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