SURPRISED student Sarah Watson is on her way to the US and the next stage of The X-Factor.
The Wakefield College student was thrown a lifeline by the ITV hit show when one of Kelly Rowland’s top eight girls left the competition.
The 16-year-old was flown out to Miami for the next round at the judges’ houses round after fellow contestant Sian Phillips was denied to get a US visa due to a previous affray conviction.
Miss Watson said: “Your head has no idea where it is, even when you get through you’re just thinking about what will happen next.
“I think getting turned down actually helped me to keep my sanity because I went back to normal life at college, so when I was called back I just kept thinking to myself that they hadn’t wanted me there so just see it as a great experience.
“It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
She was given 24 hours to practise the two songs for her next audition and got to train with the voice coach who works with superstar singers Kelly Rowland and Justin Timberlake.
College teacher Paul Dale-Vickers said: “I think Sarah’s had more of a dramatic journey than most and there’s such a big difference between making music and making it in that industry.”
Miss Watson is lucky enough to have an old friend from Hudderfield in the competition.
She has performed since the age of 12 with Ashford Campbell from the new boy group formed by the show, Nu Vibe, who have also got through to judges’ houses stage.
The musical theatre student said: “All the girls are absolutely lovely, we used to all hold hands together – Amelia is my favourite she’s amazing, I think a lot of people will be shocked at how amazing she is at judges houses.”
She will appear in the judges houses stage of the competition on ITV this weekend.