X Factor stars James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas wow fans at Shrewsbury Buttermarket
They're like chalk and cheese –but singers James Arthur and Jahmene Douglas made Shropshire's big X Factor weekend a resounding success.
The X Factor winner and the runner-up brought their own styles to The Buttermarket in Shrewsbury, each of them getting a massive reception from more than 3,000 fans who packed the nightclub over Saturday and Sunday.
James, who soared back to the Number 1 spot with Impossible yesterday, couldn't have been more 'dressed down' with jeans and a hoodie, as he played an acoustic set with his guitar.
The following night, the Jah-mazing Jahmene sported a smart suit and full backing track.
But they both proved why they were the top two on the ITV show with half hour performances getting huge cheers from ecstatic audiences at The Buttermarket.
The unassuming Arthur, 24, was visibly taken aback when the noise on Saturday reached a crescendo. His five-song set was accompanied by screams and singing along throughout.
He performed his X Factor favourites, kicking off with Sexy And I Know It – which he obviously still doesn't – then the wonderfully sensual Let's Get It On, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, and Adele's Home Town Glory.
And he ended with his single Impossible, his fans already knowing every word.
He told the audience: "X Factor asked me if I wanted some time off. I said I would rather come and sing for you in beautiful Shrewsbury."
Youngsters George Mander, Corbin Spink and Olivia Knott, all 10 years old and from Shrewsbury, were among the first of 450 people who had a meet and greet with Arthur. "He was amazing," George said. "We all thought he was the best on X Factor."
And their mums Helen Spink and Lisa Manders agreed.
"He is lovely, we wanted him to win. He was worth the wait," they said.
Last night Douglas, 21, gave a dazzling performance with songs including Amy Winehouse's Tears Dry on Their Own, Robbie Williams' Angels and a brilliant rendition of Shackles, his gospel beginnings shining as bright as the small cross around his neck.
After the gig Douglas said: "Shrewsbury is such an amazing place, the architecture is great. I don't know why I haven't been here before."
He said he wanted to take his time recording an album.
"I want to make timeless music and without synthetic music," he said. "I really want to take time over it and not rush to bring out a pop song."
Jahmene fan Carole Johnson, 69, who has suffered from cancer, travelled from Banbury after being invited as a VIP guest by concert organisers and got to meet Douglas.
She said: "I entered the competition for tickets and didn't win but when they heard that I was recovering from cancer they invited me to come along.
"I had a major operation and was really struggling with depression. But when I saw Jahmene I realised that there was a reason to live. He is like an angel – meeting him was wonderful."
Kurt Durnell, from Shrewsbury, and fiancee Lisa Gibbs were both rooting for different finalists during the ITV show.
Mr Durnell said: "Many years ago I did all the lighting for Christopher Maloney who is a really great bloke and received a raw deal from the media.
"Lisa comes from Swindon and knew Jahmene from her supermarket."
Sheryl Miller, from Wellington, went to along to both gigs with 15-year-old daughter Leah.
She said: "It's great to have events in Shropshire. We loved James' Home Town Glory and I think Jahmene is the best vocal talent to come out of X Factor. I have been to gigs including Beyonce and Aguilera and Jahmene was vocally as great."
The entire Harris family, from Minsterley, were thrilled with the Jahmene appearance. Sharon and Neil took along children, Lucy, 15, Aaron, 10, and four-year-old Katherine as well as goddaughter, eight-year-old Jasmine Wilde.
Did you see James or Jahmene in Shrewsbury? Post your own mini-review in the comments below:
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