ASTON Merrygold is hoping everyone in the Lisburn area will get
behind JLS for "one last push" to see them crowned X Factor
champions in tomorrow night's final (Saturday).
group were ecstatic at reaching the final after a tense semi
last weekend, and they have had a busy week preparing for the
final showdown where they will perform up to four songs,
including a duet with a celebrity guest.
The boys were on the promotion trail on
Monday when they paid a visit to Aston's former school in
Peterborough, and they caused mayhem in Croydon, the home of
fellow band member JB Gill, when thousands turned up to see them
Four teenage fans were treated for minor
injuries at the Croydon show and Aston said it was surreal how
their lives are changing.
"It was quite scary, really," he said. "We
were in the hummer a mile away and were told it's not safe for
us. I walked down those streets a couple of months ago; I used
to work down there.
"My mum and dad have said 'you can't go on
the tube or on a bus, because it's all different now'. I still
think it's fine because I've done TV work before, but obviously
there is a wider range of audience with the X Factor; it is
just four acts left, last week's semi final was a tense affair
but two superb performances from JLS; who chose to sing
Rihanna's 'Umbrella' and Lonestar's 'I'm Already There', led
judge Simon Cowell, who said their performance was in a
"different league", to declare: "Not only after tonight do I
think you could make the final, I'm going to make a prediction,
you could actually win this whole show."
"Before the first song we were fine. The
first set of comments were amazing; Simon said it shouldn't have
worked, but it did and Cheryl said we smashed it, Dannii said
everything was amazing and Louis was supportive as always. Then
we got the second set of comments, which were amazing. We gave
it everything on that second song and the emotions were just too
much." Speaking about choosing a Rihanna track, Aston said,
"Chris Brown is more R'n'B, but Rihanna crosses over R'n'B and
pop and Umbrella is just a track that everyone knows. It was
number one for ten weeks and anyone who doesn't know it must've
been alseep that whole time. Everyone knows the words to it, we
just thought 'let's put our twist on it, it can go either way',
thankfully it worked out well."
boys were the first to be told that they had a place in the
final, and the relief was clear for the four members. "To be
called first is just relief," said Aston, "you don't want to
wait until that end moment."
"For Saturday we have to potentially learn
four songs, one we've done from the series, a Christmas song, a
duet with a celebrity guest, although we don't know who yet;
they have talked about Duffy, Seal, Beyonce, Boyzone, Take That,
any one of them would be great to work with."
The band will also get to perform their version
of 'Hallelujah', which will be the single released by the X
Factor winner, if they make it through to the top two of the
competition. "We want to show our version of it," said Aston.
"We are so proud of it. It's amazing to think it could be the
first JLS single and number one. We so badly want to perform it,
we all loved it, it's a wicked song."
Encouraging all of the local supporters to
get behind JLS tomorrow, Aston said, "Obviously this is the
biggest night, we want to say thank you for all of your support
so far and for putting us into the final.
are all so appreciative and we hope you can give us one last
push, that's what we are calling it this week.
"We need those votes on Saturday, this is as
far as we can come but we would love to win. The dream's already
started for all of us and anyone of us can win, it is definitely
all to play for. I just want to thank everyone again; please
keep supporting us."
JLS are 'winners already' says proud mum
SIOBHAN Merrygold has said that X Factor
finalists JLS are "winners already" after they made it through
to the final of the competition.
Siobhan, who is originally from Dunmurry, is
preparing to watch son Aston take part in tomorrow's final and
she admitted that it hadn't hit home the competition was coming
to an end.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," said Siobhan. "It
has been going for so many months and from week to week I've
been mentally strong, there's been the same behaviour;
butterflies, tears, but the last couple of weeks Aston has been
quite emotional and it is hard to sit there and watch that.
"They couldn't have gone any further, they
have made it through the journey. They are winners already
having made it through; nobody is a loser in the final."
Siobhan continued: "I thought they were
amazing last week, the live performances were unbelievable.
"I probably had a normal conversation with them for the first
time this week and they haven't changed at all. I wanted to
check in when they got the results and anybody would think
'that's fantastic', but they were just numb, I don't think it
had sunk in. They are just grateful for the opportunity, they
are not bigheaded at all, they have taken everything every day
and I don't think they will digest it all until after."
