Jahmene Douglas has revealed how he was invited to audition for The X Factor 2012.
Producers asked Jahmene to sing for the judges after spotting one of his cover versions on his YouTube channel.
Speaking ahead of the final, Jahmene said how he never expected to get past that first audition.
He explained: “I didn’t see past that audition. I just thought: ‘Go out there and sing and go home.’ My eyes were closed for most of it. When I sing I always take myself to church and that bubble. It’s calm, a different plane.”
Jahmene now credits the show with boosting his confidence, although he confessed it’ll take time for him to become completely comfortable.
“I think everything takes time,” he said. “You can’t go from being in the depths straight to being strong – even now I’m learning.
“When my father was around, you had to be a certain way. I wasn’t allowed to sing. I wasn’t allowed to do anything. He didn’t want us to go to church. He stopped us from going to Sunday school.”
Praising his mentor Nicole Scherzinger, Jahmene went on: “She phones me. She talks to me. She’s there, I think, more than any of the other judges are for their acts. She’s crazy in a good way. I’ve just fallen in love with her. She’s my big sister now.”
Jahmene is the favourite to win the competition but he insisted that coming top of the votes means very little for him.
He said: “Winning can mean a lot of things. There’s winning the competition, then there’s making an album and being successful – that’s the winning for me. If I’d left two weeks ago but made an album that was successful and made a difference, I would have won.”
Browse pictures of the judges and finalists arriving for the X Factor 2012 final below…
The X Factor 2012 continues this weekend with the live final in Manchester.
Chris Maloney, Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur will be battling it out to be crowned winner, while there will be performances from One Direction, Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora, Kylie Minogue, Rhianna and Emeli Sande.