Jahmene had to conquer nerves to work on shop floor says his boss
Jahmene will sing live this weekend to an X Factor audience of millions but when he first started working at Asda he was “too shy” even to talk to customers.
His boss at Asda Swindon Haydon, Stewart, says: "We had to really build up his confidence. When we first told him he was going onto the shop floor he was terrified!
“Like a lot of people his age he found it a bit awkward to talk to customers but once he got chatting to someone he was fine. We told him to just be himself.”
Provisions manager Stewart says what you see on TV is the real Jahmene. "He’s very genuine and that’s part of his appeal.
“When he said he was going to do X Factor we were a bit concerned because of his nerves, but once he gets on stage and starts singing he’s fine.”
The 22-year-old, who won Swindon’s Got Talent in 2010, used to sing Stevie Wonder and gospel music while he worked and colleagues quickly realised how talented he was.
He worked at Asda for 18 months as a process colleague responsible for labelling and marking down products.
Jahmene is now on a 12-month career break but colleagues don’t expect to see him back.
“We are really proud of him, we hope he does whatever his heart wants. It’s down to him now,” said Stewart.
Like many Asda colleagues Stewart will be rooting for Jahmene but surprisingly doesn’t want him to win.
“If I’m honest I hope he doesn’t because the ones that win never seem to do that well,” he says. “I hope he comes second!”