JOHNNY Robinson is back in his Harrow bedsit after being booted off The X Factor – but his spirits are high and he is backing our Toy Appeal 2011.
Johnny was voted off the popular ITV1 show last week, but he told the Observer he is optimistic about his future and thanked his fans in Harrow and Brent.
Jo-Ro, who has spent the last five weeks surprising audiences with his vocals, which he admits sound quite feminine, said: “I did my best for Harrow. I had lots of community support from local people, which I am really grateful for. It is great they all got behind me. It was very touching.
“I was just very, very lucky. I got to walk away from The X Factor with the support of the public and the local people and I want to say a big, big thank you to them.”
After enjoying a taste of the celebrity lifestyle – living in a huge house in Hertfordshire, with stylists and vocal coaches fussing over him – Johnny returned to his bedsit in West Harrow on Monday, after losing a sing-off and being voted off unanimously by the judges.
The 45-year-old said: “I feel the same way now as when I went in. I woke up this morning in my little bedsit and asked myself ‘was that all a dream?’.
“It is very strange that you wake up and people are ringing up, but I am so lucky to have been on that show and hopefully something good will come out of it.”
Johnny, who moved to Harrow 18 years ago, has been out of work for a number of years but used to work in care homes across the borough as a catering manager, often entertaining the residents with old songs.
He is not musically trained, but said he has been singing since he was a child and performing karaoke in London pubs for many years.
He said: “I have never been an artist, I am an entertainer.
“I just want to put a smile on people’s faces and it’s wonderful that people have accepted me for me.”
Johnny said he celebrated the end of his X Factor experience with a bottle of lemonade and lime cordial with the other contestants.
The former Kenton resident, whose family live in Henley-on-Thames, is in discussions with several music industry bosses about releasing an album inspired by love songs or jazz music – so watch this space.
? Johnny is backing the Observer’s Toy Appeal 2011, which is being launched today (Thursday). See page two for details of how to take part.