Jade’s X Factor dream resting on a knife edge

Photographer: Ken McKay
Photographer: Ken McKay

SHE’s been clocked back at college and spotted having a drink or two in Leven pubs in recent weeks.

But Jade Richards’ recent public appearances are only adding to fever-pitch speculation over whether she’s in - or out - of the X Factor competition.

What is without doubt is the 21-year-old from Buckhaven now represents Scotland’s only hope for the final and, with a voice like hers, local supporters firmly believe she should get through.

Friend Kelly Dewar recently said: “She’s got no idea how good she is and how much potential she has - she’s a superstar.”

The ecstatic judges at last week’s televised boot camp auditions seemed to agree.

Jade sang ‘You Got the Love’ at Wembley Arena, prompting Gary Barlow to say: “That Jade is fantastic.”

The following day, she belted out a soulful rendition of Pink’s ‘Nobody Knows’ to further rave reviews from the judges.

Jade exhibited little of the flamboyance of fellow contestants such as Kitty and Goldie, prompting a national newspaper to brand her “insecure”.

But that is rubbish, claim friends.

“She’s never been a drama queen,” said Kelly. “She’s a quiet lassie.”

“Don’t get me wrong - with her pals she speaks her mind, but she is very shy and humble.

”She appears very quiet but, as soon as a mic is put in her hands, she just belts it out.”

After selecting Jade for the judges’ houses stage of the competition, Kelly Rowland described Jade’s style as “silent but deadly,” adding: “When she starts to sing, she can blow some folks out of the water. I can’t wait to get started on Jade.”

With comments like that, surely her dream won’t end in Miami?

“I think she will cope just fine, whatever happens,“ said Kelly Dewar.