Former Writhlington School pupil Jahmene Douglas has been tipped to win this year’s X Factor after securing his place in the final.
The 22-year-old, who worked as a fitness instructor at South Wansdyke Leisure Centre in Midsomer Norton, has become the bookies’ favourite after singing a tribute to his late brother Daniel on Saturday’s show.
Daniel Douglas took his own life in Bath in 2008 after witnessing horrific violence by his father Eustace, who was jailed for an attack on their mother Mandy five years earlier.
Contestants were asked to sing a song that meant something to them, with Jahmene choosing the Whitney Houston ballad I Look To You – the song he had started to sing at his brother’s funeral but had been unable to finish.
He said: “My brother was always there and now that he’s gone, I am the replacement for my sisters and my other brothers, and I want to show I am strong enough and I think this will be the turning point.”
His performance reduced judge and mentor Nicole Scherzinger to tears and impressed the audience at home enough to guarantee him the chance to compete against fellow male soloists James Arthur and Christopher Maloney at this weekend’s grand final.
Jahmene, who grew up in Peasedown St John, has since moved to Swindon, where he had worked in the chilled department of the town’s Asda store. He was due to switch on Swindon’s Christmas lights yesterday.