X Factor 2014: We nearly lost Andrea Faustini to the Italian X Factor

"Yes, I had to make a choice," says Andrea who feels his "heart and passion" are with the UK version of the show

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While backstage at the X Factor auditions yesterday, the name on everyone’s lips was Andrea Faustini as a potential winner. But we could have very nearly lost the pug-loving soul singer to the Italian X Factor. 

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Andrea reveals that having tried out for the Italian X Factor three times without even making it in front of the judges, this year he’d actually been given three yeses. But then he was also given three yeses by the judges on the UK X Factor. 

“I felt like my heart and my passion was here and is here now. Yes, I had to make a choice. I just knew that I wanted to be here,” he says. 

Even in his original in-room audition in London Faustini said, “I definitely love the English X Factor” when quizzed by Simon Cowell on why he wasn’t on the Italian show. “I really think the UK X Factor could help me be the singer that I want to be,” he added. 

And of course, being a huge Spice Girl fan (with his lucky Scary Spice doll to boot) it seems being here and part of Team Mel B has worked out pretty darn well for the singer. 

“I’m like ‘oh my god Scary Spice is calling me on FaceTime’,” he says of keeping in contact with his mentor. “She’s like a friend.” 

Of course Boot Camp was a whole other level of Spice Girl for the singer. 

“I was so happy because I was in Mexico, with Mel B, on the X Factor, Emma Bunton as a guest judge… I couldn’t be more happy.”

Faustini says he’s going to wow us with a slow but “very strong” song this Saturday night. 

Of live show nerves he says, “It’s like I’m both nervous and excited – a little bit of everything. It’s like living in a surreal world and I’m not realising what’s happening. It’s like, I’m not ready, but the fact that I’m not ready, makes me ready. I just can’t wait.”

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See The X Factor this Saturday night at 7:30pm on ITV