Rik Waller – From Pop Idol to the Job Centre
Richard “Rik” Waller was born in 1981 in Kent and his road to stardom was a short and bittersweet one.
Today, you might recognize him from his cover versions of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”.
His hit single made No.6 in the UK Top Singles Chart during his time.
In 2001, the Pop Idol contestant with the voice of an angel captured our hearts during his audition performance.
And we immediately fell in love with him and got him into the final ten!
Unfortunately, we’re all gutted as the almost Pop Idol has since been forced to leave his almost singing career and revisit the job centre.
Through a series of unfortunate events, together we will unravel the bittersweet journey of Rik Waller.
“It’s why I don’t make a lot of effort to talk to the press these days – it can be more trouble than it’s worth.”
Says the singer during the end of his singing career.
Keep reading as we piece together the puzzle of what happened to this hopeful star.
In 2001, Pop Idol was the OG of talent shows of its kind to truly capture the nation’s attention and spawn of today’s ‘American Idol’.
With over 8 million people voting in 2002, people like you and me could have a say about our favourite contestants!
The vote for who will take home the trophy was in our hands and we were obsessed!
The engaging talent show also included then not-so-famous judges such as Simon Cowell, Neil Fox, Nicki Chapman, and Pete Waterman.
Did you know that Pop Idol was THE show that put major record label boss Simon Cowell in the spotlight?
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
18 years after his audition on Pop Idol, sadly the hopeful star is a far cry from where he had planned to be today.
Rik Waller nailed his audition and we gave him his deserved spot on the top 10.
Devastatingly, we couldn’t keep him as he contracted severe Laryngitis and had to quit the show.
I’m sure you were as shocked as we were!
Sadly, for the once hopeful crooner, competitor Darius Danesh was brought back in to take his place on the show.
Darius Danesh later went on to have quite a successful music career.
After all this, you would think that Rik is ready to hang up his singing career!
You will be delighted to learn that Waller signed a £400,000 recording deal with EMI.
Rik Waller released two top 40 hits, both of which appeared on his album From Now.
After being dropped by EMI, the hopeful singer decided to take his music out on the road.
Thankfully for his fans, he signed a deal with Red Admiral Records.
Just when you thought things were looking up for Waller, poor ticket sales have forced him to cancel three concerts.
You didn’t hear this from us, but one of his shows only managed to sell two tickets. We know, Poor Rik!
Rik Waller’s singing career then came to a halt after the release of his second album Innocence in September 2005.
He renamed his band several times to ‘Rik Waller’s Mighty Soul Band’, and again to ‘Rik Waller’s Unfinished Business’
Alas, his career never took off.
Rik Has A Taste On The Big Screen
While his singing career was struggling, the sedulous almost superstar appeared on several reality TV shows on the big screen.
In an attempt lose weight, the singer appeared on the first series of Celebrity Fit Club in 2002 alongside Ann Widdecombe and Coleen Nolan.
What could go wrong with attempting to lose weight on national TV? EVERYTHING!
Embarrassingly, his cut from the show made him famous for the wrong reasons as he was caught binge eating – Rik! What were you thinking!?
Relentless to give up, in 2004, Rik featured in another short-lived reality TV Back to Reality where he finished in sixth place.
The show put Waller in the spotlight again for the wrong reasons as he had fierce rows with fellow star Jade Goody.
Lastly in 2007, we witnessed his last appearance on TV as he did an obligatory identity parade as guest star on the panel game show Never Mind The Buzzocks.
Giving Up Rik Waller’s Career And A Pagan Wedding
Yes. You read that right!
In 2007, the short-lived star announced that he fell in love with a pagan and was finally giving up on his singing career.
When asked to comment, Waller said:
“I’m getting tired of singing and I can’t rely on it for 100 per cent of my income. I’ve got two people to think about now and talent doesn’t always pay the bills.”
Waller was said to marry pink-haired pagan-goth and starstruck fan Kelly Bliss and they were to have a Pagan wedding.
Although we’re not so sure how that will work out.
The two were said to have met when Bliss rushed up on stage to hug Waller during one of his performances.
Love at first sight. You wish your love life was this exciting!
According to Waller, he said:
“This is definitely the real thing and, although our pagan beliefs mean that ours isn’t an engagement in the conventional sense, we have bought rings as a gesture of love and commitment to each other.”
People also reported that Waller’s wife-to-be had banned him from ever performing again.
Losing His Voice For Good – An Unexpected Ending for Rik
Devastatingly, Rik Waller has completely lost his voice. We know, can’t he catch a break??
In 2013, he bitterly said to the Daily Mail:
“When you’ve lost the ability to do the job you’ve always done, it’s an incredible stab in the back to find people are actually laughing at you.”
He also added:
“The most demoralizing thing I’ve ever had to do was queue up at the job centre and have people look at me saying, ‘What a failure’.”
Since giving up on his singing career, he still lives with parents Kris and Christine at their hometown in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Rik Waller also announced that has officially changed his name to Richard, leaving Rik behind to begin his new life.
We’re rooting for him, and you should too!
He has since also experimented with new looks by trying out different hairstyles and colours.
We’re DEFINITELY Not Rooting For THIS, Are You?
Unsurprisingly, Rik Waller has since faced negative backlash from the media. Leave the guy alone!
A solemn Rik said:
“It’s why I don’t make a lot of effort to talk to the press these days – it can be more trouble than it’s worth.” “I was never attacked physically but I had plenty of people come up to me and be particularly offensive.”
Thankfully, the almost singer and reality TV star remains upbeat and optimistic towards his complete 180 change of career and we are all rooting for him!
“If you’ve got a roof over your head and food on the table, I don’t know how anyone can be truly unhappy.”
In the same year, Rik has managed to land a job as an exam invigilator who oversees secondary school exams.
You can only imagine the names he will be taunted with – teenagers can be mean!
Rik also kept his hand in the music business by running a mobile karaoke and disco business.
With his father and manager Kris, they tour several venues during his spare time.
He also said that he might try his hand in politics and honestly, we can’t wait!
Oh, and the Pagan girl friend? They’ve since split, and she was never heard of again. Surprise Surprise.
Thus, this is how the tragic but uncanny story of Rik Waller unfolds.
With so many unfortunate events occurring to the almost-superstar, I’m sure we can agree that life can be quite comical sometimes.
Nonetheless, his positive energy and relentlessness can be an inspiration to us all!
When life knocks you down as much as it did to Rik Waller, there are a million ways to get back up again.
When life hits you with severe laryngitis, change your name and become an exam invigilator!