X Factor hopefuls ready for final

Published Thursday, 06 December 2012
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This year's X Factor finalists have been preparing for stardom over the last few days, with visits to their hometowns to be mobbed by family, friends and fans.

Hundreds of people turned out in Swindon when Jahmene Douglas turned up at the supermarket where he used to work, accompanied by his mentor Nicole Scherzinger.

The 21-year-old appeared overwhelmed as the crowd chanted his name, waved signs expressing support and had to be held back by security staff and barriers.

Jahmene - who tweeted en route that he had "the Crazy Nicole" with him - also turned on the Christmas lights and performed for thousands of fans in the city centre during his whistle-stop tour.

"I knew it was going to happen, but not this fast. It's happening really quickly, but I knew one day he would be a star," his proud mum, Mandy Wood, said.

"He's very excited - I think bubbly sums him up at the minute. He's just ready to go, ready to sing.

"We don't know what is going to happen, but I know he'll do his best, so that's the main thing. As long as everybody enjoys what he does, that's the main thing."

It comes after Nicole headed to Saltburn-by-the-Sea with her other act, James Arthur.

The pair rocked up on the back of a pair of Harley Davidson motorbikes and were also mobbed by enthusiastic fans before a hometown gig for James.

The 24-year-old has been tipped for success as a "credible artist" after his angsty performances on the X Factor stage, with even former Oasis star Noel Gallagher backing him to win the show.

"I want James Arthur to win," he said.

"I wouldn't mind the Scouser (Christopher Maloney) to win, as it would be great to watch him having a nervous breakdown eventually in about five years.

"I do like the X Factor, for my sins."

Christopher Maloney has been a controversial addition to the final three, having struggled to overcome criticism branding him too "dated" or "karaoke".

But he enjoyed a visit home to Liverpool with his mentor Gary Barlow - including, of course, a trip to see his nan and a gig at the Empire Theatre.

© UTV News
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JACKIE BELL
So it turns out that while the spotlight was on Andrea and Fleur, we were all sneakily voting for Ben Haenow.
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