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Ben Haenow X Factor blog: The Hunger Games premier, Croydon's support and the truth on those Lola rumours

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Croydon's Ben Haenow gives Advertiser readers an exclusive sneak peak behind the doors of the X Factor house in his weekly blog about life on the show...

IT'S been a cool week because I went to the premier of the Hunger Games with my mum. She was over the moon, she got a makeover and got her hair done. It was just really cool to have that experience with her as it's the first event like that we've been to.

We went down the red carpet, me and my mum schmoozing with all the celebrities. We didn't really meet anyone we just saw them from afar but even that was really cool.

A lot of people started chanting my name when I got out of the car so that was really overwhelming. They're there to see everyone not just us but just the fact that they were shouting my name was very surreal.

My mum was blown away by it. She was a bit shocked when she first got out he car but she absolutely loved it we had a bit of champagne in the car on the way there so she was in good spirits.

Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the cast were there and they came out on stage first and were lined up and we thought they were going to do an ensemble for us! They didn't, though!

I can't really get my head around it you see that sort of thing on the tele but to actually go and walk the red carpet is surreal. The noise from everybody there is crazy and it was an experience we'll remember for a long, long time.

We haven't done a lot other than. Its big band week so we have really had to knuckle down and rehearse.

We went to a studio with the big band and that was an insane experience. I'm used to singing with a four piece rock band so to have 30 odd people there playing for you, and the power that comes with that sort of music, is amazing.

It's been a dream of mine to play with a big band so it's another thing I can tick off my list.

You do feel the pressure, it's one voice against thirty people so you've got to bring it.

And I'm confident I will bring it this weekend! X Factor have sorted me out with a nice suit and we're going the whole hog so it should be really cool.

Last week I came home and spent a day in Croydon with my brother Alex. The community have been amazing, especially the Swan pub.

I used to play gigs there and they've been supporting me from day one. They have been unbelievable so it will be really nice to get down there soon too. The whole of West Wickham is covered in banners!

People have been stopping my family to talk to them and that's lovely, and a sausage has been named after me too which is pretty cool.

It's amazing because Croydon is where I grew up. To have support from people back home is really cool and I hope I'm representing them in a good light.

And now I've got the X Factor tour coming up too. That is one of the bench marks you want to get to when you start the programme and to know that I'm going to go around and meet the fans and play at some of these really prestigious places is amazing.

There has been a lot of attention this week on me after I was photographed kissing Lola on the head in a shop but it's been cleared up.

I'm a very hands-on person with my friends and with everyone. It was misconstrued because in that same shop I also kissed Ollie, the researcher, on the head and that didn't get shown in the papers.

There's nothing going on between me and Lola and we've all spoken about it. Me, Lola, her boyfriend and Jess, my girlfriend, have all met up so there's no ill feeling.

It's made me a bit more wary about what I do in the public eye but it's a learning curve for all of us. We've been thrust into the lime light and great as it is we're learning fast.

Ben Haenow X Factor blog: The Hunger Games premier, Croydon's support and the truth on those Lola rumours


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