County Durham teenager Sam Lavery has delivered another stunning performance on ITV’s X-Factor talent show. Last week, she impressed the judges with her powerful rendition of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song. This week, on a special Halloween ‘Fright Night’ edition of the programme, it was her version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart that wowed the judges.
Sam, 17, received a standing ovation for her performance of Earth Song from every judge except ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. But this week even Nicole praised her song as “beautiful” and “a masterpiece.”
Simon Cowell, Sam’s mentor, did get some boos when he gave a less than enthusiastic assessment of her performance. But, rather than blaming Sam, Cowell criticised himself for not helping Sam enough. He said,
“You’re better than this. If anyone is listening thinking it wasn’t good enough, it was my fault.”
Cowell assured Sam that she should get enough votes to progress in the contest.
Best Feeling In the World❤️ pic.twitter.com/mn5qBGVo9g
— Sam Lavery (@SamLavery_) October 29, 2016
Sam is from the County Durham village of Coxhoe. And all the village’s residents are backing her on her X-Factor odyssey. Banners have gone up on Coxhoe’s Red Lion pub and the local chemists shop. The parish council have had hundreds of flyers and posters printed urging people to vote for Sam. Sam’s mam, Tracey, said,
“Sam was over the moon when she saw the pictures of the banners on the Red Lion. She’s played a few charity events there and they say they have to get extra staff in there whenever she sings it gets that full!”
“Every house and all the shops have posters. The village is totally behind her. I’ve never felt so much love from the village. It’s a lovely feeling.”
“She’s seen it all and she can’t believe all the support. Newcastle and Sunderland football clubs are getting behind her too.”
And Sam popped into Saint James’s Park during a surprise visit home this weekend, where she enjoyed watching the Magpies beat Preston.
On her trip home, she also called in on Tracey at work. This was shown on Sam’s VT, causing judge Sharon Osbourne to say she was “welling up.”
Sam’s grandad Ernie, an ex-miner who put his own singing aspirations on hold to work down the pit, said,
“It’s a dream come true. When you see her sing you can hear the power in her voice.”
The Red Lion’s landlady, Charmaine Newton, said, “People come in and say ‘I hope you’re showing the X-Factor mind!’ Like everyone else in Coxhoe, we’re so proud of her. She’s put the place on the map and everyone is talking about her. She’s so natural and down-to-earth and I’m sure she’ll do well.”
To vote for Sam Lavery, phone 090 20505106 from your landline or 6505106 from your mobile. You can also support her by downloading the X-Factor app and using your five free votes.