAGS and went on to direct the King’s College London gospel choir.

She explained: “I was contacted by the organiser of the University Gospel Choir of the Year competition, in which my own choir won the runners-up prize, and she said that X Factor would like us to perform with Marcus.

“The entire day was so busy but everyone made us feel so welcome. We met the judges, the contestants, even Tulisa’s dog and they were all so nice.”

Stephanie said the day began with a briefing of the day’s activities, before song and choreography lessons. Choir members met show host Dermot O’Leary, but the highlight was performing alongside Marcus.

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She described the atmosphere of sharing the stage with the Liverpool hairdresser as electric. Judge Kelly Rowland told Marcus he “shut the building down” with his energetic rendition of Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher.

Stephanie said: “We were told to really bring the energy almost to the point of being OTT.

“I feel so proud and privileged to have partaken in such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Assistant head teacher of STAGS John Doyle said he was happy to see Stephanie doing so well.