A CLEVEDON family are stirring up the town’s support for one of their own – X Factor contestant George Shelley, who performed on the first of the TV talent programme’s live shows this weekend.
Former Weston College student George, 19, sang with Union J, who are one of three groups in judge Louis Walsh’s category.
On Saturday night they performed Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now to mixed reviews from the judges, but yesterday were put through to the next stage of the competition by public vote.
George auditioned for the show shortly after completing a BTEC Extended Diploma in graphic design at Weston College’s Bath Spa campus.
He originally got through the preliminary rounds of the competition but was ejected during the show’s ‘boot camp’ phase. However, Louis Walsh intervened and asked him to join the three-piece Triple J.
The group were at the ‘judges’ houses’ stage, so singer and guitarist George travelled to Las Vegas to meet the rest of the band.
They hit it off, changed their name to Union J and were put through to the live shows.
George said: “I was so lucky to get another shot at it, and to get to Las Vegas.
“The guys in Union J are wicked – we’ve bonded really well.”
George’s family are stirring up support for him in his home town.
His mum Toni Harris, 50, has made posters that she has put up in Clevedon’s shops, pubs and takeaways.
The whole family, including George’s sister Harriet, 16, grandparents Dave and Ann Harris and grandma Dianne Shelley have also been wearing Union J T-shirts to support the boys.
George, who attended Golden Valley Primary School in Nailsea and then Yeo Moor Primary School in Clevedon, has always been interested in music.
His mum remembers him singing along to the Black Eyed Peas aged ten, and at 13 he was bought his first guitar by his grandad.
He went on to attend Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar, where he performed in various school productions including Animal Farm and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
“I’m so proud of him,” said Ms Harris, who lives in Somerset Road.
“When he entered X Factor I told him he needed to be strong, and ready to take criticism. But he has really done well so far and we can’t wait to see him and Union J go from strength to strength.”