X Factor finals within reach for Caitlyn Vanbeck

Caitlyn Vanbeck is making an impact on The X Factor. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Caitlyn Vanbeck is making an impact on The X Factor. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Teenage singing sensation Caitlyn Vanbeck swapped the Playhouse for Wembley Arena as she moved one step closer to the X Factor finals.

The 17-year-old former Ross High pupil from Tranent battled fierce competition in the bootcamp round to be selected for the Six Chair Challenge in the popular television show.

She is now in the final 16 of the girls category – and the only remaining Scot in the contest – but only six girls will be chosen for the Judges’ Houses round, before the finalists progress to the live shows.

Her fate could be revealed on TV tomorrow night – but Caitlyn is under strict instructions not to give any hints.

The youngster, who won our Edinburgh Has Talent competition in 2011, said she was “overwhelmed” by the support she has received.

Caitlyn said: “Everyone from my old school has been getting behind me and my uni too. Tranent has been so good – on the street yesterday I was going for the bus and I had little grannies stopping me. They said they were going to watch it and vote for me.”

And despite becoming a local celebrity with more than 7000 followers on Twitter, she is trying her best to concentrate on her primary teaching degree at Edinburgh University.

She said: “It’s hard, it was really hard when I first started uni because the programme was just starting on TV. I’m keeping on top of assignments but I have also got the buzz going on behind me.”

Caitlyn impressed judges on the show last week with her rendition of All I Want by Codaline. And she admitted that while watching the recorded programme last Sunday, she still felt nervous that she wouldn’t get through.

The teenager, who lives in Tranent with dad Paul and mum Marina, said: “When I was at bootcamp I heard everyone else’s performances and I was on the screen so much I felt like I was on Gogglebox.

“I was totally overwhelmed by how many talented people there were. The girls this year, there is so much talent. Even to get this far, I’m blessed.”

Caitlyn said she can promise viewers of tomorrow’s show “a lot of surprises and a lot of drama”.

She added: “Last week it was bootcamp and I knew I had got through – but watching it, your heart is still in your mouth. It’s so weird. I don’t know what I’m going to be like this weekend.”

For the challenge – which requires judge Rita Ora to whittle down her 16-strong girls category to just six – Caitlyn had to take to the stage at Wembley Arena in front of a packed audience.

Each of the six seats equals a chair at the Judges’ Houses round, however once on a chair the singers can be swapped for another hopeful.

She said: “Standing on the stage in Wembley, I went from doing Edinburgh Has Talent at the Playhouse to being in front of Cheryl, Simon, Nick and Rita. I remember seeing [Edinburgh] judges Deborah Welsh and Liam Rudden.

“It was incredible. Walking on that stage is just so amazing. We got such good applause.”

Of all the judges, Caitlyn says that Cheryl has been the most supportive.

She said: “Cheryl was wanting me to get better and to come back stronger. All her feedback so far has been incredible.”

Regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s screening, Caitlyn is staying down to earth.

She said: “Mum and dad have been so supportive, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this. I’m a lucky girl.”