Ex Fac­tor SEANN Mi­ley Moore

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Ch­eryl Fer­nan­dez-Versini and Rita Ora scrub up pretty well, but it was Seann Mi­ley Moore who really served glam­our on The X Fac­tor this year.

For his au­di­tion, the 25-year-old hope­ful strut­ted on stage wear­ing sky­scraper heels, a black PVC pen­cil skirt, a sheer top that ex­posed his paving slab pec­torals, and a fur coat that could’ve been nicked from Liza Min­nelli’s cos­tume vault. When Seann sang Cal­i­for­nia Dreamin’ a few weeks ago, in a dra­matic per­for­mance which would be­come his X Fac­tor swan song, he wore a bil­low­ing red ki­mono would ap­prove. As Seann tells us shortly af­ter this pretty spec­tac­u­lar cover shoot, “You’ll never catch me in jeans and a t-shirt!”

Be­cause Seann is so vis­ually dis­tinc­tive and has a big, in­fec­tious, out­go­ing per­son­al­ity, it’s easy to forget that we don’t ac­tu­ally know very much about him. So here’s a pot­ted history of his life so far. Seann was born to an English fa­ther and a Filipino mother in In­done­sia, where he started his ed­u­ca­tion at an Amer­i­can Amer­i­can ac­cent,” he smiles. Af­ter a spell at a Bri­tish in­ter­na­tional school in Bangkok, he moved to Aus­tralia as a teenager and stud­ied mu­si­cal the­atre at the same per­form­ing arts acad­emy that taught Hugh Jackman his craft. Seann con­sid­ers him­self Filipino-English, but he’d vis­ited the UK since he was a baby.

“I’m liv­ing proof that you should be who you are and go for your dream,” Seann says elim­i­na­tion. “Book a one-way ticket and go The X Fac­tor. And I went out in style singing a clas­sic song in my fab­u­lous ki­mono.” As Seann dis­cusses his abrupt exit from the com­pe­ti­tion, he sounds un­der­stand­ably Grimshaw, who chose to save an­other mem­ber

“I’m a 90s kid, so I grew up lis­ten­ing to Spice Girls and Mariah Carey. But I love a Broad­way sound­track. Elaine Stritch: fierce. I like artists who tell a story. It’s not just stand­ing there in a pretty dress go­ing ‘we found love’.”

on his mu­si­cal he­roes

force the “dead­lock” sit­u­a­tion that sent Seann home. “For Nick, it was like So­phie’s Choice,” Seann rea­sons. “What would you do if two of your con­tes­tants were stand­ing there and you had to choose be­tween them? Si­mon [Cow­ell] said it’s one of the big­gest shocks he’s ever had on the show. But you know, it’s all des­tiny and, guys have only seen 1% of what I can do.”

Seann says he was an “in­cred­i­bly en­er­getic kid” who swam com­pet­i­tively and orig­i­nally wanted to be­come a pro­fes­sional ten­nis player, but sport gave way to per­form­ing when he sang Eric Clap­ton’s Tears in Heaven at a school tal­ent show. “When I got on stage to sing, I re­mem­ber think­ing, this is such an awesome play­ground,” he re­calls. “So I be­came in­ter­ested in mu­si­cal the­atre, which is all about dress­ing up and be­ing fab­u­lous, and that made me re­alise I wanted to be like that off stage, too.”

So when did he be­come the fully-formed Seann Mi­ley Moore that we see to­day? “I think it’s a jour­ney,” he replies thought­fully. “As I was grow­ing up and com­ing to terms wanted to be, but I was aware that so­ci­ety wanted me to con­form to a mould. So it was a jour­ney through mu­si­cal the­atre and but also through meet­ing fab­u­lous friends – your tribe who al­low you to be you, do you know what I mean? There was a time when I changed my­self to get peo­ple to like me, but then I was like, ‘No. This is who I am. I love to dress up in my heels and my skirts and have fun with makeup.’ When I started fo­cus­ing my en­ergy on be­ing me, I found I was much hap­pier be­cause I was be­ing my best au­then­tic self.”

In the year that celebri­ties such as Mi­ley Cyrus and Ruby Rose have helped to raise some peo­ple don’t iden­tify as male or fe­male, but con­sider them­selves some­where in that Seann Mi­ley Moore killed it on The X Fac­tor wear­ing a skirt and heels. One show­biz web­site claims that Seann has em­braced the term “gen­derqueer”, but when we ask him

“What does that mean? I have no idea! Gen­derqueer... What is that?” he says with a slight roll of the eye. “You know, in to­day’s so­ci­ety, we still want to la­bel peo­ple: male, them in. There’s this whole world in the mid­dle where peo­ple are just be­ing. And it’s fab­u­lous. I think we should live in a world want to, no ques­tions asked. Just be your­self, be you. This is just who I am. The only la­bel should be Ver­sace on the back of my top.”

Play­ing devil’s ad­vo­cate for a sec­ond, we point out that on The X Fac­tor, Seann was ob­vi­ously branded a boy – one of Nick Grimshaw’s ‘boys team’. Is he cool with that? “Yeah. I mean, I have a dick, so I’m a boy, right?” Seann shoots back laugh­ing.

