Belfast Telegraph

Honey G has been the star of X Factor, says Dermot O'Leary

X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary has described former contestant Honey G as the highlight of this year's show.

His comments came ahead of this weekend's series finale, and two weeks after the controversial rapper was eliminated from the competition.

He said: "For me it's about the characters and Honey G has been great.

"There have been moments where we've all watched and thought, actually, that was alright, she was pretty good.

"Some of my mates have called me up to tell me their kids are obsessed with her. She has definitely been one of the stars of the show, in terms of performances."

When asked which of the three finalists - Matt Terry, Saara Aalto and 5 After Midnight - he would like to see win the show, he said it would be "ungallant and inelegant" to pick one, but he added the " standard of singing has been brilliant".

Judges Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne all accompanied their singers at the red carpet event in Wembley, north London, on Thursday, giving them some last words of advice ahead of the final.

Osbourne said she has told Finnish contestant Aalto: "Just to be herself, because that's what got her here.

"She is a prime example to every young girl in this country, and in Finland, that she has a dream and she won't settle for anything less than that dream coming true."

Scherzinger advised recently single Terry to use the attention from female fans as "inspiration".

She said: "Sing to your mum, sing to your nan, sing to all the girls out there, honey. Use it, enjoy it, but stay focused."

Walsh, who confirmed he will return to the show for at least another two series, described his group 5 After Midnight as one of his favourite so far.

And he told them: "The most important thing is that you stay together."

It has been a busy week for the contestants as they took time out from rehearsals to return to their home towns for special performances.

Aalto returned to Finland, where she sang in front of 10,000 fans.

Explaining that she was a "nobody" when she left the country to compete in the show a few months ago, she described her enormous welcome home as a "fairy tale".

O'Leary, who joined her on the trip, said: "There were a hell of a lot of lakes, and bear pate, which I wasn't a big fan of. But the people are lovely.

"Thousands turned up just to meet her at the airport.

"She did four songs in their Trafalgar Square, with a Christmas market in the middle, and it was fantastic."


From Belfast Telegraph