20:00 EST, 7 December 2012
21:15 EST, 7 December 2012
It’s safe to say previous male winners of The X Factor have failed to make the album sales so many predicted.
However, there’s one singer in tonight’s final that is determined he will sell records – regardless of whether he wins or not – James Arthur.
The 24-year-old, who had a difficult childhood which saw him living rough and in foster care, is optimistic about the future after wowing the judges and viewers with his unique take on chart classics.
Has he got The X Factor? James Arthur prepares to fight for this year’s title in tonight’s show
He told the Daily Mirror: ‘I find the statistics ridiculous, the blokes that have won before have had a niche, they haven’t sold records because they haven’t made great albums. That’s the bottom line.
‘This show has evolved. If either me or Jahmene won, the albums will be good and they will sell.
‘There’s creative control this year, there hasn’t been that before.’
Ahead of Saturday night’s live final at Manchester Central, James has been hard at work in rehearsals.
Nervous? James rehearsing for the X Factor Final at Manchester Central on Friday
He’s also been practicing a duet with his mentor Nicole Scherzinger.
While he’s openly admitted to having a crush on judge Tulisa, he insists he has never thought about Nicole in that way.
He told Cosmopolitan: ‘I can’t even look at her in that way because she’s so far out of my league.’
While his fellow finalists Jahmene Douglas and Christopher Maloney have battled nerves, James has always seemed more confident.
However, he has been more withdrawn when
it comes to expressing himself during interviews, only truly coming out
of his shell when on stage.
Duet: James rehearsing his duet with his mentor Nicole Scherzinger
Having battled depression before he auditioned in Newcastle earlier this year, James ended up receiving medical treatment after suffering a panic attack in one of the earlier live shows.
But as the weeks went by, James’s confidence in his abilities has grown.
Despite a wobble after he ended up in
the bottom two with the equally talented Ella Henderson a few weeks ago, James is in the
final and is one of the favourites to win.
Ready for the big night: James and Nicole enjoy a moment on two stools on stage
Can you hear me? James goes through a soundcheck in preparation for Saturday’s live show
The full James Arthur interview with on Cosmopolitan’s website
James, from Saltburn,
near Middlesbrough, admitted going ‘off the rails’ when he moved from
Bahrain to Britain with his mother Shirley when he 14 after she split up
from his stepfather.
said: ‘I started sleeping rough when I was 15. I got kicked out of my
mum’s house and I didn’t really care where I slept. I understand why she
chucked me out because I was unbearable to live with. She couldn’t cope
with me because I was so angry.
‘I didn’t have a male role model and I
couldn’t relate to her so I lashed out at her. I either crashed on
someone’s couch or a park bench. I was a pretty tough kid, but I had to
steal food a couple of times. I went to supermarkets like Sainsbury’s
and filled up a plastic bag to try to steal enough food for the week.
‘They did catch me once or twice, but they never called the police – just told me not to come back.’
James eventually put himself into foster care, but struggled being apart from his four sisters.
When he auditioned in Newcastle, he was supported by his mother and father Neil, the first time they had been in the same room together for 22 years.
What will he sing? No doubt James will be putting his own twist on popular songs tonight
Continue reading here:
X Factor: Why James Arthur could break the X Factor’s curse on it’s male winners