X Factor hopeful Josh Daniel says the attention he’s had since appearing on the show has been “crazy”.
The 21-year-old moved the judges – including Simon Cowell – to tears when he gave an emotional audition on the hit ITV talent show.
The car mechanic took to the stage to give a moving rendition of Labrinth’s Jealous.
He told the judges the lyrics were special to him and that the song reminded him of his best friend, Thomas Woolley, who passed away in 2013 , just a year after accompanying Josh to his first audition for the show.
Josh, from Billingham, said: “Stepping out in front of the judges was scary. I’ve had experience on big stages before, but it’s a different kind of nerves knowing your life could change.
“I auditioned before in 2012 and got to boot camp, it was an amazing experience but that was where I learned I wasn’t ready.
“My performance was OK, but it wasn’t enough to stand up against the level of talent that these shows produce. Hence why I had to work on myself and head back this year.”
Josh moved judges Simon, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw to tears with his performance and sailed through to bootcamp with three ‘yes’ votes.
Simon, who had recently lost his mum when the audition was filmed, found it particularly hard.
He gave Josh a ‘yes’ but found it too emotional to say anything else and was seen walking off backstage afterwards to be alone.
Watching my audition on TV was so surreal. I was in London doing press at the time and had to watch it by myself in a hotel room, I just couldn’t get my head around it.Josh Daniel
Josh said: “Watching my audition on TV was so surreal. I was in London doing press at the time and had to watch it by myself in a hotel room, I just couldn’t get my head around it.
“Everything that happened with Simon backstage I hadn’t seen until it aired on TV too so that was a shock to me how deeply he was affected.
“The attention has been crazy and something I definitely didn’t prepare myself for, I had to be security escorted between hotels in Wembley because I couldn’t move for people.
“That’s an impact I never dreamed I’d ever be able to have and it humbles me so much to know people are showing such support and love.
“I’ve spoken to Simon since. Simon is a lovely, genuine man who has a lot of time for others, he shook my hand and gave me some incredible feedback.
“It feels amazing to get through to boot camp, but it means I have to up my game also, you always have to be improving throughout the show so the hard work begins.”
Now, Josh is hoping the North East will get behind him as he progresses in the show.
He said: “Live shows would be amazing, and to be involved on the tour especially. At that point your fate is in the public’s hands and I’d love to be able to show them what I can really do, week in week out.
“It’s always difficult to say if I’ve got what it takes to win, I will say I feel like I’m ready for what winning brings right now, and I’ll continue to do my best in the show and hope it’s enough to take me all the way.
“Of course I’m hoping that my hometown and the North East will be behind me, the worldwide support has been a dream come true but it always starts at home so I hope I’ve done everyone proud so far.”