Exclusive: She’s been compared to Susan Boyle, Jade Goody and Barbra Streisand, but Stacey Solomon, the 20-year-old former King Solomon High School pupil tipped to win this year’s X Factor has spoken of her “humble” nature —and plans just to be herself.
With more than 70,000 Facebook fans and hordes of Jewish schoolchildren flocking to her Golders Green home every day, Stacey is fast becoming a celebrity in her own right. But in her eyes, she’s still just a single mother from Dagenham. Zachary, 18 months, is being looked after by Stacey’s mum, Fiona, while she is in X Factor. She misses him dreadfully and has been the only contestant allowed to visit her family every week. She said: “As the weeks go on it gets worse. I wonder where he is and what he’s doing but I’m so busy, constantly doing things.”
She said: “I don’t feel like a celebrity. I meet celebrities and think ‘oh my gosh’. This experience is so different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s mad. From living with just my mum and dad to living with ten people and getting a car everywhere — I’m used to the bus. I just think I’ve got to enjoy it while it lasts because it might all be over on Sunday.”
The country is fascinated with the bubbly, excitable young woman who transforms when she begins to sing.
She said: “Normally I’m quite humble and don’t like showing off, but when I’m performing I try to enjoy myself and I go into another world.”
But with her new celebrity status, she is now having to adjust to tabloid inches dedicated to gossip about her.
She said: “They can write and say whatever they want — what do I care? I feel like the luckiest girl ever. Things like this just don’t happen to me.”
And Stacey has not forgotten her roots. She completed four AS levels at King Solomon in Essex before enrolling in college, and hopes to pass on some of her musical talent as a teacher if her pop career does not work out.
She said: “My dad really wanted me to go to King Solomon and wanted me to be with people who have the same morals. I loved it there and still keep in touch with my friends from school.
“If this doesn’t work out, I want to stay involved in the industry.”
Despite her modesty, Stacey still believes she can go the distance and hopes that her fans will stick with her.
“I wouldn’t feel people should vote for me because I’m Jewish — but I hope they do.”