X Factor fame for two South East Londoners

The Risk. Photo: Facebook

Two young men from South East London are rising to fame after making it through to ‘The X Factor’s’ final 12.

Ashley John-Baptiste, 22, from Lewisham and Derry Mensah, 21, from Croydon form half of the boyband ‘The Risk’, a group put together by X Factor judge and N-Dubz band member Tulisa Contostavlos after the boys auditioned separately for the show as solo artists.

Baptiste, who was fostered throughout his child and teenage years, graduated from Cambridge University this summer, with a BA in History.

Close friend Chris Banks, 22, from Peckham has known Baptiste for 9 years and watched him go from strength to strength with his piano and singing talents.

Banks said: ‘Whereas it seems a lot of bands formed on the X Factor are more style than substance, Ashley has musical talent beyond that of a singer. He writes and plays his own songs, and is a natural born entertainer.’

The first of the live X Factor shows last Saturday saw a cruel new twist in which there was no public vote, instead each of the four judges had to send home one of their own acts cutting down the finalists from 16 to 12.

Mentor Tulisa chose to save ‘The Risk’ and said of their performance of Plan B’s, ‘She Said’: “What’s different about you guys is that there is no cheese with you, you are all credible musicians… Some of you write, you play, this is a credible boy-band.”

See ‘The Risk’  in action on The X Factor this Saturday 7:30pm ITV1 when public voting opens once again.


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