27-year old Sam Black - who garnered headlines after proposing to his girlfriend on stage right after his initial elimination - has been lined up to replace Anthony Russell on The X Factor.
Russell pulled out of the show for personal reasons but has continued to feature in the pre-recorded editions of the ITV show. However, now it has been confirmed that Sam Black will replace Russell on the show.
Black was booted off the show before the Six Chair Challenge after a cover of Del Shannon's Runaway left judges cold, but he will make a triumphant return to the show for the Judges' Houses stage after Louis Walsh deemed him a suitable replacement for the departing singer.
"Anthony has been fantastic across the series, a great singer and performer who we are really sad to see go" Louis told RadioTimes.com. "I had to think for a long time who could take the place. Sam had a great reaction from the British public when his audition aired, so I re-watched it and realised we missed a trick not putting him through at Boot Camp. He has that retro 60s style viewers will love. He's really likeable and talented and I can’t wait to hear more."
"Obviously, I feel terrible for Anthony because he is not only an amazing singer but also a lovely guy," Black told RadioTimes.com. "He has even messaged me good luck. I really appreciate the second chance I've been given and I feel so lucky to get this opportunity. My family and I are over the moon.”
Sam's first episode back on the X Factor will air on Saturday night on ITV