The future is bright for X Factor finalist Luke

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former Beckfoot School pupil Luke Friend  and mentor Louis Walsh at a concert ahead of his X Factor final performance Former Beckfoot School pupil Luke Friend and mentor Louis Walsh at a concert ahead of his X Factor final performance

The dream of winning TV’s X Factor has ended for a Shipley-raised teenager – but music industry insiders still predict big things for him.

Luke Friend, 17, was one of the final three in the ITV singing contest, but was voted out during last night's live final when he received the fewest votes after performing to a 10,000-strong audience at Wembley Arena.

But the dreadlocked guitar player, who learned to sing at Shipley’s Debut Theatre School of Performing Arts, has been told he is still “going to have an amazing career” by his mentor Louis Walsh, and he himself vowed to carry on both performing and writing music.

And he can take solace in the knowledge that another act that finished third in the contest, boyband One Direction, have hardly suffered from failing to be named overall winners.

Luke and his family moved from Shipley to Devon four years ago, and is a former pupil of Beckfoot School in Bingley.

Louis Walsh, his mentor on the show, said the teenager had “something unique,” and predicted that the final would not be the last time he plays to huge crowds of adoring fans.

He said: “He’s going to have an amazing career, watch this space.”

After the result, Luke told presenter Dermot O’Leary that he was not going to give up on his dream of a career in music.

He said: “It was absolutely mental. I know everyone thought I was the underdog sometimes... but I got here and this is absolutely amazing.

“I’m going to keep writing music and doing something I love. I’m going to write music for you guys.”

On last night's show Luke performed a cover of fun’s 2012 hit We Are Young, followed by a duet with singer-songwriter Ellie Golding where they both played guitar and sang to her 2012 hit Anything Can Happen.

He was praised for his performance and stage presence, but viewers ultimately chose favourite Sam Bailey and Scottish teen Nicholas McDonald to progress into last night’s final.

In 2010 One Direction, which includes Bradford’s Zayn Malik, reached the same point in the competition, losing out to Rebecca Ferguson and eventual winner Matt Cardle.

The band has since gone on to claim three number one albums and sell more than 19 million singles and ten million albums.


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