X Factor’s George makes it through

A CLEVEDON teenager who spent his days serving coffee beat thousands of singing hopefuls to appear on the first live show of this year’s X Factor series on Saturday.

George Shelley, aged 19, initially auditioned for the ITV show in March as a solo act in front of celebrity judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh.

And at the show’s famous ‘boot camp’, the former pupil of Kings of Wessex Academy in Cheddar, was told he had not made it through to the next round.

However, the self-taught guitarist was then asked to fly to Las Vegas to join the band Triple J for the judges’ houses round.

George said: “When I got the call to tell me I was back in, it was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

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“When this opportunity came up I knew I couldn’t just let it go.”

George joined Triple J to form a new band – Union J – and after Saturday’s live show the group made it through the first public vote after performing Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

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The former graphics graduate was offered a place at Bath Spa University but decided to pursue his love of singing while working at Costa Coffee in Weston.

He said: “For a while my life was all about serving coffee to people, standing behind a till and just dreaming of singing for a job.”

George said one of the main factors which led him to audition was his musical family.

He said: “My granddad bought me my first guitar, which is the one I used for my first audition and my uncle got me into songwriting.”

His mum, 50-year-old Toni Harris, said: “Throughout the auditions he had a lot of family worries. His brother William, who is a Royal Marine, contracted meningitis during the audition process, but George was able to negotiate the family worries because of his professionalism.

“I’m so proud of him. He is so brave to stand up in front of thousands of people.”

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