Remarkable rise of Croydon's homeless teen turned X Factor favourite
A homeless Croydon teenager has bounced back from being excluded at school to wow X Factor’s judges in this year’s competition.
Hannah Barrett, 17, was seen as one of the stars of the auditions this week on the return of the popular TV talent show, and has been tipped to go far in the show.
On Saturday the A-level student sang Emeli Sande’s Read All About It for the room audition which moved judges Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger to tears and left Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh visibly moved.
Similarly, on Sunday night’s show, the teenager impressed again with her version of Jennifer Hudson’s One Night Only.
The judges unanimously put her through to the next round.
The 17-year-old said her dad, who died two years ago, was her musical inspiration. She is currently living in temporary accommodation after falling out with her mother.
It has been a remarkable rise for the teenager who found herself excluded from Archbishop Lanfranc school and attended the Croydon African Caribbean Family Organisation (C.A.C.F.O) education centre.
Tony Harrison, chairman of the school of governors and a learning mentor, who taught Hannah for just under a year, said he was delighted with her progress.
He said: "We could give her the time which perhaps the mainstream school couldn’t. But she was reintegrated back into school again which was great.
"Singing isn’t something that has just come to Hannah, she sings everywhere. If she isn’t talking, she is singing."
He added: "She is very humble with it, she is not a show off, she just gets on with it. Hannah is a huge inspiration. Firstly to herself but also to other people who find themselves on the wrong side of situations.
"Hannah listened to people and learned to change her mind set. It just shows change is always possible."
The teenager, who works for Greggs, said she will work on her performances for the next round.
She told the X Factor website: "Friends always say you’re great but you need to hear the bad stuff. You need to hear how to improve your breathing and stage presence.
"I knew what the Judges were saying was true when they said I needed to get better at performing, and I hadn’t realised just how lost I get in the song.
"So, I went straight home from that audition and practised my performance in the mirror."
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