Rachel was rich.
From her childhood, she had lived in luxury. Going to the finest school in London, then to the best high school and then to a famous college.
She never had to worry about money, a resource most of the world loses their sleep over.
But reality was far from different.
Her father and mother never got along well and there were always fights in the family. Being the youngest of her siblings, she was always compared to them and more often than not, she was made to believe that she wasnt enough. No matter what she does, she cant be as good at studies like her elder sister or good at sports like her elder brother.
The atmosphere was never good and maybe because she was frustrated with her father, her mother would often scold Rachel a lot to siphoning off her frustration.
But things truly became worse when her mother found out that her father was cheating with another woman. She still remembered the face of her mother as she was screaming at her father with tears.
Her siblings were old enough to deal with it but she wasnt. She was just 9 back then.
It affected her a lot mentally and maybe it was after that, she became cold. It was just to deal with people. A defence mechanism.
She didnt want anyone to get close to her as she has already been hurt too much at a young age. If someone got close to her, they would leave. Thats what she had experienced and in the end, she could only depend on herself.
She felt like it was better to be alone than hurt.
She might be cold, act like she doesnt care but in the end, its just her personality now. After years of acting like that, the act became a reality..
The only thing she ever liked and was good at was singing and music.
Thanks to her being from a rich family and learning instruments being something taught in high society, she was able to learn more about music.
Still, her wanting to take music as a career was something that was never taken seriously by her family. They wanted her to get a more respectful job and get married into another rich family.
Although they were rich, traditional values never left. They just evolved a bit.
Thats why, as soon as she graduated from college, she went to America, wanting to have a fresh start without her family surname, deciding what she can or cant do.
And in the end, X-Star was her first big opportunity.
“X-Star is the best opportunity I can get to do something I like. I know being a singer isnt easy and I dont even know if Im talented enough, but I really want to give my best to try to win the competition.”
Rachel was currently in the middle of an interview just before the next round was going to begin. Marlo was doing an interview of every contestant one by one to edit it in the broadcast.
Smiling a bit, Marlo asked, “You have been in the competition since a while and are touted to be one of the most famous contestants, at least going by the online craze for you. How does it make you feel”
“I feel good because it would help me get a bit closer to the title of the winner.”
She was saying this because in the next rounds, viewers voting was going to start and any social media fan following was going to be vital.
Marlo liked her mentality. Everything she had answered was one way or another connected to winning the competition. She was very sure of her goal.
“Have you gotten close to any other contestants Two people passed the second round with you.”
“Not really.” She shook her head. “Michelle is mostly with her group and I have not talked a lot with Aiden. I am not in the competition for friendships.”
“But isnt some closeness good After all, a lot of other contestants are getting along fine with each other.”
Marlo asked, wondering how he should edit her earlier sentence. Just editing it like shes saying “Im not in the competition for friendships” without any context would surely get a lot of eyeballs.
“They might be getting along. But Im not like that. I dont know if I can trust anyone here. I dont really trust a lot of people generally.”
“That means you do trust a few.”
Rachel made a troubled expression hearing that and Marlo decided to grab onto it. If he didnt, then he wasnt a good host.
“Can you add to this”
“Uh, well.” Rachel struggled with her words and frowned a bit. “I used to have people I was close with but there were not many and after I came to America, we stopped talking. That happens a lot, so it wasnt surprising.”
“So, you are not looking to make more friends”
She shook her head and gave a firm reply, “No, Im just here to win. Nothing more than that.”
The interview finished with that and Marlo thanked her and asked her to leave. He still had to interview some other contestants, so every interview was quick.
As Rachel left the interview room, she felt a bit weak. In the interview, Marlo had asked about her family and it had brought back some unpleasant memories.
She shook her head, trying to not think of those memories.
“I can do it. No matter what, I just need to focus on winning. After I win, I will finally be able to make a name for myself…”
At that moment, she suddenly heard footsteps and stopped talking to herself. From around the corner, Aiden walked in, making her scared for a minute.
“Hello, I guess your interview just ended.”
He said but Rachel didnt reply. Her face had become hard, wondering whether he had heard her mutterings or not.
“Is everything okay” He asked, not getting any reply from her.
“Yeah.” She finally said. “You dont have to worry.”
Saying that, she walked past him and Aiden stood there, processing the weird and awkward conversations.
‘Why is she always acting like that
He frowned before going towards the interview room.
“Your challenge in Star Weeks first round will be a group challenge.”
When Andrew said that, all the contestants gathered on the stage started whispering among themselves. They were certainly not expecting another group challenge.
‘Another group challenge This is X-Star, not MasterChef.
Aiden thought as he waited for Andrew to explain more about it. He had an overall bad feeling about this round.
“This challenge wont be the same as the second round. You all will be assigned in groups by us and theres going to be a theme for it. Maybe you will understand more about the challenge by its name. Its going to be calledBand challenge.'”
Steven explained more about the challenge while making eye contact with all the contestants.
“Rock bands are famous all over the world with all sorts of popular musicians coming together to make excellent music. Im pretty sure you all are fond of some rock bands yourself too.” He continued his words with a smirk. “In this round, four people are required to come together to form a band and perform a song which means at least three people in each band need to play some kind of instrument.”
Aiden suddenly remembered the time he was filling the form for X-Star. There was a question where they asked if you could play an instrument. Maybe, it was just because of this round.
“As we have a group among us.” Alyssa looked at Michelles group. “Theres going to be five bands with four of them consisting of four members and one of them consisting of three.”
“A band will pass as a whole, so if you have a good performance, the whole band will pass. Likewise if you mess up, the whole band will fail.”
Andrew finished it and with that, everyone understood the gist of this round.
Aiden had realised that the show has a way of throwing contestants into uncomfortable situations that they wont expect. Contestants around him were busy thinking if they were any good in instruments.
In his eyes, this round was way harder than the second round. They would need to play the music themselves and there could be only one vocal. Maybe, a sub vocal can be there but two people needed to focus alone on the instruments.
This just meant that they would need to keep aside their differences, egos and pride and focus on just giving a good performance.
‘I cant just be assigned with just anyone here.
As the judges were going to assign them in their teams, Aiden could only wish that he didnt get assigned with someone who he cant get along with.
Otherwise, he could very well be eliminated right after reaching Star Week.
Dont forget to vote with your power stones 🙂