WATCH: Former Hartlepool X Factor contestant’s busking video goes viral

Michael Rice

Michael Rice

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A former Hartlepool X Factor contestant busking has gone viral with a clip of his street performance being viewed more than half a million times on YouTube.

Michael Rice’s take on Years & Years song is an internet hit with the clip of his low-key performance in a doorway in York quickly going viral.

The former chip shop worker Michael, 17, first captured the hearts of the public after a breathtaking performance of Whitney Houston’s I Look to You on the ITV show last year.

He stunned the judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini former Spice Girl Mel B, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh belting out the track and won his place in the boot camp before falling short of the judge’s houses stage.

Michael, from Hartlepool, went to York on a whim a week ago to showcase his talents - and the clip taken by a bystander has now been viewed 700,000 times.

He said: “It’s crazy!”

Michael Rice on The X Factor

Michael Rice on The X Factor

“I went to York to busk around two weeks ago and someone filmed me and put it online.

“Then whenI woke up the next day I saw that everyone was sharing it and commenting on it-even people from Sweden and France.

“I couldn’t believe it!”

Since the X Factor he has supported Nicole Scherzinger and Jess Glynne wihile writing his own music in London.

Fireworks at Seaton Carew. Entertainment from Red Dreams' Michael Rice.

Fireworks at Seaton Carew. Entertainment from Red Dreams' Michael Rice.

The young preformer is now under Maximum Artist Management -the same maanagement as The Wanted and The Saturday’s but is yet to secure a record deal.