WATCH: X Factor’s Wagner does Up-Helly-A’

Former X Factor contestant Wagner dons a Viking helmet to join an Up-Helly-A’ squad for the night, Photo: Steven Johnson

The rumours were true – X Factor’s Wagner is in an Up-Helly-A’ squad.

The Brazilian musician joined Squad 29 ToXic Factor for the tour of Lerwick’s halls.

After landing at Sumburgh Airport at about 2pm on Tuesday the singer spent the early evening rehearsing with the squad before taking in the spectacle of the procession.

And now he is experiencing the Up-Helly-A’ night, including hopping from hall to hall in the back of a truck. He even has his famous bongos with him.

Wagner, who appeared on the ITV talent show in 2010 spoke to The Shetland Times before he headed to the squad’s first hall at Clickimin. He said he was overwhelmed by the friendliness of people and was looking forward to the night ahead.

When asked to what he thought of Up-Helly-A’ he said: “I’m lost for words. It is very beautiful and it is fantastic how the whole population gets engaged and involved in such a friendly and festive way…

“It is one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed.”

Anticipating a night of revelry, he said: “Everybody tells me I have seen nothing yet and it is going to get better.”

The Clickimin crowd certainly seemed to appreciate his appearance with one young audience member screaming: “It’s the real Wagner!” The act was given a roaring cheer and round of applause when it finished with Wagner even performing an encore.


The singer was first approached by squad leader Kevin Williamson in May last year and agreed to come to the isles, having already heard of Up-Helly-A’.

Truck driver Kevin, who works for EMN PLant, said it had been a struggle trying to keep the visit secret but it was “fantastic” to get Wagner here.

He said: “Everybody is buzzing. It has to be the highlight of our Up-Helly-A’ career.”

He admitted there had been some nerves over whether the flight would arrive but once there was a bit of breeze “we knew there wasn’t going to be any mist”.

• For the best coverage of Up-Helly-A’ including from around the halls don’t miss Friday’s Shetland Times.


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