Last updated: November 22, 2010

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Search for lost soul in a cave - Altiyan Childs' bizarre meltdown

Altiyan Childs

Meltdown ... X-Factor contestant Altiyan Childs / Pic: Cameron Richardson Source: The Daily Telegraph

X Factor contestant Altiyan Childs has explained his bizarre disappearance from rehersals as a need to reconnect with "beautiful sadness" in a cave in Sydney's northern beaches.

Altiyan spoke with special host Ronan Keating and Jackie O on 2Day FM this morning to set the record straight about the time in his 'cave'.

"It kind of hit me randomly at about 2am that I had to reconnect with part of my sadness, it’s my secret power it’s what drives me through the song and ignites that part of me, it’s got to do with sadness, I needed to go back to somewhere where I felt an intimate romantic thing with an ancient memory and it worked," he told the show.

"I fell asleep at sunrise and my phone died."

As the eldest X-Factor contestant awoke, he realised he was supposed to be practising with his mentor Ronan Keating, not be alone in a cave on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

What he was doing there on Tuesday morning is the interesting bit.

He'd sung U2's Beautiful Day on Sunday night.

The reaction from the judges and viewers was awesome - but then Childs disappeared and went AWOL from rehearsals.

"I felt the need to press the reset button and remember things, to rekindle a romantic twist which has been dead for a long time," he said after returning to the show yesterday.

"I just needed to go back to that place, an ancient friend of mine. It was not one event, but the build-up and relief at the switch in my life where I've been finally accepted."

The cave, a special place for Childs and his former fiancee, called and he arrived there at 2am on Tuesday.

Their five-year engagement ended eight years ago, but the hurt remains and Childs has been celibate since.

"I was broken, a piece of me was broken and I didn't think it was repairable. I'm not used to comfort and compliments because I have never been accepted before.

"I needed to know what to do with the contentedness and beauty of it all, and I needed that place to do it," he said.

"I needed to reconnect myself to something romantic, something ancient, and I needed the isolation.

"I wasn't running away from anything - I needed a place that meant something to me. Somewhere I could get reacquainted with intimacy."

But all the spiritual stuff disappeared when he fell asleep at dawn - freaking out Keating when he failed to front for work.

"My phone died while I was asleep and I missed a whole workshop and upset people," Childs said. "I rushed back to civilisation and I realised it was 1pm. It was bad. I had commitments at 8am and I wasn't there"

But his show goes on, at least until Monday's vote-off.

Read the full 2Day FM interview here:

Ronan Keating:

He doesn’t show up we honestly had no idea, the man is here now and he can tell you.

Jackie O:

He’s feeling very remorseful this morning.

Altiyan:

Can you tell?

Jackie O:

I can, you are very embarrassed about what’s happened I think.

Altiyan:

Yes I certainly didn’t expect any of this to happen.  To be official I’m far from breaking point, there’s no meltdown happening here, it kind of hit me randomly at about 2am that I had to reconnect with part of my sadness, it’s my secret power it’s what drives me through the song and ignites that part of me, it’s got to do with sadness, I needed to go back to somewhere where I felt an intimate romantic thing with an ancient memory and it worked.

Jackie O:

So what was the significance of this cave?

Altiyan:

The cave is kind of a little secret place, I was introduced to it many years ago, I was very much in love at the time, she left an incredible impact on my life, she left a scar that carved me and helped me grow.  I needed to remember her like it was yesterday and I thought the only place I could do that is the place we shared together, I saw her, I usually look up into sky and just see her face in my mind but I needed to be somewhere where we stared at each other. 

Jackie O:

How long ago was this relationship?

Altiyan:

About nine years.

Jackie O:

And your heart is breaking still for that relationship?

Altiyan:

The only thing that was more difficult than tearing myself away from her was tearing myself away from music.

Jackie O:

Has X Factor just brought it to a head where you haven’t had a chance to be on your own or process what’s going on?

Altiyan:

That’s true that’s definitely part of it, I’m not used to too much comfort or compliments, going from being a reject...

Jackie O:

To everyone loving you...

Altiyan:

Your words.

Jackie O:

You went into this cave at 2am in the morning... then what happened that you were missing in action and no-one could get a hold of you?

Altiyan:

I fell asleep at sunrise and my phone died.

Ronan Keating:

No plug sockets in your cave...

Altiyan:

It was a broken socket in the cave.

Ronan Keating:

Oh come on what sort of caves are you staying in?!

Altiyan:

Even the sun didn’t wake me up I needed that deep sleep.

Ronan Keating:

It was panic stations because we hadn’t had time to rehearse the song together.  It will be a little hit and miss on Sunday, but we’ll get there, fingers crossed.

Jackie O:

Are you ok now Altiyan?

Altiyan:

I am gloriously sad, which is a very good place, it’s beautiful.

Tell us who your X Factor favourite is below.

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Comments on this story

  • Stephen of Fairlight Posted at 4:37 PM October 21, 2010

    Altiyan. You are a REAL person, huge talent and totally engaging performer, to hear that you went 'bush' to collect your thoughts only re-affirms that you are flesh and blood not paper mache'.Go ahead mate take what's yours.

  • Linda Long of WA Posted at 4:08 PM October 21, 2010

    hope he is ok! my friends n i looove altiyan n we dont want him to get kicked out of the competition! love u heaps dude! xxx

  • Lin of WA Posted at 3:05 PM October 21, 2010

    Yeap, he is certainly a different character and very interesting to watch, think he should perform an INXS song!

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