An X Factor contestant has vowed to use her surprise elimination as motivation to have a successful career in the music industry.
Natalie Kassanga is a member of the girl group Alien Uncovered who were voted off the ITV show on Sunday night - despite earning praise from the judges for their performance the previous evening.
The 18-year-old, who lives in Milton Keynes, said the X Factor disappointment would spur her on to keep working hard in her search for fame.
She said: “It was a bit of a shock. It may have been that people thought we were safe so didn’t end up voting for us. The comments we got on Saturday were incredible so to then be told we’re going home the next day was tough to take.
“We’ll be carrying on though. This isn’t the end, it’s definitely just the beginning. This door may have closed but it’s up to us to make another one open and we’ll be back in the studio straight away working hard. We’ve had a taste of it and we want more.”
Natalie said working with her mentor, Cheryl Fernandez Versini, had been “incredible” and praised the Girls Aloud star for playing a key role in the band’s development.
She added: “Cheryl was fantastic, at times you forgot who she was, she was just one of the girls. She enjoyed talking to us and sharing advice with us and we had even started planning our song for the second week, which would have had a bit of a Beyonce vibe going on. We’re gutted we won’t get the chance to perform it live on the X Factor.
“Performing on the show was incredible. The moment we went on stage the adrenaline flowing through your body is amazing, it’s an unbelievable feeling. All of us were absolutely buzzing and we were delighted with how we performed. We stayed true to ourselves and we couldn’t have done any more.
“It wasn’t meant to be for us this year but we have already had lots of work come in and we’re looking forward to getting out and performing for our fans.”
Natalie said she was now backing Reggie and Bollie to go far in the competition but also thought Che Chesterman and Louisa Johnson would be strong contenders.
Natalie urged fellow aspiring singers on music courses at Northampton College to keep working hard and added: “If you want something badly enough, it will happen. You’ve just got to keep going and keep believing in yourself.”