X Factor hopeful Aidan Martin is relying on viewers to keep his dream alive.
Aidan, 27, who grew up in Cleadon, sailed through the early rounds of this year’s ITV competition, performing his own song, Punchline, in the audition stage, then progressing through the bootcamp with a rendition of Clean Bandit’s Symphony alongside three other contestants.
And last week he came through the six-chair challenge at Wembley Arena, the first big singing round of the competition with a live audience, to be one of six contestants chosen by mentor Louis Walsh to win a place at the judges’ houses stage.
But there was disappointment this weekend, with Aidan failing to clear the final hurdle before the live finals.
He could still make it back onto the show, however, with a wildcard vote set to select one contestant from each category to be given another chance.
Viewers have until 1pm today to vote and the wildcards will be revealed on the first live show on Saturday.
Aidan admitted he was disappointed not to make it through, but is hopeful, the vote will go his way.
“It has been very tough, I am not going to lie, but I think I gave it my all,” he said.
“I have really enjoyed being there - I was so lucky to get that far and have the experience.
“Now the vote is my chance to get back in the show.”
Even if Aidan’s time on the show is over, he is adamant it will only be the beginning of a successful music career.
Aidan, who first hit the headlines when he appeared on The Saturday Show and Junior Stars in the Eyes as a youngster, said: “When I first auditioned I was really scared, I was petrified.
“There was a lot of pressure because I had kind of disappeared from the music scene for a long time because I was writing.”
Getting the chance to perform his own material had been important, he said.
“I did not know whether people liked my music, I was putting myself in the firing line.
“It is not easy being judged at the best of time, but especially when it is your music, but people got behind me and that makes me happy.
“If I was singing other people’s songs, I would hat have connected with it like I have. That was a game changer for me.”
Even if Aidan has sung his last on the show, he is grateful for the chance to have taken part.
“It has been an incredible experience and one of the best things I have ever done in my life,” he said.
“The opportunity that X Factor has given me has been fantastic. I feel very grateful and very humble.
“The support I have had has been unbelievable and to go through that and be the best ‘me’ I have ever been, both professionally and creatively, to be sat there has really boosted my confidence.
“There is going to be no stopping me now. This is just the beginning for me. X Factor is something that has come at the tight time, has allowed me to have a fan base and people who support me.
“And I want to thank the people who have really helped me.”
Voting details are available on www.itv.com/XFactor