Norfolk

Charlie Bick: Singer in next Chilean X Factor heat

A former choirboy from Methwold, near Thetford, has made it through the first round of the Chilean X Factor finals.

Charlie Bick performed Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel with his band Aduana on Thursday's first live TV show.

The 19-year-old, one of some 10,000 original entrants, decided to apply while learning Spanish on his second gap year in Santiago.

His father David said: "It is a very good start."

Charlie was awake for 22 hours on Thursday, rehearsing and performing his set to clinch a place in the next heat.

"I got a message at 8.30am (BST) this morning from Charlie telling me the news just before he went to bed at 4.30am," said David, who works in the City of London.

"He said it had been a fantastic experience and the whole atmosphere in the studio was superb."

Charlie has gained about 5,000 female followers on Facebook and 50,000 hits on YouTube since appearing on the talent show.

'Real connection'

The Chilean X Factor follows the same format as the British programme, with one act going out on each show.

The next live final, in which singers are judged by the public, is broadcast on Monday. There will be two TV shows a week for the next five weeks.

David and his wife Susie hope to fly to Chile to cheer on Charlie, who is competing in a band with two girls.

Until they travel to South America they are following his progress on YouTube.

"It's evident that they're getting on really well, you can see that," said David.

His father is also proud that Charlie is making an impression in a country when he's only just learned the native language.

"I love the fact that he's getting on really well with the presenters," said David.

"He loves the people in Chile and they seem to love him, so there's a real connection."

Charlie, who attended Harrow, dropped plans to study law in Newcastle to learn Spanish in South America.

When he returned he then decided he wanted to take a degree in Spanish and film at Manchester and persuaded his parents to let him make another extended visit to Chilean capital Santiago to teach English and football.

He swapped the classroom for the stage after someone working for his host family heard him singing in the bathroom and urged him to apply for the X Factor.

After getting through the bootcamp and judges' houses stages, his father feels Charlie is on a winning streak encouraged by the fact that the top amateur football club Charlie plays for scooped the league trophy in December.

"We think he and his group can do well - it's a very good first outing," said David.

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