‘I didn’t really get to show what I want to be’ - Norfolk singer Leon Mallett reflects on his time on The X Factor

Leon Mallett was the third contestant to leave The X Factor. Picture
Syco / Thames

Leon Mallett was the third contestant to leave The X Factor. Picture Syco / Thames - Credit: Syco / Thames / ITV

X Factor star Leon Mallett is looking to the future after his departure from the show.

The 22-year-old singer, from Lingwood, near Acle, was eliminated from the show on Saturday after receiving the fewest public votes.

Leon entered the competition in a duo, performing alongside his brother Alex, however, Simon Cowell separated the pair and Alex was eliminated from the competition.

Leon was later knocked out of the competition at the Judges' Houses stage, before being reintroduced as one of four wild cards voted back in.

MORE: Norfolk X Factor hopeful Leon Mallett becomes third contestant eliminated from live shows

His roller coaster ride may at last be over, but Leon reflects positively on his journey.

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'I can't say anything bad about the show, it's given me so many great opportunities and I have a nice little fanbase behind me now,' he said. 'It has done me a world of good. I can go and be me now.

'I'm used to gigging in and around Norwich, but now there are opportunities and doors opening for me all across the country.'

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Leon said the experience of performing live to millions of TV viewers was quite different to performing in small venues across Norwich.

'Week one I was really nervous, but once you get about 30 seconds into the song you start to feel at home,' he said. 'The in-ear headphones mute all sound from the studio and all you can hear is your track - so you can see everyone screaming, but you can't hear it. It's almost like some kind of weird dream.'

When it came to the live shows, Leon said he gave his best even though the odds were against him.

'Up until the live shows everything was in my hands, but then a lot more people got involved and I didn't really get to show what I want to be,' he said. 'Plus, as a wildcard, I got last pick of songs, and a few I wanted to do were already taken.'

Leon is not lingering on his elimination and plans to make the most of his new-found exposure.

He said: 'For the time being I'm going to focus on playing live shows, but once the time is right, I'm going to start working on some original material.'

As for Simon Cowell's criticism of the outfit he wore on Saturday night's show, Leon thinks he knows where he went wrong.

He said: 'Maybe if I grew a few hairs on my chest and had my shirt undone a bit he'd have liked my outfit more.'

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