Main­stream so­ci­ety still has a lot to learn as though a cer­tain por­tion of the LGBT com­mu­nity isn’t lead­ing the way proudly. Seann says he doesn’t let this bother him any more. “There was a pe­riod when I was wor­ried guys might freak out and think I was too fem­i­nine, so I would try to ‘straighten’ my­self,” he ad­mits. “You know what it’s like in the gay world: a lot of peo­ple are search­ing for that mas­cu­line guy. It’s great if you are that ‘masc4­masc’ kind of guy, but I want to put on my high heels and lippy, and that’s great too.”

In­ter­est­ingly, when you meet Seann in fem­i­nine at all. Un­derneath what­ever the stacked physique of an ath­lete. “Thank you so much!” he beams when we pay him the com­pli­ment. “The gym is really a great place for me to let ev­ery­thing go. Life is so fuck­ing chaotic now, so work­ing out is a release for me. But really, I think all of us have both mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine en­er­gies. I’m

“He’s been amaz­ing to ac­cept me and let me fly. I’m so grate­ful to have him as a men­tor and a friend as well.

We’re ac­tu­ally go­ing for a cock­tail in a couple of days.”

fem­i­nine in some ways and so are you – and there’s noth­ing straight about suck­ing a cock.”

Seann is keen to point out that he isn’t try­ing to knock the LGBT com­mu­nity with th­ese com­ments. In fact, he de­scribes him­self as a “proud gay man” – one who’s now in a very happy re­la­tion­ship. “That’s the thing,” he says. “When I was truly happy and started putting my­self out there for who I am, he came. He came and he was like, ‘You’re amaz­ing, you’re sexy, you’re hot.’ And now I’m fuck­ing so in love. I want to marry him, my God!”

Ob­vi­ously we have to ask who the lucky guy is, but this prompts a rare mo­ment of ret­i­cence from Seann. “I ac­tu­ally met him on The X Fac­tor, dur­ing boot camp, but he didn’t make the live shows,” he replies. “I can’t say his name...” But Seann does ad­mit that his packed sched­ule has made their re­la­tion­ship con­ju­gal vis­its weren’t per­mit­ted at the X Fac­tor house. “Luck­ily, the house had in­ter­net, so we could have a cheeky iBone,” he adds with a wink.

Seann is can­did about his am­bi­tion – he says his dream is to per­form at New York’s leg­endary Madi­son Square Gar­den, and if to duet with a holo­gram of July Gar­land. Se­ri­ously, can you imag­ine what this would’ve been like? But Seann also says that since the “seen the big­ger pic­ture”.

“I didn’t re­alise I’d get all th­ese won­der­ful mes­sages from peo­ple. They say things like, ‘You’re in­spir­ing be­cause you’re so free in your skin.’ They tell me I’ve given them the know, I’ve had amaz­ing sup­port from my fam­ily and friends to get to this point. Yeah, there were times when I got ver­bal abuse – but what gay guy hasn’t got that? And I got hit once, but that’s mi­nus­cule com­pared to the hor­ren­dous sto­ries you hear about LGBT kids in some coun­tries. But now I have this in­cred­i­ble plat­form to let peo­ple know they can be who they are. That’s an amaz­ing thing, so it’s not about me any more, it’s about ev­ery­one else. I’m ready to grab this plat­form and be that voice – hell yeah!”

Seann is rightly proud of the pos­i­tive im­pact he’s making, but don’t pre­sume he’s los­ing his sense of hu­mour as he be­comes an un­ex­pected role model. He jokes that the X Fac­tor house was so crowded there was “nowhere to mas­tur­bate,” then tells us a some­thing rather pri­vate in his suit­case.

“Rochelle was go­ing through my stuff for a seg­ment on The Xtra Fac­tor and she picked out this thing and said, ‘What’s this?’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, babe, that’s my douche.’ She was like, ‘Oh shit.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, lit­er­ally!’”

Rochelle re­cently de­scribed Seann as the show’s big­gest diva, a term she meant af­fec­tion­ately. But even so, is he com­pletely happy with how he’s been por­trayed on TV? “Yeah, I think how I’ve been edited is 100% me. I might not be ev­ery­one’s cup of tea as Si­mon Cow­ell says, but do you know what? I’m freakin’ cof­fee baby – and some­times, ev­ery­one needs cof­fee!”

Al­though Seann was elim­i­nated from The X Fac­tor far too soon, his fu­ture looks as­sured. Ru­mours are swirling that he’s be­ing courted by West End pro­duc­ers and sev­eral other prime­time re­al­ity shows. When we ask about his next step, his an­swer is coy but en­cour­ag­ing. “You know, my main thing is al­ways go­ing to be mu­sic, be­cause it al­lows me to ex­press my­self,” he says. “But it’s not just about singing any more, it’s about shar­ing my story and chang­ing the world one glit­ter kiss at a time. I want to help give the younger gen­er­a­tion – or any­one for that mat­ter – the courage to be who they want to be and push the bound­aries even fur­ther. That way, we can get closer to liv­ing in a fab­u­lous, happy, tol­er­ant world: a world where you can be who you are and no one feels the need to la­bel you.”

WORDS nick levine IM­AGES lee fair­cloth STYLING cal­lum vin­cent

GROOM­ING luke stephens US­ING NARS & NARS SKIN HAT BY VIC­TO­RIA GRANT FAUX FUR BY KATHARINE HAM­NETT SHOES ARE SEANN’S OWN RINGS BY VI­TALY DE­SIGN

LEFT DRESS BY DUSKLINE SHOES AND BAG ARE SEANN’S OWN

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