FLAMBOYANT singer Craig Saggers has become Peterborough’s latest talent show star after sailing past the X Factor judges.
Craig (21), of Thorpe Road, Peterborough, and his co-singer Joe Al-Smadi, known as Diva Fever, are through to the Boot Camp stage of the show following a confident performance on ITV last night.
It means the former Jack Hunt School pupil follows in the footsteps of 2008 X Factor star Aston Merrygold, whose boyband JLS made it to the final of the show.
Another city-based star Nicole Lawrence was a hit on last year’s X Factor, before bowing out at the judge’s house stage.
However, it was not all plain sailing for Craig, as Diva Fever’s first attempt, singing The Beatles’ hit Let It Be, was panned by music mogul Simon Cowell.
Millions of viewers across the country watched as Craig told X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary that the duo were “really nervous” before hitting the stage.
And after Simon cut their version of the legendary track short, saying he thought they would be “more interesting” you would have forgiven Diva Fever for throwing in the towel.
Instead, Craig hit back, saying: “I’m singing my heart out because I’m not having a ‘no’.”
Moments later, Craig and Joe had the Manchester crowd on their feet while performing the lively Tina Turner hit Proud Mary.
Guest judge Nicole Scherzinger a singer with the Pussycat Dolls – replacing Cheryl Cole who was ill – also got in on the act, as she jumped to her feet to show her appreciation for Diva Fever.
At the end of their performance, Simon said: “That was a lot better than the first song.
“I don’t think you guys are the best singers, but you’re fun.”
Meanwhile, Nicole added: “I love that song and you got me off my feet.” Having smiled throughout the performance, Louis Walsh – who mentored JLS on the show two years ago – said: “There’s something about you two guys.”
Before adding: “I think people will absolutely love you.”
It was Simon Cowell who had the last word though.
He said: “Whatever time you’ve got available, you’ve got to work out something. We can split you from everyone else, but you’ve got three yeses.”
City star Craig and Joe then left the stage to cheers from the audience.
Only time will tell if they have what it takes to make it past the Boot Camp stage and into one of X Factor judges’ houses where selection for the live shows takes place.