Speaking about Aston's homecoming to his former school on
Monday Siobhan commented, "It was fantastic. There were 600
people and it Was controlled. It was strange seeing these
teenage girls I've known since they were toddlers going crazy
and it was wonderful for the teachers who have supported him and
who have always been behind him getting to see him. All of his
family were there, myself and his dad, his brother and sister,
his grandparents and aunts and uncles; it was like a private
showing, only we invited a few hundred people to watch." There
was hysteria, however, when JLS performed in Croydon earlier
this week. "It's still unreal to see my son making the main
headlines of the national
news," said Siobhan. "Aston was absolutely
terrified. He rang me from the car and I thought there had been
an accident, he was in utter shock. The positive is that that is
their fan base; they recognise that they wouldn't be there
without the fans."
Following the final of the X Factor JLS will
be joining fellow contestants on a nationwide live tour, which
will arrive in Belfast on March 18.
"The extended family will be going to Belfast
to see them on the live tour," stated Siobhan. "If we want to
see them, we want to see them in Belfast.
"There is a new and interesting journey ahead," she added.
Katie Gorman, Caoimhe Gorman, Niamh Gorman, Clare Carvill
and Oliver Carvill from Lisburn who will be supporting JLS in
the final of the X Factor US5008-121A0
Relations show their support for JLS
LOCAL relatives of JLS member Aston Merrygold
have been busy drumming up support this week as the 20-year-old
prepares to take part in the X Factor final tomorrow night
Aston's mum Siobhan, grandparents Kathleen
and Jim Chambers and his aunts and uncles are originally from
Dunmurry, and local relatives are hoping to encourage everyone
in the Lisburn area to vote for JLS to see them crowned X Factor
One local relation, Briege Gorman, explained:
"There are a whole lot of family connections. Kathleen Chambers'
sister Margaret is married to my cousin. When JLS went through
on the show Margaret was on to us to let us know and everybody
is behind them.
"The kids have JLS t-shirts and the band sent
them signed pictures," added Briege.
Briege's children, Katie, 15, Niamh, 12 and
9-year-old Caoimhe, along with their cousins Clare and Oliver
are fully behind the group and are encouraging all of their
school friends to vote for JLS in the final.
They are running up big phones bills," joked
Briege. The three that I wanted to see in the final from the
beginning are there, but we are fully behind JLS to win. The
kids keep saying, 'one vote could be the one that could tip it.'
"Niamh will be 13 over the weekend. To celebrate, her auntie
Maggie is having an X Factor party on the final night, the 13th
- JLS to win. Hopefully 13 will be lucky for some."
Kathleen, second left, with the rest of the
family and mum Siobhan, back right.
Lisburn support is 'extra special' says
ASTON Merrygold's grandmother Kathleen
Chambers has said the support for her grandson in the Lisburn
area is "extra special" for the former Dunmurry resident.
Kathleen, who lived in Seymour Hill with her husband Jim and
four children, including Aston's mum Siobhan, said: "I must
admit while reading the article in the Ulster Star last week, I
was crying. My poor husband did not know why, but all my happy
memories of Dunmurry came flooding back.
"The support in Peterborough is lovely," she
said, "but to have such support at home is extra special."
Kathleen joined fellow family members at Aston's former school,
the Jack Hunt School in Peterborough on Monday when the JLS boys
paid a visit after making it through to tomorrow's final
(Saturday). Kathleen said, "We had a really full morning, all
our family were invited as guests and an X Fator crew filmed
everything. It was wonderful watching all of the students and
teachers going wild."
Kathleen and the family were able to spend
some time with Aston during the morning, however his hectic
schedule didn't allow for any time alone with him.
"They brought us into a side room but they
wanted to do an interview, you don't get to spend any private
time at all, it takes a bit of getting used to" said Kathleen.
"They arrived back in Peterborough in a huge
limousine with their initials on it. I got talking to one of the
boys afterwards and he said it was quite frightening with
everyone banging on the car, he said to me `now I know what the
Beatles faced'. But it was lovely, absolutely lovely.
"Saturday went beyond our expectations, it's
a wonder you didn't hear us screaming in Lisburn. After the
result we didn't know who else went through or anything, it
wasn't until the next day that we found out when we watched it
"Proud isn't just a word for it, we are
bursting. Even though we watched it on Saturday night and we
know the result, the brain still
does not take it in. Sometimes you think,
'that's not our Aston'. "Saturday was like being on a
rollercoaster. We were thinking, 'they've done well' and trying
to console ourselves if they went out, and then the performance
they put in was outstanding and you're thinking 'there's a good
possibility they are going to do it'. I had my fingers
absolutely dug into somebody else's arm and I didn't even
realise. And then there were the cheers and the tears."
Speaking about the local support for Aston
and JLS Kathleen said: "I just want to thank everybody who has
been voting for them. I want to send my heartfelt thanks to all
of the Ulster Star readers."