The West

Matt rises to challenge
Matt Gresham performs on The X Factor. Picture: Seven.

South Fremantle singer Matt Gresham might have The X Factor after wowing the judging panel in his audition which aired last night.

The 23-year-old's passionate performance of Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry on the hit Seven reality talent search received screams from the crowds, along with gushing praise from Ronan Keating, Guy Sebastian and Natalie Bassingthwaighte, who said she was almost moved to tears.

"You are a true talent. I am so happy you have found a home here at The X Factor - well done," Keating said.

"You are hands down my favourite male in this competition," Sebastian added.

However, Mel B wasn't as keen on Gresham's style of singing.

"One of my pet peeves, you are an Aussie boy singing in a Jamaican accent," the former Spice Girl said. "It did my head in.

"Forgetting about that for one minute, you are a very unique, unique and cool performer. We haven't seen that on this stage so for that alone you are bloody great."

Despite Mel B's mixed comments, Gresham told AAA he hoped she would end up being his mentor on the show when he gets to the boot camp stage of the competition.

"She was the judge who least liked me on the show and it would be good to be able to change her," Gresham said. "All the other judges really liked me, so I would like a challenge."

Last night, the singer/ songwriter, who is also a self- taught acoustic guitarist, also revealed he had struggled with a drinking problem a few years ago. Giving up drink helped him settle down and take his music career seriously.

"I left school at 18, like any kid does," he said. "I was kind of drinking a lot. I went from drinking like twice a week to every day. When I was 20 I gave up drinking and just focused on music."

The West Australian

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