X Factor wildcard Jack Walton: “I almost hung up on Simon Cowell”

“I was at my flat and I got a phone call from a no caller ID, I was tempted to put it down as I thought it might be a prank, it turned out to be Simon…”

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Jack Walton has been chosen as this year’s Boys’ category wildcard by Simon Cowell, but he almost didn’t take the call.

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“I was at my flat and I got a phonecall from a no caller ID, I was tempted to put it down as I thought it might be a prank, it turned out to be Simon,” Jack reveals.

“I was so tempted when I first picked up the phone and he said ‘Jack, it’s Simon’ to be like ‘Simon..?’”

Jack didn’t even think Simon was calling about this year, initially chatting about returning next year and giving him tips on where his Judges’ Houses performance in Mexico fell short. But then the X Factor judge revealed he’d chosen Jack as Mel’s wildcard.

So he’s got straight-talking Mel as a judge, and the big boss Simon backing him. How does that feel?

“Simon’s one of the most powerful men in music. It gives me a lot of self-belief that I’ve been lacking. I’ll be a lot more confident and that’s what I’m hoping to give into it,” he tells us backstage ahead of his first live show performance.

Of returning to the Boys’ category with mentor Mel B, Jack laughs, “She seems happy. I hope she is!”

“She rung me up and said ‘It’s nice to have you back in the family’ and she said, ‘Don’t mess it up’. She’s really down to earth, that’s what I like about her.”

As for joining the ranks alongside the big voices of Paul Akister and Andrea Faustini, Jack admits, “We’ve talked about it. I’ve been saying, ‘Is my voice as big as theirs?’ But people prefer different types of music. I’ll just do what I do. Whoever likes that, thanks!”

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See The X Factor results show on Sunday at 8:15pm on ITV