Video & Gallery special: Back Matt to win the X Factor!

IPSWICH: Today we send out a final call to arms as our near-neighbour Matt Cardle prepares for the X Factor finale.

With Ipswich’s backing the former painter and decorator from Essex could emerge victorious on Sunday night.

He will first have to beat off stiff competition from Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction and Cher Lloyd but we are confident he will steal the show with his superb voice and laid-back, loveable style.

This week Matt performed a home coming gig in Colchester and his mentor Dannii Minogue called on his army of fans to vote in the final to ensure he doesn’t miss out on his rightful title.

Echoing her words, Matt’s mum Jennifer, of Little Maplestead, near Halstead, said: “Because Matt has been the bookies favourite from the start an awful lot of people, including members of my own family, are saying we don’t really need to vote.

“I am saying that we do, we need to give it a final push, we absolutely have to get him to the top slot.”

She added: “ I just hope Matt’s voice holds out. I know how much it means to him, how hard he has worked all these years and how much he wants to win.

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“He joined his first band at 13 and has been working towards this ever since.”

However, she admitted it will be a close call.

“The competition is incredibly fierce. Rebecca has the most stunning voice and Cher and One Direction are excellent. There is not a lot between them.”

David Mansfield, manager of The Regent Theatre, Ipswich, believes the Essex Factor will work in Matt’s favour.

He said: “Essex does seem to do well in these shows but we rarely have anyone more local, maybe people from Suffolk are more reserved.”

He pointed out that Matt’s family home in Halstead is just down the road from where Olly Murs grew up in Witham while fellow X Factor finalist Stacey Solomon hails from Dagenham and former Britain’s Got Talent winners, Diversity, come from Billericay, in Essex.

However, he added: “Even if Matt doesn’t win, he will still be a success.

“Looking back at X Factor history we have seen it is not always the winners who go on to find fame and fortune.

“Olly Murs came second last year, and on Britain’s Got Talent, it was Susan Boyle who went on to conquer America, even though Diversity were the actual winners.”

Mr Mansfield said: “It would be interesting to see what the margin was between those stars and the winners.”

The theatre regularly plays host to some famous names and is expecting Olly Murs and former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke next year.

Mr Mansfield said: “We would welcome Matt with open arms if he wanted to perform here. With Olly, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly and I am sure if Matt were to announce a date the same would happen.”

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