United Vibe singer Jon Guelas, who lives near Haverhill, now wants to use his X Factor experience to help carve out a career in pop music
A former student of a Haverhill school has described his experience on X Factor as the best of his life while vowing to use it to propel himself to even greater heights.
Jon Guelas initially wowed all the judges on the hit ITV show before being put into a new boy band, United Vibe, by mentor Robbie Williams.
After gaining a place in the live shows as part of the top 16 acts, United Vibe’s journey ended on Week 3 of The X Factor.
Jon, whose first ever live performance came on his very last day at Samuel Ward Academy, admitted the experience was a “rollercoaster of emotions”, but said he wouldn’t have changed a thing.
“For me, it was the best experience ever,” said Jon, whose parents live just outside Haverhill.
“We went through every emotion under the sun. The X Factor environment can be pressurised and mentally draining, but we were like a little family living with the other contestants.
“When you perform on the live shows, and everything you worked so hard towards comes off, it is the best feeling in the world.
“For anyone considering applying for The X Factor or indeed pursuing any dream they might have, I would just say ‘go for it’.”
And on the eve of The X Factor final this Saturday, Jon has given his tip for who he thinks will be crowned champion – though admitting his personal favourite lies elsewhere.
He explained: “I really want Scarlett to win, but I think it will be Dalton, who is an exceptional singer.”
Jon was originally a keen local footballer and revealed that he kept his love of music a secret.
That all changed when he performed at his Year 11 leavers’ assembly and wowed students and staff alike at Samuel Ward Academy.
Jon said: “I had always sang, but I was quite shy about it. When I left college, I decided to take my music a bit more seriously.
“The X Factor has given me so much more confidence – it helped being part of the band rather than just as a soloist.”
Despite experiencing some tough comments from the judges, whole experience has simply whetted Jon’s appetite more for a career in music.
He said: “United Vibe are definitely staying together. We are currently in the recording studio and we have a few gigs coming up.
“Robbie Williams was an absolute legend and a great mentor and has offered to help us going forward.
“We were such a new group that we didn’t feel we had the opportunity to show people what we can actually do. I think we all feel we have a point to prove.”