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Lauren Lovejoy

October 2014

AS well as the stunning voice and distinctive beehive, it was Lauren Lovejoy’s quirky charm which helped her win over the X Factor judges.

Millions laughed along as the 25-year-old singer from Gamston compared each of them to animals. Simon Cowell was a lion, Cheryl Fernandez-Versinia a Persian cat, Mel B a panther and Louis Walsh a seal.

What wasn’t aired was the reason she sees everyone that way.

“I see people as animals is because I have Asperger syndrome,” she says. “It’s the way I see the world.”

Lauren adds: “I told them that I was here to sing, which is a huge passion of mine and the only thing I’m in control of, but I also want to show everyone watching that it’s possible to achieve what you want in life, whatever your disability.

“I wanted parents of children with autism and even older people with the condition to be inspired by that.

“Obviously they didn’t have the time to show everything so that was edited out. But I wanted people to know that I have Asperger’s and I’m not bonkers.”

Cheryl posted a photo of a seal on Instagram, that had just under three million likes, saying: “Just in case you missed last night’s episode of X Factor... we had a contestant who has the ability to see the animal spirit in people. She saw Simon as a lion, me a Persian cat, Mel a panther and I believe her full unedited sentence was ‘Louis would be a seal sitting on a rock in Skegness’.”

Says Lauren: “It was huge. I had two million hits on Twitter from that.”

After she sang Peggy Lee’s Why Don’t You Do Right all four judges gave her a “yes”. Simon said he really liked her, Mel that her voice was “very distinctive”, while Cheryl proclaimed “I wasn’t expecting that!”

She went through to the next audition at Wembley Arena.

“I was the last one on at about 20 past midnight so I was really tired but I performed really well. I did a soulful version of Radiohead’s Creep. Cheryl really liked it and asked where I’d got my dress from. Louis said I’d impressed everyone. Mel B had to jet off to New York so she wasn’t there. Simon Cowell said ‘I don’t know if I like you.’ And I said, ‘Well, at the end of the day I am who I am’ and people started clapping.”

For a second time, all four judges said “yes” and Lauren went on to the boot camp, in Cheryl’s team of girls.

For that round she sang Rihanna’s Unfaithful.

After boot camp, the unlucky contestants – Lauren among them – were sent home without any feedback.

“I wasn’t offended because some of those sent home with me were incredible singers,” she says. “I just wasn’t what they were looking for.”

The Wembley Arena and boot camp rounds weren’t aired on the show for any longer than a minute, as producers focused on the final 48 contestants battling to be chosen for the final six chairs in each category.

As a result, fans of Lauren had no idea what happened to her.

“It was a really good experience and I did loads of interviews with the Xtra Factor because they thought I was so funny,” she says. “But I want people to know that I went on The X Factor to sing and to inspire others with autism or Asperger’s. Not to be funny.”

Since her appearance, Lauren has been recognised frequently.

“I was shopping for underwear in town and someone asked me for a photo with them. The security guard came over and I thought he was going to help me but he asked for a photo as well!

“I was in a club when the DJ stopped the music to announce that I was there. And in pubs people have been taking photos of me. I don’t mind any of it because people have been really nice.”

So what happens now?

“I’m very confident about my career. I feel I do have something to offer. I’m now looking for a good music manager and for producers to write with.”

ASPERGER’S is considered to be a part of the Autistic spectrum. People diagnosed with Asperger’s have a neurological difference (a difference in brain structure and function). This gives them areas of advantage and strength but also areas of challenge compared to the rest of the population. Autistic people have a different and not defective style of communication and often a different way of viewing the world, this is incredibly valuable and the contribution Autistic people make to society in immense. Many however, can struggle in some areas of their lives, being different to the majority can bring challenge.
Findout more at autisticnottinghamand

LAUREN is an ambassador for Autistic Nottingham. Chairman Nikki Stevenson says: “What people like Lauren show is that autistic people have incredible talent and warmth – she is an excellent ambassador to both Autistic Nottingham and to Strong Bones Charity. “We are immensely proud of Lauren’s accomplishments with The X Factor and in her wider public life. What Lauren beautifully demonstrates is that being different can and does work for autistic people and is a shining example to all of those autistic people out there who feel that life is difficult. Lauren’s message is that you should never give up and that we can all shine if we strive for success.” Last year she filmed a video for her song Dontcha Go at the Three Wheatsheaves pub in Derby Road, with a 60s theme including mods on scooters and vintage cars. Her vocal style has been compared to Macy Gray and Shirley Bassey. Her very first performance was aged 15 at a school concert. As a model, she reached the final of Miss Universe Great Britain and won both the Miss Congeniality and Miss Not In Vain crowns.
For more about her visit 

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