Joe McElderry, South Shields’ star!
Most of South Shields was exceptionally quiet last night, streets emptied, as virtually the whole town joined in the 20m people following the fortunes of 18 year old Joe McElderry on X Factor. The Temple Park Centre was packed to the rafters, as was The Old Ship in Sunderland Road (despite much of Joe’s family being in London) and many other pubs in town, and when it was announced that Joe had won the collective cheer would have been audible on the moon.
Joe’s victory will provide an enormous boost to the town and it’s people and help provide a little extra feel good effect as his debut single, a cover version of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” is all but guaranteed to occupy the Christmas No. 1 spot, it is not known yet when Joe will be able to make another homecoming visit but you can be assured that it will create a big stir when it happens.
The Mayor of South Tyneside Cllr. John Anglin was at last night’s live TV link up at Temple Park and nearly needed to be tied down, he was so excited about Joe’s “stardom” that I’m sure his feet were already thirty centimetres off the ground!
“It was always a case of when Joe was going to win, not if, and now his dream has come true.
“He is a real star and has a remarkable talent so I am sure he will be number one at Christmas.
“He is a great ambassador for South Tyneside and we are all so proud of him.”
Meanwhile Joe’s mentor from Girls Aloud, Newcastle born Cheryl Cole couldn’t cope with the tension and was late back to her judges seat on three occasions after nipping back to her dressing room to shed a few tears for the lad she treats like a little brother. Joe’s rival Olly Murs was graceful in defeat. and he too will reap some rewards from his own success, the result of course was never in any doubt with Joe being the odds on favourite with the bookies, and as this table of voting percentages shows, Joe has been the front runner for last five stages, and in last nights vote he polled a crushing 61% of the vote.
The Sun reckons a trip to the States beckons for Joe with the possibility of a £5m deal brokered by Simon Cowell, and Joe is already looking to use his first royalty cheques to look for properties, one for himself and another for his mother from the Westoe area of South Shields. It’s been an incredible journey for young McElderry since first winning his way through to the boot camp stage of X Factor two years ago, when he fled in tears fearing that he was not good enough, he went on after that to pick up a Pride of South Tyneside Award before steeling himself for another crack at the X Factor feeling more confident and comfortable in his own ability and he has become the only X Factor winner to have experienced what it is like to be amongst the bottom of the pile in the early stages, Joe said:
I wasn’t ready the last time and I just walked out of Boot Camp. I was only 15 and couldn’t handle the pressure, but I’m a lot more confident and mature now. It’s amazing to have come back and won.
“After the first time on the show I said I’d never do it again because at the time I didn’t feel ready or confident.
“When I went back I remember thinking I wouldn’t get past the first audition, thinking it would be the same as before and they’d send me on home.
“But now that I’m here, having won the whole competition, I just can’t believe it.
“It’s a dream come true and I know I can achieve anything now.”
Joe now becomes South Shields’ biggest singing sensation since Gerry Monroe and the feel good factor probably outshines the (narrow) defeat suffered by the Mariners in the FA Cup against QPR in 1970, and the visit of Muhammad Ali to have his wedding blessed in the mosque at Laygate in 1977!
Somehow after the excitement had died down a little Joe managed to send a Tweat on Twitter from somewhere thanking all those who had supported him, so I’ve asked him when he’s coming home and cheekily requested a photo shoot for this blog, I really ought to know better. Joe will be Simon Cowell’s property now so perhaps I should write directly to him!
I’m really please for Joe and his family, he has done himself proud, and has instilled a huge amount of pride amongst Shields folk, South Tynesiders, and and inspired the whole Geordie nation, like Susan Boyle he had a dream and chased it as far as it could go. Now we hope that he can achieve his aspirations for many years to come and that somehow someone helps keep his feet on the ground as he faces new major challenges and changes in his life – we would like to be able to see him often in South Shields as Joe McElderry the lad that many people know, and not as a Hollywood star with a massive entourage.
Will it be possible?
Joe’s official new website where you can get his single in time for Christmas.
Videos from last night’s final:
South Shields Temple Park Centre
The Climb (reprise)