Budding Leeds pop star Tom Bleasby has quit The X Factor – just hours after winning a coveted place in the Judges’ Houses round of the show.
The 19-year-old said he could not continue on the ITV talent search “for personal reasons” adding: “I don’t feel like I’m strong enough.”
Tom got through to the last six in the boys’ category of the programme after being selected by judge Nick Grimshaw in the Six Chair Challenge round on Sunday night.
But on Monday night, ITV released a statement saying: “We can confirm that Tom Bleasby has chosen to withdraw from the competition due to personal reasons.”
Tom added: “Due to personal reasons I have decided to withdraw from The X Factor. Thank you to all the Judges, especially Nick for his belief in me.
“I want to wish all the contestants the best of luck and thank you to the public for supporting me and my dream.”
In an interview with the ITV website he said it would have been “selfish” for him to continue in the competition.
He said: “I’m quite a relatively new singer. Back in March I was singing in my bedroom, so I’ve never took [sic] to live performing very well. I’m still discovering myself and in the competition there are some amazing singers and I feel like I need more time to get better myself, as I don’t feel like I’m strong enough.
“Moving forward, without being 100 percent, would have been selfish on my part because I would have stopped someone else who was at 100 per cent vocally from going further in the competition. Hopefully given time, I could get there with more time to grow artistically and vocally.”
The young singer praised BBC Radio One’s Grimshaw as a “fantastic” mentor, and thanked those who had backed him since his first audition back in August.
“Nick was incredible, he was so supportive and for him to give me a chair was a huge boost of faith,” he said.
“It was just an amazing feeling, but I was still having the doubts about myself and I didn’t want to be in the competition when I was having those doubts because I would have just sunk. Nick is a fantastic mentor and I really want to thank him for all his support.”
He later added on his Facebook page: “Make no mistake about it. I’m not stopping singing, the X Factor is just one path ... one that wasn’t right for me. I will make music.”
Details on what will now happen with Grimshaw’s category will be confirmed in the coming days, ITV said.
Tom had made it through to Judges’ Houses by the skin of his teeth after being seated, un-seated and then seated again in Sunday’s episode.
In the controversial stage of boot camp, each judge cuts their category down to six finalists for Judges’ Houses by granting one a seat on stage if they are considered good enough.
When all six seats are taken but a better choice comes along, a seated contestant can be swapped out of their seat – and possibly out of the ITV competition for good.
The teenager impressed with his performance of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Look to You’ and Grimshaw told him: “You have got something unique that I don’t think anyone else has got.”
However, the broadcaster also said he was unsure if everyone would like him.
Fellow judge Rita Ora told Tom his voice was “so unique, so distinctive and the audience really like you”.
Grimshaw finally made the decision to put him through after changing his mind twice.