BATTLER LLOYD A STEP NEARER FINAL
W ELSHMAN Lloyd Macey is one step away from the final of this year’s X Factor after singing through the pain of a throat infection on last night’s show.
The Valleys X Factor sensation delivered a cover of Elton John’s classic Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me on the ITV show’s semi-final to make it through to tonight’s last round before next weekend’s final.
Judge Louis Walsh told the audience Macey almost didn’t make the performance due to issues with his voice.
“But he’s going to sing against doctor’s orders,” Louis told viewers on last night’s show.
After delighting fans, Macey told the audience he was suffering from a throat infection.
His voice sounded strained as he spoke to Dermot O’ Leary following the performance.
Now five of the six remaining acts will battle it out on tonight’s show to secure one of three places in next week’s final.
The contestant who failed to make it through last night’s s show was Matt Linnen.
It comes after Lloyd’s dad ad Darren revealed that the bududding singer’s grandmother and nd lifelong supporter, Nanny Chris, had been forced to miss the last couple of weekends watching him while X Factor is being filmed in London.
“It’s really breaking her up that she can’t be there to support Lloyd,” says Darren, from Wattstown, explaining that the 70-year-old had been laid low by a chest infection.
“On top of that her husband Malcolm has just had a hip operation, so she’s been having to look after him 24/7 too - exhausting.”
He adds that it’s been especially hard for Christine given that she’s backed Lloyd in his s singing career ever since he e was little, even handing out t business cards to all and sundry in order to get him more gigs
And fans will remember how, back in September, the plucky Valleys’ grandmother charmed the nation – not least Simon Cowell – by turning up to Lloyd’s first audition with a packed lunch of fishfinger sandwiches for the judges.
But Nanny Chris needn’t have worried about buttering up the show’s notoriously picky panel – her grandson would prove himself good enough to make it through to the show’s semi-finals this weekend without any outside help.
Indeed, his moving rendition of Different Corner by the late George Michael a fortnight ago even reduced seasoned showbiz veteran and judge Sharon Osbourne to tears.
Darrren added that he was proud of how the 23-year-old had managed to keep it together in the face of mounting pressure on the show.
“Lloyd’s been brilliant and I know he’s been missing Chris- tine not being there as much as she’s missed seeing him.
“I’m chuffed at how he’s maintained his focus and get through each new round.”
Last week even saw the six foot three Rhondda lad rewarded for his ace turns by being picked to support best selling girl band Little Mix at the Manchester Arena, which hit the global headlines in May when it became the site of a terrorist attack during a packed Ariana Grande concert.
“Security was reasonably tight, as you’d expect,” said Darren.
“But, instead of a feeling of fear I couldn’t help get the impression that what happened has somehow managed to pull the city together.
“There’s an incredible atmosphere to the place now.
“Our family has a very strong bond with Manchester anyway, as it’s where that first audition happened and we’ve made lots of friends there.”
And the gig only added to the buzzing vibe, he added.
“I tell you, the reaction Lloyd got was great, just tremendous.
“One of the security guys at the arena came over to me at one point and said that he’s never seen so many people in the audi- torium while a support act is on.
“And afterwards there were tons of fans who wanted Lloyd’s autograph or to grab a selfie with him. He loves it and we love to see him enjoying himself.”
And, were all that adulation not enough already, Darren revealed that Lloyd has been given the ultimate Valleys’ seal of approval: his face emblazoned all over a fleet of Edwards Coaches alongside the slogan “Support #TeamLloydMacey”.
“Can you believe it?” he laughed, having been informed that his son’s likeness could be seen motoring up and down the A470 and the M4.
“Usually it’s me that gets told I’ve got a face like the back end of the bus. Ha. In all seriousness though, it’s things like that which are typical of how everyone has really got behind my boy. We can’t thank them all enough and are chuffed to bits to know he’s made such a good impression all around the country.”
From left: Lloyd, aged one, with grandad Broan and gran Nora; aged around 12 with mum Michelle and dad Darren; with his parents aged 18; and with his gran Christine
Local firm Edwards Coaches gets behind Lloyd