Bella performs at St Greg’s and is through to X Factor final 16

Pam Mills
HOUSE IN LA Simon Cowell with the female finalists. Bella is on the far right. THAMES / SYCO

Two years after she was given her first opportunity to perform at One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, the 19-year-old is in the last 16 of the ITV series.

On Sunday [October 7] she was watched by 4.7 million as she rapped and sang along to gay-rights anthem Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

On this choice, the former St Gregory’s Catholic School pupil said it was an ‘important song’ to her and revealed a new tattoo which read ‘Same Love’.

She later told reporters: “I am brave enough to come to terms with who I am, I don’t want to go through a competition being dishonest.”

The pre-recorded episode saw the six remaining female contestants sang in front of 50 special guests, including music executives and songwriters.

Viewers were led to believe only three would make it to the live shows and join competitors from the ‘boys’, ‘groups’ and ‘overs’ categories.

And for the second successive episode, Cowell brought Bella back from the brink.

The judge had advanced three other women and appeared to be about to tell Bella she would take no further part, but instead said: “It is fine because I’m putting four people through and you are in the final. There wasn’t a shadow of a doubt, I believe in you.”

Scarlett Lee, Molly Scott and Shan are the other three women to go through to the live shows, which are believed to begin on ITV on Saturday, October 20.

Harry Spencer, Operations Manager at One Warwick Park Hotel, congratulated Bella and wished her luck for the finals.

“We are absolutely delighted she has made the X Factor finals and it is nothing less than she deserves because Bella is a very talented singer,” he said.

X marks the spot: Bella at St Gregory’s Catholic School


Back to school for singer

SHE may be through to The X Factor finals, but singer Bella Penfold was still prepared to take time out to visit her old school earlier this month.

The 19-year-old sang to an assembly of 400 students aged 11 to 13 at St Gregory’s Catholic School, in Reynolds Lane, where she attended sixth form.

Students also asked her questions about what inspired her to go onto the show and what Simon Cowell is like in person. To this she said ‘he is a lovely man, not scary, and actually shorter in person’.

Bella attended the school from 2015 to 2017 and paid tribute to their annual Starlight music showcase that helped her build confidence as a performer.

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