X Factor 2010 winner Matt Cardle has thrown his support behind controversial 2012 contestant Rylan Clark, saying he’s the “best thing” he’s seen in a long time.
Speaking to stv.tv last week – before the deadlock controversy surrounding Rylan’s survival over Carolynne Poole at the weekend – Matt opened up about his favourite acts on this year’s show.
He said: “I’ve been keeping up [with the show] on YouTube because I’ve been so busy in and out of the studio and mixing and all that kind of stuff.
“But there’s some really great talent out there. I think Ella [Henderson] is really good, I think James Arthur’s also really good too.”
Matt added: “I think Rylan is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time, him getting to Nic’s [Nicole Scherzinger’s] house!”
The It’s Only Love singer said he’s also behind flame-haired Scottish hopeful Melanie Masson, 44, who is competing in Gary Barlow’s Over 28s category.
“She’s great, she’s really great,” Matt said of the 44-year-old mum-of-two, who is married to Scottish actor Forbes Masson.
The finalists faced the first Live Show last weekend, with Carolynne Poole and Rylan Clark finding themselves in the bottom following the public vote. And, after Louis Walsh struggled to decide who to save, the vote went back to deadlock – with Carolynne being booted out of the contest as a result.
Now the remaining 12 will once again face the nerve-wracking live stage this weekend, when they return for round two.
Sharing his advice with the hopefuls on coping with their jitters, Matt said: “Just breathe deeply and try and calm yourself down. What will be, will be. Just go out there and give it your best, you’re there for a reason and just go out and have fun. If you’re having fun, that will translate to the viewer and the audience.”
He added: “Just enjoy it. You don’t know when you’re going to go. And unfortunately the first week someone goes and it’s a hell of a way to go to have it suddenly stop – so just enjoy every second of it if you can.”
Following his win on X Factor last year, Matt has now launched a successful solo career, with the singer-songwriter selling more than two million albums and singles.
He returns this month with his second album The Fire, which is out on October 29, as a follow-up to the platinum-selling “Letters*.
The lead single from the album It’s Only Love is out on the same day. Check out an exclusive acoustic performance of It’s Only Love which Matt recorded for STV.