Dagenham student who was too shy to sing faces glittering X Factor future

09:26 14 December 2011

Little Mix and Tulisa at The Liberty during the Little Mix homecoming,

Little Mix and Tulisa at The Liberty during the Little Mix homecoming,

Archant

Former teachers have praised a former Dagenham student who used to be too shy to sing before sweeping to victory on the X Factor talent contest with her group Little Mix.

The girls became the first group in the talent contest’s seven years to take the top prize of a £1million recording contract during the weekend’s final.

Before she convinced judges on the show’s panel, Jesy Nelson, 20, left lasting ­impressions with her teachers at Jo Richardson ­Community School (JRCS) in ­Dagenham.

Among those who spotted her talent early was music instructor Scott Richardson who worked very closely with Jesy, who is from Romford, and Little Mix when they first went to judges’ houses.

He told the Post: “She ­excelled in dance and drama, but was reticent to sing at school.

“Early experience ­onstage had affected her ­confidence and she felt awkward performing her GCSE coursework.

“Jesy approached me for some guidance with her first audition, and I was delighted to hear how she’d developed as a singer.

“When she called me to confirm that they had made it through to the live shows, I was ecstatic.”

Jesy entered the competition in August and moved on to the boot camp phase, where the judges put her into a group with Perrie, Jade and Leigh-Anne to form Little Mix.

Head of drama at JRCS, Catherine Cook, remembers her strong work ethic.

She said: “Jess was a wonderful drama student and cared deeply about her work.

“She had incredible ability to perform solo and as part of a group.

“She always rehearsed tirelessly for performances and indeed talent show dances. A lovely young woman.”

Assistant head Michaela Boller remembers Jesy from personal development education lessons.

She said: “Jess always could see issues from all perspectives and she made teaching the subject easy with her enthusiasm and ­empathy for what could be emotive topics.” Mr Richardson, who watched the girls perform Please Don’t Stop The Music said he was “proud to see an ex JRCS pupil fulfil a lifelong ambition”.

He said: “I hope them the very best for the future and am confident they will be a fantastic success as artists and role models for future generations of performers.”

Former winners of the competition are Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Includes a ‘Reasons I want to marry Harry Styles’ journal. You have been warned.

Read more

Midsomer Murders’ Neil Dudgeon has admitted DCI Barnaby’s new baby daughter Betty is hard work.

Read more

Joaquin Phoenix has compared picking film roles to dating.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Nothing says

iWOOT has a great selection of quirky Valentine’s Day gifts for every possible person and partner.

Top Stories

Quizzes

How well do you really know the Tube map?

Everybody thinks they know the Tube map but do you really?

Read more
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

It’s time to test your knowledge on the two London institutions: the Underground, and the boozer.

Read more
Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more