Nicholas McDonald vows: "I am not going to end up like Justin Bieber"

HE'S the Lanarkshire boy who rose to TV stardom on one of television's biggest shows.

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  • x Factor's Nicholas says his family will ensure he keeps his feet on the ground
    x Factor's Nicholas says his family will ensure he keeps his feet on the ground
  • x Factor's Nicholas says his family will ensure he keeps his feet on the ground

But Nicholas McDonald is well and truly keeping his feet on the ground thanks to his biggest fan - his mum.

The 17-year-old, who was 16 when he began the live shows on The X Factor, believes there's no chance of fame going to his head.

He said: "I'm not going to end up like Justin Beiber. I've got a lot of people around me who are going to keep my feet on the ground. There would be no chance of anything else."

It would be no surprise, though, if the Lanarkshire teen felt a little bit big for his boots.

Nicholas, from Motherwell, romped through the 10th series of The X Factor, becoming a hit with viewers, the judges and his fellow contestants.

The teenager, who has now left St Aiden's High School, in Wishaw, to pursue stardom, made it all the way to the final, where he was beaten by rival Sam Bailey.

Now he's taking part in The X Factor Live Tour, travelling to arenas around the country and playing to crowds of thousands.

But the talented youngster seems to be taking it all in his stride.

Nicholas said: "You're nervous at first, but after a while you get used to it. When you're finished performing you do think 'Wow!'.

"We don't have any rehearsals, all that's done now. It's just a case of getting out there and performing. You get used to it quickly."

DESPITE his youth, Nicholas has been performing for years - all thanks to his mum, Eileen, who spotted his talent.

He added: "My mum noticed I had a good voice and she made me sing at my little sister's fourth birthday party. I didn't want to, I was only 12, but she wanted me to. I always wanted to play football, but my mum was really keen on my singing.

"School has also always been very supportive of me. It was my primary school that put me through for Britain's Got Talent and then my high school has been so, so supportive in getting me singing.

"I never thought a year ago I'd have fans. A year ago my mum was my fan."

Although he has an impressive singing voice, music was not Nicholas's first love - he had wanted to be a footballer.

But at the age of eight, while playing football, he collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with the rare conditition Long QT Syndrome.

He said: "I had a heart attack. I don't remember it and I don't really think about it."

The condition is controlled by drugs and McDonald insists it doesn't affect him day-to-day.

But it did put a stop to his career in football.

However, it makes him grateful to Yorkhill Hospital and when he's home he will go up to visit young patients.

Nicholas has also agreed to be an ambassador for the Yorkhill Childrens' Charity.

He added: "When I go up to Yorkhill and I speak to the young people there, I'm better than a footballer because I've been in hospital and I know what they've been through, so I can talk to them about that and it means more.

"I can show them that you can get through your illness and go on to do big things."

Once he set his heart on a career in music, Nicholas decided reality shows were the way to go - and he started with Britain's Got Talent.

He said: "I did Britain's Got Talent when I was 12 and Simon Cowell told me to come back in a couple of years.

"I always watched The X Factor. I'd ditch a party to stay in and watch The X Factor and I always said I would love to go on it.

"They lowered the age limit to 16, so I thought I'd try the show and see what happened.

"I didn't ever think I'd get through the first audition, I was so nervous I chewed the lid right off a bottle of water."

Auditions for Britain's Got Talent were hosted in the SECC, next door to The Hydro, where McDonald made his home- coming debut with the X Factor Live Tour.

It's an intimidating stage with an impressive pedigree - Fleetwood Mac, Andrea Bocelli, Beyonce and Rod Stewart, to name a diverse few.

Coming back to Scotland was exciting for McDonald. He saw Calvin Harris play the venue and the crowd "was crazy".

He added: "It was weird thinking that I was going to be playing in there after Rod Stewart. I wasn't nervous, more excited because it's my home crowd, it's in Glasgow and that's all I've wanted to do."

Last year, 9.2million people watched the final in which McDonald lost to Sam Bailey, nearly 20 years his senior at 36.

The support from his home town, his neighbours and his school was invaluable, he says.

"It wasn't just people in Motherwell who supported me, it was everywhere. The support was crazy.

"When you do the show you're singing into a camera, but it really opens up your eyes when you come outside and there are queues of people standing waiting for you. You can't imagine it."

FOR Nicholas the next step is to release his first album and his first single, Telephone, both released at the weekend.

The album, In The Arms Of An Angel, is a mix of new music and covers, including his first single, Superman, and songs such as A Thousand Years, Someone Like You and Flying Without Wings.

His own songs, Answerphone and Smile, he says, reflect the direction he wants to go in.

Nicholas says he wants to be "like Bruno Mars - fun and upbeat." And in December his second album is due to be released.

He added: "I want my second album to really reflect what I want to do, I hope that comes through.

"And then I want to be famous around the world. That would be amazing - that would be the dream."

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