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Who is X Factor 2016 contestant Samantha Lavery? Everything you need to know about Simon Cowell's live act

Meet the teenager hoping to make her grandad proud at the live shows

Published: Sunday, 13th November 2016 at 5:30 pm

The X Factor 2016 live act: Samantha Lavery

Age: 17


From: A small village near Durham

Mentor: Simon Cowell (Girls)

Who is she? The student has been singing for six years and has recently begun to take her music seriously. She counts her grandfather as her number one fan and her biggest inspiration, as he was a singer who had to give up on his dreams to support his family.

Samantha Lavery's first audition

Samantha brought tears to Sharon Osbourne’s eyes with her performance of Explosions by Ellie Goulding.

Nicole Scherzinger said it was “dope”, which is apparently the highest form of praise from the American pop star.

X Factor journey

It has not been smooth sailing for Samantha.

When she performed Jessie J’s Mamma Knows Best during the Six Chair Challenge, Simon Cowell slated her and refused to give her a seat, explaining that she had over-styled herself and the “song was horrible”.

Fortunately she was given a second chance when Louis Smith chose her as a Wildcard contestant.

Simon critiqued her “distance” and pop star persona at Judges’ Houses and it looked like she might be sent home yet again.

But the music mogul was appeased when she came back later in the day with a stripped-back look, having removed her dramatic eye make-up. She then belted out Ed Sheeran’s Make It Rain.

“I think you and your granddad are going to be really happy,” Simon said, before giving her a spot in the live shows.


Weird fact 

Samantha claims to be able to do a great dolphin impression, although we have yet to see any solid proof. Perhaps she could incorporate it into a performance?

The X Factor 2016: Meet all the live acts


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