X Factor hopeful Lauren Murray - who wowed the judges with her performance of Somebody Else's Guy - opens up to Now about the heartache of her dad dying when she was just 11 years old

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X Factor hopeful Lauren Murray has revealed how she plans to channel the heartache of her father dying into helping her journey on the TV talent show.

Opening up to Now, the dental receptionist revealed how her dad tragically died unexpectedly when Lauren was just 11 years old.

‘I have been through some difficult experiences,’ the 25 year old said. ‘My dad passed away when I was 11. He was only 28. He literally dropped down dead, out of nowhere. It was something to do with his heart.’

The singer also told of how – heartbreakingly – her dad never got the chance to hear her incredible voice, saying: ‘He never heard me sing so he didn’t know I could – but he’ll hear me now.’

She added: ‘I’m just trying to use all the negatives as a positive now to turn everything around and do what I’m doing.’

The dental receptionist wowed the X Factor audience with her rendition of Somebody Else’s Guy – and described Simon Cowell encouraging her to sing the Jocelyn Brown hit over a Whitney Houston number as ‘a blessing in disguise.’

‘I was going to do I Want To Dance With Somebody and he [Simon] changed my song,’ Lauren revealed.

‘I started off wrong and I thought, ‘That’s it, I’ve messed it up now.’ But Simon changing the song was a blessing in disguise really because then I smashed it. I was really happy.’

Despite him helping her out, Lauren admits to being overwhelmed by the head judge, saying: ‘Even him knowing my name, I’m like ‘what the hell!?’ It just doesn’t seem real.’

With a voice as good as hers, we reckon he may just be saying her name a lot more over the coming weeks!

Lauren also revealed that the new judging panel – including Simon and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, as well as newbies Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora – appeared to be working well together, saying: ‘It seemed like a really good vibe.’

She added: ‘Nick is so funny, and Rita’s wicked – her style is so sick.’

And the judges loved Lauren just as much as she loved them, with Cheryl gushing after her audition: ‘You have made me excited to get a category and I would absolutely love to mentor you.’

Simon told her: ‘I didn’t just like that, I loved it. Seriously, I thought that was absolutely bloody fantastic. Do you know what I really like about you? You have no idea how good you are.’

Grimmy added: ‘I love you Lauren. That sounded like one of my favourite voices of all time. I loved it. I just feel bad for your dentist because he needs a new receptionist.’

Lauren actually risked her job by skipping work to attend her audition, telling her boss she was ill.

And, whilst others might deem the move a sackable offence, Lauren’s boss has given her his full support. What a guy!

‘Yeah, he knows now,’ she told us when asked about her little white lie. ‘He laughed about it and said, ‘This is just typical of you Lauren.’

‘He knows I love singing. I’m always getting in trouble at work for being late and singing. He’s actually been really supportive. He was like, ‘Go on girl.’’

Having gained four yeses from the panel, it seems it was a risk worth taking, and Lauren’s eyes now very much on making it through the next stages – and maybe even winning the show.

But she knows she has her work cut out, saying: ‘The standard is so high, all the categories are really strong this year. You’ve just got to go with the flow.

She added: ‘I didn’t expect to get this far.’

We look forward to seeing how much further she can go!