Paul Akister has been added to The X Factor live tour, after a plea from his mentor Mel B.
The soul singer had narrowly missed out on being a part of the tour, after coming ninth in the ITV competition, but has been given a second chance to join winner Ben Haenow and the other finalists including Fleur East, Andrea Faustini and Stevi Ritchie on their Manchester dates.
He will perform as a guest act at Manchester Arena on February 21 and 22.
Paul said: “I’m so excited to be part of The X Factor Live Tour. Performing in my hometown arena is a dream come true and I cannot wait to see everyone again.”
Paul, who was in the boys category, was voted out after losing out in the deadlock to Jay James. But his mentor Mel B stepped in to put in a good word, and decided, with the agreement of the other judges, that he deserved to sing in a large arena.
Meanwhile, Stevi has vowed to show off his six-pack when he hits the road for the tour.
“I’ve got to get my six-pack back because I’ve put on a bit of weight around the ol’ gut. I put on a stone and a half, and I feel really fat. Even Simon Cowell noticed!” he said.
The father-of-one admitted he’s looking forward to performing again, and is hoping to bring the fun factor to his set.
“The tour’s going to be really good, and being on the road with the other acts. I’m looking forward to doing the entertainment side of it again and let my hair down – maybe not literally,” he joked.
“I don’t know if I’ll be including the Egyptian pharoah act. The honey, the hair, it was all a bit too much. But if the audience want it, I’ll bring it. And I’m hoping they’ll bring some of my dancers back.”
The X Factor tour kicks off at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on February 13, before ending with two shows at London’s O2 Arena on March 21. Tickets are available now from www.gigsandtours.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.