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X Factor’s singing Archway barmaid wows viewers

PUBLISHED: 12:45 13 October 2011

Sophie will take to the X Factor stage on Saturday night. Photographer: Ken McKay

Sophie will take to the X Factor stage on Saturday night. Photographer: Ken McKay

Photographs © Copyright Ken McKay 2011

Singing barmaid Sophie Habibis wowed the nation with her first live performance on the X Factor on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old from Tufnell Park, who worked behind the bar in the Whittington Stone pub in Archway before making her way through to the final stages of the talent contest, sang her own rendition of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream to much praise from the celebrity judges, including her mentor Kelly Rowland.

Ahead of her performance, the show featured a VT of the former Acland Burghley pupil returning to the pub in Highgate Hill last week and pulling pints. She said: “Before X Factor my life was pretty simple, going to work and doing the simple nine to five. Everyone is really nice but it was never what I wanted to do.

“My friend applied for me last year for the auditions but I didn’t go to it, I just didn’t think I was ready – confidence is a big thing. This year she applied for me again and I was dead nervous but I’m definitely glad I went and I had the guts to go, because you don’t really realise how far this can get you. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

She added that she hoped people would grow to love her in the competition.

Sophie’s performance secured her place in the second live show and ensured she survived a shock a twist to the format which saw each judge forced to axe one of their four contestants live on Sunday night’s results show.

Judge Louis Walsh told her: “You’ve turned into a popstar overnight, it’s an amazing transformation. You are going to go far.

Take That’s Gary Barlow congratulated her on a “brilliant” performance and N Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos said of all the transformations, hers was the biggest, while mentor Kelly Rowland couldn’t heap enough praise on the singer.


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