She may only be 16. But Tamara Foster already has the confidence of a seasoned diva. The talented singer originally entered the X Factor auditions as part of a duo, only to be put through as a solo artist.
After forgetting the words at her first arena audition when she struggled through Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing, Tamara sang a pitch perfect version of Rihanna’s Stay, remembering every lyric, and getting through as one of Nicole Scherzinger’s final six girls.
But, Tamara took it all in her stride, later saying: “I knew I had it down. I wasn’t nervous. I had been practising loads and I knew it was going to be fine. Actually, I woke up and did 20 minutes of meditation that morning and then practised more. It calmed me.”
She did reveal that she started to feel nervous after taking her seat as one of the six girls through to the judges’ houses stage. This year, a new twist meant that judges can swap a contestant, even if they have already said yes to them, if someone else puts in a more impressive performance.
“I was scared someone was going to take my place. I was praying the whole time I was in that chair. I know everything happens for a reason, and that’s why I’m here. I’m just glad Abi Alton – who I’m close to – got through Bootcamp with me.”
Nineteen-year-old Abi, who has been compared to Ellie Goulding because of the unique tone to her voice, ended up taking Essex girl Lydia Lucy’s seat, a move which has caused controversy over the new X Factor rules.
While Abi was gutted at having to oust someone else, she has spoken about her delight at getting through. “Wow guys,” she says, “bootcamp was tough so im glad you thought I pulled it out of the bag!”
“That reaction from the audience was a little bit of heaven ” she adds. Gary Barlow described her as “amazing” saying she was a “real artist”.
Abi has also had support from fellow North Easterner, James Arthur, who won last year’s X Factor. “Well done @abialtonmusic reppin boro for us!” he says.
Abi and Tamara join Melanie McCabe, Relly Clarke, Hannah Barrett and Jade Richards.