21-year-old car mechanic Josh Daniel had the whole room in tears when he sang Labrinth’s “Jealous” on The X Factor for his late friend. Daniel has a voice like honey and gave a gorgeous delivery of the R&B song, although he wasn’t singing for a lost lover like Labrinth. Daniel lost his best friend two years prior when his friend was just 18 years old. He described their relationship as “really, really close. We did everything together.”
The London singer explained why he chose the song, saying “The lyrics kind of say that ‘I’m jealous that you’re happy without me’. I see it in the sense that he’s now happy in heaven and he’s moved onto a better place and I can’t still be with him.” Daniel’s story really hit listeners in the chest, as his audition is one of the most popular on the entire X Factor UK channel, with 106 million views clocked. Watch his moving audition for yourself below.
Daniel’s singing is incredibly expressive and he really tells the story of his loss through his unique delivery of the song. The crowd immediately responded to what he was putting out onstage, and it wasn’t long before much of the crowd was in tears. Even the big dog Simon Cowell, who is famously hard to impress, was seen wiping a stray tear from his eye.
Daniel got a standing ovation from the whole crowd when he finished the song. The judges left the tension hanging in the room for a moment before Cheryl eventually broke it by saying “Wow,” although she teared up before she could continue. She then said “that was the most captivated I’ve been in all the auditions so far.” Later in the series Daniel took on “Clown” by Emeli Sandé, where he again displayed his incredible ability to connect with the listener through his heartfelt delivery.
After Daniel thanked her, Cheryl continued, saying “I’m sorry, I’m very emotional. You really touched me and I believed every word you sang.” She suggested the pair hug which Daniel happily accepted.
Nick Grimshaw weighed in next, saying “Josh, that really got me right in the heart. I was completely transfixed – I didn’t want it to end.” Cowell then put the decision to a vote, where all three judges gave the young singer a big thumbs up, as Daniel’s proud mother celebrated on the side of the stage.
The singer then united with his mum for an emotional hug, after which she told him that he did his late friend proud.
Daniel progressed to the knockout rounds in the competition, where he was eliminated. He was later brought back as a wildcard by coach Pennies, although he was eliminated before the cut to make the final 12. Daniel has since formed a successful original music career and regularly uploads his music via his YouTube channel. If you would like to see more from Josh Daniel, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Instagram.