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X Factor contestant and former student is a hit at Coleg Gwent

X Factor contestant and former student is a hit at Coleg Gwent


X Factor contestant and former Coleg Gwent student Russell Jones was welcomed back to the college last week where he sang for an audience of ILS students and staff.


The 25 year old from Pontypool was welcomed back to Crosskeys Campus where he studied music and performing arts for three years.


“The staff were always really supportive of me and said follow your dreams, so it is lovely to be singing here today. My advice to young people starting out is to do something you feel passionate about and follow your heart,” said Russell.  


“Being in Only Boys Aloud built my confidence and when someone suggested I enter X Factor I thought I’d give it a go, but I never thought I’d get through the first round!


“I’m dyslexic and music has helped me with reading and writing – I can learn the lyrics of a song quicker than reading a book. I’m grateful and enjoy every moment. If you can put a smile on someone’s face through music, it’s what it’s all about.


“I left school not knowing what to do. I did one year of Fabrication and Welding at the City of Newport Campus as I wanted a skill, but I didn’t love it like I love music,” added Russell.    


Head of School of Care, Debbie Field said: “Our students have had a fabulous time with Russell who has brightened a rainy day. We are very happy to welcome him back to college and hope to see him again soon.”  


Russell’s late father got him into music and he would join him performing for residents in care homes and day centres in the area. Russell then joined Only Boys Aloud and as part of the group reached third place in Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.


Out of 250,000 people who auditioned for the X Factor Russell reached the final 12, but failed to secure a chair in the Six Chair Challenge.

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