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Only the Young, featuring Charlie George from Chartham in Canterbury, wow X Factor judges as they go through to judges' houses

A talented singer from Canterbury was celebrating tonight after his band Only the Young won through to the next stage of The X Factor.

Charlie George, 17, and his bandmates impressed Louis Walsh enough to secure a place at judges' houses.

It means they are just one step away from the live shows, with just six groups left fighting for three spots.

Only the Young wowed the judges
Only the Young wowed the judges

They wowed the judging panel with their performance of Dolly Parton's 9 to 5, controversially taking the spot of Overload, a boy band that had already won a seat.

Charlie, from Chartham, learned to play guitar and piano at The Canterbury Academy, where he studied music, music production and performing arts.

His career has also included stints on the West End stage in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal and in Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe.

The 17 year-old, who joined the academy from Barton Court in Year 7 for its music programme, said: "I put everything I learnt at the academy to use in my musical and stage career.

Only the Young, pictured with Peter Andre at another event
Only the Young, pictured with Peter Andre at another event

"My teachers there, Angela Banbery and Andy Freeman, always supported me and were an inspiration and I don’t think I would have made so much progress without the training I was given."

Charlie recently left the academy to follow his passion to take up an apprenticeship as a music producer with a recording studio in Gravesend.

Speaking about the audition, Charlie said: "It was nerve-wracking waiting behind the scenes and when you step out on stage you are so close to the judges, but everyone was absolutely lovely and I remember how nice they were, rather than my nerves."

Fellow band members are Parisa Tarjomani, 20, from Margate and Betsey-blue English, 18, from Brighton, together with Mikey Bromley, 19, who comes from Carlisle.

X Factor judges Louis Walsh, Mel B, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell
X Factor judges Louis Walsh, Mel B, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell

The group, which was formed two years ago, describe their sound as "pop with an edge" and are now through to the next stage of auditions at Wembley.

They are no strangers to the spotlight having played alongside Little Mix, The Wanted, The Vamps and Jessie J.

Only The Young, whose members now live in London, have also toured schools to promote the charity Beat Bullying through their music.

Charlie, who also plays drums and ukulele, said: "After we appeared on X Factor our twitter went mad and we had 13,000 more followers after a couple of days. It’s now gone up to 48,700."

Phil Karnavas, executive principal of The Canterbury Academy said: "Charlie was one of the first to join us from grammar school to benefit from our specialist programmes.

"We are delighted with his X Factor success. He showed exceptional musical ability from an early age and the academy supported him in his professional work, as well as providing a gold standard programme of education in music and theatre designed to give him the best chance of industry success."

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