Jonjo Kerr, Chorley’s singing soldier, has won through to the live finals of The X Factor, Britain’s most popular TV show.
The 28-year-old has become the first serving soldier to appear in the final 16 of the ITV1 talent contest and now has his future in the hands of millions of viewers, who vote for the eventual winner.
Last night viewers saw judge Louis Walsh, who also mentors the over-25 competitors, pick Jonjo in Barcelona along with Sami Brookes, Kitty Brucknell and Johnny Robinson.
They had been flown to the Spanish city for the judges’ houses category where eight singers aged 25 and over performed for Walsh and 80s singer Sinitta.
Although Sunday night’s show was pre-recorded Jonjo, who is based in Wiltshire, had not told his family about the result.
Last week mum Donna Robinson said: “We’ve known how talented he is and been telling him to go on X Factor ever since it started, but the last few weeks have been mad.
“Everytime they show him on telly I can’t help but burst into tears. I knew he had auditioned and he rang me to tell me that all four judges said ‘yes’ and that he was through to boot camp, but he has been secretive ever since and we have just had to wait and watch it on television like everyone else.”
The infantry soldier and former Albany Science College pupil will be joined in the finals by young singers Frankie Cocozza, Craig Colton, Marcus Collins and James Michael, who were all hand picked by Gary Barlow while singer Tulisa Contostavlos chose groups 2 Shoes, Rhythmix, Nu Vibe and The Risk, while Kelly Rowland chose Misha Bryan, Janet Devlin, Sophie Habibis and Amelia Lily,