X Factor’s Sammi Shepherd performing in Liverpool on Thursday

SAMMI Shepherd, who was seen leaving the X Factor at the weekend, aims to show what she can really do when she takes part in The James Monro’s talent competition this Thursday.

The competition, hosted by Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Bosom Buddies, is open to professionals and amateurs alike and has a first prize of £1000 and the first 2 heats have showcased some amazing talent. The format sees contestants perform in front of a panel of judge with marks also given by randomly picked members of the audience.

Sammi became a professional singer in 2012 following a career as a document controller for a nuclear company. She had been singing at weekends but when she was made redundant she took the plunge and went full-time.

Sammi recorded a candid and heart-warming video in her car straight after the X Factor audition. Unfortunately it’s too big for us to post it on here and there may be some copyright issues too. In it she explains the difficulties that taking part in X Factor present both financially – she had to give up gigs, drive down to London, pay for her own accommodation etc – and the detrimental effect it had on her voice which is why she deliberately chose the wrong song, to try and protect her vocal chords. But she’s not complaining, she admits she’s not good at auditions.

We spoke to Sammi just before she was about to head off for a gig and, following her experience on the X Factor, asked what message she’d like to send to Simon Cowell. This is what she said…

“Dear Simon,

Thank you for being kind and gentle with me during X-Factor, and thank you Louis for saying yes.

“I did not apply but was asked by two people to do to the show, and being able to say “Hello Wembley” to a full house was never on my bucket list, but once there, it had to be done

“The fact that I am a successful performer and able to live off my earnings shows that singing IS my thing, I should not have been judged on a few seconds after you know what they were doing to the acts backstage.

“I do feel however, that the show, behind the scenes is designed to make people at their worst, and no professional singer will go to perform unless rested and hydrated. I could hear my vocal chords going, so that is what the process did to me, therefore, I knew that I had decided to use the wrong song as I could not face going any further, if I had to keep going through the same process.

“Mrs Williams is not a singer, so I do not think that she is the best choice to be a judge or suitably qualified to help people improve in the aim to win. Ask me to judge for the next season, I AM suitably qualified.

“As for Robbie. No comment.

“In all, it was certainly an eye opener, even if it was mis-sold to me.”

You can hear Sammi and other contestants sing at the James Monro on Tithebarn Street from 7.30pm on Thursday 27 September.