EXCLUSIVE “She’s wanted this since she was eight-years-old” – Lauren Platt’s dad backs teenager’s X Factor dream

Lauren PlattWITH her quirky style and soulful voice, 16-year-old Lauren Platt stunned the nation when her X Factor audition aired on Saturday night – and for all the right reasons.

Attracting 10.6million viewers on the show’s opening night, the teenager from Ramsden Heath was one of just a handful of artists to truly impress the judges, kicking off Saturday’s show with her stunning rendition of Queen Latifah’s I Know Where I Have Been.

Dressed in a casual oversized football jersey, Timberland boots and a red bandana to keep the hair off her face, Lauren earned herself four yeses from the judges, sending her straight through to the live arena stage of the competition.

“Lauren, I think we may have found someone special with you,” said head judge Simon Cowell after her performance. “I’m going to remember this name – Lauren Platt.”

Now that the show has finally aired (the room auditions took place back in June this year) Lauren’s family can’t contain their excitement for the rising star.

“It’s all a bit surreal now that it’s been on TV,” says Lauren’s dad, Brad Platt. “We were watching her Twitter followers go up from 200 to 2,000 in an hour on Saturday, it’s just fantastic!”

Supporting his daughter at the audition at the Emirates Stadium in London with friends and family, Brad couldn’t be prouder of Lauren and reveals that she thought long and hard about her song choice – a cover of the Queen Latifah track that featured in the 2007 film Hairspray.

“She loves big names like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Beyonce, but she wanted to sing something that would make her stand out,” explains the 42-year-old. “She’s always loved that song and knew it would be different to what anyone else would sing.

“The X Factor has been a real focal point for her but she’s never been old enough to audition,” he adds. “She’s wanted this since she was eight years old and I’m so proud of her.”

A former student at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, Lauren has been following her passion from a young age – a drive that has already seen her come second in local talent competition Factor Essex when she was 13, and named a semi-finalist on Open Mic UK two years ago.

But her natural talent isn’t something Brad thinks she got from him.

“She has such a natural singing ability but I don’t know where she gets it from – not me,” laughs the local company director. “I know it’s a difficult industry to get into, but I’ll support her the whole way.”

Having lived in Spain for 10 years and spending the last year studying for her GCSEs at The Billericay School, Lauren said that she is ready for her X Factor journey to begin.

“I do feel ready for it,” she says. “A lot of people will say I’ve just done my GCSEs and I’m only 16 but there isn’t anything I can say that is more important to me than this audition and I can’t just let it slip.”

Follow Lauren’s journey and other X Factor hopefuls on the ITV talent show this Saturday and Sunday from 8pm.

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