Pontins, cruise ships and a Celine Dion act - Bexley X Factor star Sam Bailey's road to success (From News Shopper)
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Pontins, cruise ships and a Celine Dion act - Bexley X Factor star Sam Bailey's road to success
TOMORROW night, Bexley’s Sam Bailey will belt out her own version of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – but it’s not the first time she has sung as Celine Dion.
Mother-of-two Sam will be putting her own spin on the song of Titanic-fame when she performs on movie night – but hopefully there will be no sinking feeling for the former Cleeve Park School student.
Her mother Jackie Bailey, who lives in Blackfen, told News Shopper how Sam once earned herself a place on the Tony Carnaby Show as a Celine Dion performer.
But it was years before this, when Sam was a student at Cleeve Park School in Sidcup, that her musical talents first started to shine through.
Mrs Bailey, 62, said: “Sam went to Cleeve Park when she was doing her options, so when she was 15.
“She did very well and from there she went to Bexley Performing Arts for a year where she did acting.
“She did want to do singing but it didn’t happen, but she did do an end of year performance where she managed to sing in her own way - and she got a standing ovation then.”
Sam, who grew up in Eynsford Road, Bexley Village, then worked at Pontins in Great Yarmouth where she auditioned for a job on a cruise ship following a spur-of-the-moment decision.
She was at an open audition with one of Gary Bushell’s daughters when she became restless and thought she would give it a go herself.
Mrs Bailey explains: “I still have some feedback from the choreographer who actually came from the cruise ships to scout for entertainment.
“He said ‘this thing walked in wearing a tracksuit but when she started to sing I thought oh my God, where did that come from?’ “She was the first one to be notified that she had got the job.”
The world was then Sam’s oyster as she started work on board cruise ships, firstly travelling around the Mediterranean and later around Egypt.
She came back to the UK where she returned to Pontins and offered to do a gig for free.
Mrs Bailey said: “She did the first one and he said it was so fantastic that he wanted her to do another one - but he would pay her.
“When she went to Pontins there was another show down there called the Tony Carnaby Show, which was a diva show and they wanted a Celine Dion act.
“She did a very good rendition in their eyes so they asked her if she would join their show – and that is how she ended up in Leicester because that is where they came from.”
Sam now lives in Leicestershire with her husband Craig and children Brooke, eight, and Tommy, four.
On last week’s show, she was told by Take That singer Gary Barlow that each of her performances “takes the bar up another level,” following her rendition of Adele’s ‘Can You Feel My Love.’
Watch Sam on ITV at 8pm tomorrow – and remember to vote for her.
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