COMING home was the moment Jahmene Douglas felt like he had become a star.
Last week he was welcomed by 28,000 screaming fans, but things were a little bit more relaxed for Jahmene when he returned to Swindon yesterday.
Jahmene enjoyed his first day at home with his family since the show started back in September.
He returned to his home where he was greeted by warmth of his family, rather than the fans who queued for hours outside of Asda last week.
Since losing out to James Arthur in last Sunday’s final, life for Jahmene has been a whirlwind of press interviews and special visits.
The 21-year-old could not believe the response he received from Swindon, a homecoming that broke X Factor records, and said that is when he felt he had made it.
He said: “When I first arrived at Asda with Nicole we circled it by helicopter and when I could see the people who were waiting in the cold for me, I couldn’t believe it, it was insane.
“To see that support, and then be presented with the £10,000 cheque for Women’s Aid, it was something special.
“When I went to church, that made my homecoming, I hadn’t been to church for so long I think I needed it and I think Nicole needed it. Nicole put on the robe and she wasn’t singing she was ‘sanging’.
“Just to top the day off 28,000 people showed up for the light switch-on.
“It was just insane just standing on that stage.
“I felt like an artist at that moment, knowing that I had made it and I had won already. “That gave me a massive boost to go into the final and I think I was a different person in Manchester, I had confidence, I had already won.”
Since the final Jahmene has recorded a version of Silent Night for an Asda advert, and will be making a trip to the House of Commons next week with Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen.
It came out during the X Factor shows that Jahmene’s mother Mandy had been the subject of brutal domestic violence at the hands of his father, which resulted in his brother Daniel taking his own life.
Jahmene said the show gave him a platform to spread the word about the charities, like Women’s Aid, which are there to help victims.
He now hopes the music he releases will do the same thing and bring back what music used to be about.
He said: “I am the first youth ambassador of Women’s Aid and I want to continue supporting the charity in the amazing work they do.
“I know the darkest depths and if I smile it makes a lot of people who have locked themselves away have belief.
“I want to inspire people and start making music the way it used to be. If I can inspire one person then I am happy.”
For more information how to donate to Women’s Aid visit www.everyclick.com/mandy-thomas/info or visit www.swindonwomensaid.org/step for more information about the work of the charity in Swindon.