Screaming fans, being mobbed on public transport, and people camping outside their hotel are becoming the norm for Union J now they’re on X Factor – and it’s only week three.
Stopsley lad Jaymi Hensley and his group Union J stepped up their game on Saturday night’s show, and their performance not only got them enough public votes to go through to the next stage, but also received a great reaction from the X Factor judges.
Former Putteridge High School student Jaymi found time in his hectic schedule to catch up with the Luton News yesterday.
Jaymi (pictured) said: “X Factor has been absolutely amazing so far, but it’s really hard work. That’s the biggest eye-opener; the 14 hour days, always working, but we can’t complain because it’s what we’ve always wanted and it is incredible. It’s everything I thought it would be and more.”
When Jaymi spoke to the Luton News he was about to be driven back to the X Factor hotel by his dad because he can’t take public transport any more without being mobbed by fans.
He said: “We have about 300 fans camped outside the hotel every night, and we have to hide getting in and out of cars otherwise we get absolutely mobbed. It’s just weird. We haven’t had much time to read the papers and things as we’ve been so busy but when we do see ourselves in them it does feel strange.
“We’re in this little X Factor bubble and it feels like we’re just in a local talent show, you kind of forget you’re actually on national TV because it’s so surreal.”
Union J performed Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love mixed with James Morrison’s Broken Strings on Saturday for the ‘love and heartbreak’ themed episode.
After disappointing comments from the judges in the first live show for their poor song choice, the group were relieved by the feedback on Saturday.
Gary Barlow said he saw a “total transformation” in the group and Nicole Sherzinger said: “If you keep growing and performing like that, you’re going to be selling out the O2 one day.”
Jaymi said for the next show the group want to put their own take on a song again.
He said: “We want to show we are credible artists in the competition, up there with the likes of James (Arthur) and Lucy (Spraggan). I think Ella is so talented – she is like my little sister on the show. I don’t think I have ever met anyone so incredibly talented beyond her years. Ella, Lucy, James and Jermaine (Douglas) – to be up there with those five would be amazing.”
Proud parents Jackie and David Hensley and younger brother Aaron Hensley, 17, were in the audience for the show on Saturday.
Jackie said: “We could hardly hear the singing or the judges’ comments because of the noise in the studio – the fans were screaming so loudly.
“We’re so proud of Jaymi and it’s all been fantastic so far. We got to go backstage and meet their mentor Louis Walsh – who immediately asked Aaron if he could sing, too!”
Before Saturday’s show Union J were given advice by X Factor alumni One Direction, who have sold millions of records worldwide since their time on the show.
Jaymi said: “We were standing there thinking wow, you’ve had all this success and you’re here talking to us, it’s just amazing.”
Follow Jaymi and the boys on Twitter: @UnionJWorld.
> And Luton born Bond actor Colin Salmon (pictured above) is still going strong in Strictly Come Dancing.
The 6ft 4in actor impressed the audience and the judges with his Viennese Waltz on Saturday.