It’s hard to believe that Rhydian Roberts and her peroxide blonde hair first lit up our screens 15 years ago.
The Welsh singing sensation auditioned for The X Factor in 2007 during his final year at university and was an instant hit with viewers for his flamboyant style and dazzling hair.
“I had it all through college but it wasn’t as white,” Rhydian explained on Loose Women in 2018, joking that it was a “Philip Schofield tribute act.”
He continued: “I remember when I was on X Factor, Simon Cowell kept saying, ‘No, no, he has to be whiter’, so he was really the one who did the damage to me. to that hair. It’s not health all this talk.”
His full theatrical retelling of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ led Celine Dion to say he was “in a different league” and the favorite to win the series.
But he was portrayed as the villain, with Rhydian later claiming that Simon told him, “Rhydian, yes, we paint you as a villain, but that’s what they did with me.”
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Rhydian somewhat controversially finished second to winner Leon Jackson, but was still offered a recording contract by Simon.
“I had a great time, it was a whirlwind,” he said. “I was surprised I even made it to the bottom two because of the nature of the voice. It’s really a pop show.”
His debut album in November 2008, titled ‘Rhydian’, achieved platinum status within weeks and earned him the title of best-selling male solo artist of the year with 600,000 copies sold.
He performed for an audience of over 30,000 at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 60th birthday party in Hyde Park and Prince Charles invited him to become a patron of the Prince’s Trust.
After touring, Rhydian released his second album ‘O Fortuna’ and recorded his own special for Welsh broadcaster S4C, followed by the documentary ‘Rhydian’.
Along with releasing music, Rhydian was clearly heading to the gym as he looked incredibly ripped.
The Welsh singer was a weightlifter at school and a solid bench presser, but had rarely shown his buff physique until a photoshoot in 2015.
Rhydian showed off his amazing physique in steamy shirtless snaps â complete with his rippling add-ons and bulging biceps on display.
In 2018, Rhydian opened up about struggling with her body image in the past.
“I had it in college. I guess you’d call it body dysmorphia,” he explained on Loose Women in 2018. “I don’t have it now, but when you’re on TV , there is always pressure to look good.
“The same is true with men too. I didn’t get it bad at all. When I was muscular, you’re never big enough or big enough, anything.
“It’s not so important now and the older you get the more tolerant you are.”
After releasing two classic crossover albums, Rhydian decided to change his sound for his 2011 album “Waves”.
“My first two albums were classic crossovers and did very, very well,” he told Wales Online. “But I went to X Factor to be a pop star, not an opera star, and it’s great to have the opportunity to record an album like this.”
Rhydian admitted he would always be happy to be associated with the TV show that made him famous.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished on X Factor. I’m a showman and it gave me the chance to put on a show. I would really love to play outdoor concerts, I love putting on a show,â he explained.
“But I hope people enjoy this album. It shows another side of me and what I can do.”
Rhydian joined the cast of the West End musical ‘We Will Rock You’ in 2011, appeared in the Aladdin pantomime, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and filmed productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Little Shop of Horrors.
However, it seems that Rhydian has moved away from the limelight in recent years and is now working away from the limelight.
In addition to describing himself as an “X Factor legend” in his Twitter bio, Rhydian reveals that he works for an entertainment management company.
His new role is that of manager of artists and promoter for the stars, including Any Dream Will Do winner Lee Mead, Iranian-Canadian West End actor Rami Karimloo, actress Samantha Barks and the pop group UB40.
Rhydian is certainly keeping busy as he has also stated that he is a real estate developer and investor.
As for his love life, Rhydian explained that he put his career before any relationship in 2007.
“I don’t want to look like a machine, but I’ve always been so focused on what I’m doing that I don’t have much time for anything else,” he told Mail Online.
“I’ve always wanted to focus on being the best I can be. Most of my time I’m training my voice, in the gym or performing.
“It may sound obsessive, but I believe that if you want things in life, you have to work at them. You have to make sacrifices.”
But he started a relationship with his girlfriend Liesl after they met in 2016 and became a stepfather to his son.
Explaining that it was wonderful but empowering, Rhydian said in 2018: “He doesn’t have a father basically, so I stepped in and played the part. I love it, you have to become completely selfless. To see his development, it’s just beautiful to see.
“He hates that I sing. I’m practicing at home and he’s like, ‘Daddy, daddy, stop singing.'”
Earlier this year, there was speculation that Rhydian was taking part in The Masked Singer.
Viewers believed the “strong theatrical operatic voice” and Welsh twang belonged to him.
One person tweeted: ‘I said Ales Jones last time but I feel like it’s not him, someone maybe younger like Rhydian’.
“#MaskedSingerUK Traffic Cone is Rhydian of the X factor,” insisted another.
Although it turned out that Traffic Cone, who was voted out in a double elimination, was actually classic star Aled Jones.
Rhydian probably welcomed the comparisons to the Walking In The Air singer, but responding to speculation that he was under the mask, he tweeted “Lol” and a crying laughing emoji.
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