Sep 19 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Skelmersdale Advertiser
STEPH WOODS, from Skelmersdale, wowed the judges on The X Factor over the weekend – making Sharon Osbourne cry.
Steph appeared on the hit ITV show in 2007 when she was only 14.
She got through to the judges’ houses stage but she didn’t reach the live shows as Sharon Osbourne sent her home for being too young.
Steph came back this year all grown-up, however – and was determined to book her place at bootcamp.
The 20-year-old sailed through her room audition where she sang Run, by Snow Patrol.
The judges praised her confidence and said it was obvious how far she had come since 2007.
Sharon said: “I really cracked up when I had to let you go.
“I’m glad you came back.”
Steph then performed to the crowd at Wembley Arena.
She started to sing I Drove All Night, by Celine Dion, but failed to impress the judges.
Steph said: “I thought the song I had chosen would be a real crowd pleaser.
“There’s a really big powerful note in the track and I thought when I hit it would really grab the audience.
“It didn’t get the reaction I wanted, though, and I had to sing a second song.”
Steph then sang Songbird, by Eva Cassidy, and the judges were much happier and put her through to bootcamp.
Steph said: “I can’t believe I got through to bootcamp. I was really worried in the arena audition but it all worked out really well.
“I can’t wait for the next stage. I’ve taken all the judges’ comments on board and have tried to improve even more.
“This week has been crazy, my phones been ringing off the hook and my twitter followers have shot up to over 2,000, from 300.”
Steph decided on the spur of the moment to enter X Factor again.
Steph said: “I woke up one morning and just decided to go for it and filled in all the forms.
“Then, a few weeks later, when I heard Sharon was going to be a judge again, it just felt like fate.
“Me and Sharon have a really special bond, I think.
“Ever since I met her we just clicked and I don’t see her as this big scary TV star. I just see her as a friend that’s really looked out for me and supported me.”
Steph is currently working in a hotel in Gran Canaria where guests are beginning to recognise her.
Steph said: “I was out with some friends from the hotel and someone walked passed and said ‘Oh, my gosh, I saw you on the TV at the weekend. Can I have a picture?’
“It’s all very surreal and overwhelming.
“My friends all keep ringing me and saying I’m all over the radio and the news.
“I’m sad I’m not there to see it all really, I’ve waited so long for this.
“But, at the end of the day I’m just Steph Woods from Skelmersdale – that won’t ever change. ”