IT WASN’T meant to be for singing sensation Jahmene Douglas as he fell at the final hurdle of the X Factor last night.
The 22-year-old was beaten to the crown by fellow finalist James Arthur, but in his time on the show he has brought nothing but pride to people across the town.
Whittled down from thousands of applicants, the Asda shelf-stacker made it through to the live shows while overcoming his almost debilitating nerves.
He got stronger as the live shows progressed, never finding himself in the bottom two on the way to the final in Manchester this weekend.
On Saturday night he overcame microphone problems during his duet with mentor Nicole Scherzinger to book a place in the grand final, while Liverpudlian Christopher Maloney was eliminated from the competition with the fewest votes.
And although he was pipped to the post by James, from Middlesborough, he remained his humble self in defeat.
“It is just a blessing to share the stage with such a talent,” he told host Dermot O’Leary, all the while grinning from ear to ear.
He also told James to “use the platform and use it wisely”.
Jahmene opened the show on Saturday in front of 10,000 people,, and came out fighting.
Dressed in a glitzy jacket, he “shook his tail-feather” with the up-beat number Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield.
Jahmene said he had enjoyed the chance to show he had the moves as well as an amazing voice.
“That was insane, I am just glad to do an up tempo song for once and loosen up,” he said.
“I want to win this to prove to people no matter your struggle you can succeed.
“I can’t believe I have made it through to the final three, I want people to see there is a fighter in me, I want to win this.”
Kelly Clarkson, Kylie Minogue, One Direction, Emile Sande, Rihanna and Rita Ora all took to the stage for the two-part finale.
Last night Jahmene was first to sing again, choosing his rendition of Angels, by Robbie Williams, as his song of the series.
During the live shows he dedicated it to his mum Mandy Thomas, and it was one of the songs he performed in Wharf Green on Wednesday when he turned on the Swindon town centre’s Christmas lights, during his homecoming.
He blew away the judges with his stripped back version, which had everyone on their feet and Nicole in tears.
Gary Barlow said: “In a way you have been in two competitions, you have been battling with your past and your future and you have done it with such dignity and grace.
“Another stunning night for you.”
Jahmene then did all he could to secure the public vote when he belted out what would have been his winner’s song, The Beatles’ Let It Be, which again got a standing ovation.
Speaking before his final appearance he said: “My audition feels like a lifetime ago now. I think it was quite obvious I was nervous, I was freaking out.
“I found bootcamp the hardest part of the competition.
“If it wasn’t for Nicole scooping me up I wouldn’t have gone onto that stage to perform, because she reminded why I had to perform.
“When I look back through my performances I see how much I have grown, before the X Factor I was just a plain example of someone who didn’t reach for their dreams.
“One of the things I worried about was making friends with people, I never realised we would just get along like a massive family and I’ve never had that kind of acceptance before.
“It’s not just winning the competition it’s winning in life.”
Throughout both live shows, the Swindon Advertoser’s web editor Stephanie Tye was writing a live blog as well as tweeting via @swindonadver and discussing the performances with our readers on Facebook.
Last night hundreds of people viewed the Adver’s status updates on Facebook, with dozens commenting and liking them, while our Twitter followers were also incredibly vocal and put their full support behind Jahmene.
Jahmene still has the X Factor tour to look forward to when he will be performing with the other X Factor finalists.
For tickets to the show, visit www.itv.com/xfactor.