There was something very special about The X Factor UK shows this year
I hope you watched them, they were inspiring. They were inspiring because of the artists involved – particularly the two finalists…
The winner as you probably know was 23 year old James Arthur, and 22 year old Jahmene Douglas was runner up – well so called runner up, as to anyone watching they are both winners. It wasn’t just that both have amazing voices and gave great uplifting performances – I found James particularly moving – it was rather that they have come through in life against the odds, and are inspiring for that. Yes these guys have been put to the test and have come through when so many of our young get broken and knocked back by their experience of life. Their stories remind us that where there’s hope and a will, there’s a way – okay, granted, it helps to have more than a smattering of talent too.
The healing begins
Both have come from harsh broken home backgrounds in England. James Author experienced spells in care and time spent on the streets after break-ups within his family. The audition of The X Factor was especially poignant for him, as he revealed his father and mother had not talked to each other for many years – and this was a reunion of sorts – they came together for this event to support him. Giving a live performance wasn’t entirely new to James as he had fronted a number of local bands before coming onto the show but that didn’t alter the experience that each song he sang he put his own mark on it, made it sincere, believeable, and from the heart. What is noticeable in his voice is the rawness and wounding of a man baring his soul – and hence very powerful and compelling.
Read more about James Arthur
If James Arthur had it tough it was no easier for Jahmene Douglas. Here is a guy who came not just from a broken home but from frightening circumstances. By all accounts his father could get very violent and took his family to the edge at times. The Daily Mail newspaper reported how his father in one nasty episode threatened his mother with a blowtorch. This was so bad that Jahmene believed he would not see his mother again. He commented, ‘Last night, before my father was arrested for the blowtorch, that was the only time I thought: “I won’t see my mother in the morning.” So, when you wake up – I didn’t wake up, actually, as I didn’t sleep – and your prayers have been answered because she’s alive, it shows no matter how bad things are, there’s always something to remind you that you can pull through.‘ Pull through he certainly has done, but not before sadly his older brother, Daniel, took his own life when things had gotten so bad. Daniel’s parting message to Jahmene was that he must become a singer. From having stacked shelves in a supermarket to now winning hearts and minds with a voice so musical, so gospel, and the heart of one who is finding his rightful place in the world – he is definitely singing and pulling through to where he belongs.
Read more of Jahmene Douglas story.
What I found touching over the series of shows wasn’t so much the talent these guys displayed – which they had in spades – but just how genuine and nice they are. I got a real sense they won’t lose that genuineness so easily going forward in the often manipulative and celebrity driven pop music culture – I trust they will remain true to themselves. From what he told The Daily Mail, Jahmene certainly won’t be getting too ensnared in celebrity status, ‘I’m not here for money and fame and all that stuff‘, he said, ‘I have my own priorities and try to keep myself grounded in what my mission is.’ And he has a serious mission: ‘A lot of singers have forgotten they have a responsibility through influencing people – mainly the younger generation. So all these foul songs – they don’t realise how badly they’re poisoning children’s minds. I’m trying to bring back the class of the olden days and hopefully set some standards.’ And you know what – I believe him! Indeed I believe these two braveheart stories offer a beacon of hope for many a wounded trooper. Live long and prosper guys – all success – and all success to The X Factor.
Visit The X Factor at ITV.com to have a listen to these guys!
Useful link: Check out Dr Shefali Tsabary’s thoughts on conscious parenting
Article by FON