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James Smith

Upminster’s James Smith prepares for BGT final

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
3.30 PM

A teen is well on the way to becoming a household name, as he prepares to perform in the Britain’s Got Talent’s grand final tomorrow night.

James Smith, 15, from Upminster, was named the second semi-final winner of the nationwide talent contest last week, after he performed his own version of Gnarles Barkley’s Crazy.

His mum, Della Smith, said: “It is absolutely fantastic news and just really phenomenal that he has got this far.”

James started singing when he was nine-years-old when he won the Essex Park Resorts karaoke competition at Valley Farm holiday park in Clacton, Eseex, singing Devil in Disguise in an Elvis-inspired leather jacket.

James first learned to play guitar four years ago, expressing a love of old music.

He sang Nina Simone’s swing classic, Feeling Good at his first audition.

James, when he spoke of his audition, said: “When I get nervous, I get really cold. I don’t know why but I do and back stage before I went on to audition, I started jumping up and down so I probably looked a little strange.”

Throughout the week, on top of practicing his song for tomorrow’s final, James made an appearance on Time FM and appeared on ITV’S This Morning yesterday

He has also been asked to perform on Youtube music channel SBTV, and performed at an assembly at his school, which was filmed by the BGT camera crew for the show.

He also went down to his dad’s toiletries stall in Dagenham Market, which he has owned for 14 years.

Around 200 people turned up after he announced his visit on his Twitter page.

James said: “It has been a really great experience so far but I think the best bit of it is just the exposure and I have loved ever bit of it, as to sing in front of so many people is amazing.”

Tune in to the final of Britain’s Got Talent at 7pm.

Watch a video of James’ return to the Dagenham market above.