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X Factor judge Simon Cowell says Croydon crooner Ben Haenow is 'one to watch'

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SHIRLEY van driver Ben Haenow once again dazzled the X Factor judges this weekend - and is being touted as an early contender to win the show.

Ben's Wembley Arena audition, where he performed the Rolling Stones' Wild Horses, was shown on Saturday night, with the 29-year-old receiving plenty of acclaim for his powerful rendition.

Simon Cowell led the praise, saying that while Ben's performance "wasn't perfect" he was "one to watch" in the competition.

And the bookies seem to agree, pricing Ben at 6/1 to win the 2014 series - third favourite behind Paul Akister and Jay James.

Ben's first audition, where he performed Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine in a room for the four judges, was equally well received, especially again by Cowell, who said he couldn't believe Ben didn't already have a record deal.

Ben is now through to the Boot Camp stage of the ITV show, which will be broadcast next Saturday and Sunday.

He will be hoping to emulate a trio of Croydon acts - Rough Copy, Hannah Barrett, and Lorna Simpson - who all reached the live finals of the programme in 2013.

In a recent interview with the Advertiser, Ben said he was finding his X Factor experience "surreal" but told how performing in front of thousands at Wembley was a particular highlight.

He said: "To sing to people in a massive stadium, that's it for me.

"Even if it doesn't go any further that's ticking off the top thing I'd like to do in my life."

X Factor judge Simon Cowell says Croydon crooner Ben Haenow is 'one to watch'


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