Before making it onto X Factor after two tries, a determined Ferguson scraped together her coins and came to New York to try out for the music mogul’s short-lived MTV reality competition show, P. Diddy’s Starmaker. “I was told I was staying in Central Manhattan in a big fancy hotel. That’s what it looked like on the website. But it was [actually] in Queens, in the red light district. The taxi driver got out of the car, gave me a hug and said, ‘Be safe!’ Now you know when a hardened 60-year-old New York taxi driver jumps out and gives you a hug…” she recounts, still laughing at her Coming to America moment.
“I fell in love with New York and I saw the struggle,” she continues. “The people at that audition were unbelievably talented. They didn’t have room for error and when they sang they meant it. Also, when they didn’t get through, they were so calm about it, whereas I was distraught. They were like, ‘You know what? Another day, another audition.’ I learned and matured a lot on that trip.”
Dress by Nicole Farhi, and shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti.