Sam Bailey rejected by Cowell as a teen
Sam Bailey was rejected by Simon Cowell when she was a teenager performing in ska duo Girls Next Door with her friend
This article is from 2013.
Sam Bailey was rejected by Simon Cowell when she was a teenager.
The 'X Factor' winner, who secured the Christmas number one spot last night (22.12.13) with her cover of Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper', was turned down by the music mogul at the age of 18 when she and friend Julie Nunney were performing as a ska duo, Girls Next Door, in 1996.
Sam, 36, and Julie, 35, had the help of Right Said Fred bass player Clyde Ward, who produced their track 'Too Late', but Simon, 54, wasn't keen on taking them further and the girls later went their separate ways.
Julie told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "We met aged 15. Sam was an amazing singer and we used to go to the local karaoke bars in south London.
"Cowell listened to the record we made and liked it. But he turned it down, saying he couldn't do anything with it because we weren't on the TV."
Julie hasn't seen Sam since they were 18 and now runs a pizzeria in Warrington, north west England, but she couldn't believe it when she switched onto 'The X Factor' earlier this year and saw the mother-of-two.
She added: "I saw her on the TV and screamed, 'Oh my god, it's Sam.'
"She has done so well. She has shown them all you can go out there and grab your dreams, no matter how old you are."
Meanwhile, Simon has dropped the biggest hint yet that he is set to bring former 'X Factor' judge Cheryl Cole - who was a panellist from 2008 to 2011 before quitting to do the same job on the US version, but she was sacked after just three weeks - back to the ITV talent show.
Speaking to radio station LBC 97.3, he said: "She was a really, really good judge. I mean, she took what she did seriously.
"She used to phone me almost every night - one, two, three o'clock in the morning, talking about songs and what she should be doing.
"That's the kind of judge you want to be working with on these shows, because they really care.
"I hope we're going to get the chance to work together.
"We have to find a way because we had a lot of fun."