SINGING sensation Michael Collings said performing in front of millions of people on Britain’s Got Talent has changed his life.
The 19-year-old, who came fifth in the ITV show’s final on Saturday, hopes the contest will lead to his own single and a recording contract.
Speaking shortly after returning to Plymouth yesterday, Michael told The Herald he ‘did his family proud’.
He was spending one night in Efford with fiancee Sarah McLeish and their 15-week-old son Jamie before travelling back to London today to prepare for the Britain’s Got Talent live tour.
Trainee computer engineer Michael, who taught himself to play the guitar only three years ago, said: “Coming fifth is good enough for me. Just getting through to the semi final was good enough for me. I did my family proud, that’s all I wanted.
“I loved every single minute of being up on that stage. I just want to get back up there again. The live tour will be brilliant.
“It was my time to shine, the opportunity of a lifetime, and I couldn’t afford to mess it up. It’s changed my life.”
Michael described his whirlwind weekend – which saw him perform in the semi final on Friday before the final on Saturday.
“I prepared my song on Thursday, had rehearsals on Friday and then on to stage for the semi final,” he said.
“It was the tester of the nerves but I was happy with my performance. That night was awesome. I couldn’t believe I’d got through.”
He sang Paul Weller’s You Do Something to Me in the semi final and Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, his audition song, the following day.
“I only had 12 hours to prepare that piece,” he said “I had to get used to performing with a backing track, which I’d never used before.
“It was hard but I pulled it off. I didn’t mess up so that was good.”
He lost out to Scottish power singer Jai McDowall – who Michael had picked as his fiercest competition.
Michael said he entered the contest because his parents Richard and Caroline encouraged him. He auditioned in a bright orange hoodie and grey tracksuit bottoms.
He said: “It was quite crazy. I used to just sit in my bedroom playing guitar. I got up on stage and did my thing. I couldn’t see myself finishing fifth.”
The performance made him an early favourite to win.
Michael said: “Even after the first audition people were coming up to me in the street, in shops, everywhere, saying ‘hey, you’re off the telly’.”
During The Herald interview on the porch of Sarah’s Efford home, passers by shouted to him and approached to shake his hand.
He said he is going to try his hardest to continue his singing career to support his family.
“Lots of people on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube say I should release my own version of Fast Car,” he said. “That’d be great. Hopefully I’ll get signed by someone as well.”