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Dad of X Factor star Luke Friend sets his son a top six target

By AWalmesley  |  Posted: November 08, 2013

Luke Friend will sing Van Morrison's Moondance

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The father of X Factor star Luke Friend says he is unsurprised by his son’s success as the teenager prepares for the big band week of the competition.

The 17-year-old from Teignmouth will take to the stage on Saturday night to sing Van Morrison's Moondance.

The Coombeshead Academy student is down to the final eight contestants of the ITV show and wowed the judges last week with his performance of Play That Funky Music by White Cherry.

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His father, Simon Friend, is hoping Luke will make the final six by surviving at least another two weeks

“I knew he’d do really well in the competition if he coped with the song choices,” said Mr Friend. “He’s been singing his own renditions of Elvis, Bob Marley and U2 song around the house since the age of four, probably from his mum’s CD collection.

“He’s always wanted to sing and write his own music. Having made the final eight of the competition, anything else will be a bonus. But you usually find the top six are the ones who make it and actually get a career.

“The big band song this week will show he’s got another string to his bow. His vocal rehearsal sounded fantastic. We’re all really proud of how well he’s done so far.”

Since moving from Leeds to Devon aged 13, Luke has performed in a number of productions at Coombeshead Academy, including a school version of Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End.

At his X Factor audition, the 17-year-old told judges Gary, Nicole, Sharon and Louis that he had not washed his hair in nine months.

After Luke performed Kiss From A Rose by Seal earlier in the competition, the 50-year-old musician showed his support for the teenager on Twitter.

He said: “LOVE what you're about. Keep Believing. BTW, great job on KFAR tough song to sing.”

Luke returned to Devon with an X Factor film crew on Tuesday when he busked outside Exeter Cathedral and visited his school. Viewers will be able to see the footage this weekend.

Matthew Shanks, head teacher at Coombeshead Academy, said: “He is an amazing young man. I am incredibly proud of him, and we have always known how talented he was and that he had the X Factor.”

Luke’s fan base also includes previous competition winners Little Mix and even Prime Minister David Cameron who said he is the 'one to watch'.

Mr Cameron said: “I am watching X factor but I haven't picked a candidate, but I am watching your Luke closely and he seems to have done well so far.”

Read more from Exeter Express and Echo

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