The West

Outsider Taylor in dash to win
Taylor Henderson is X Factor's dark horse. Picture: Supplied

He may be the dark horse of the competition but could Taylor Henderson come from the back of the pack to take out The X Factor?

While the spotlight has been on 14-year-old singing sensation Jai Waetford and Korean-born pop princess Dami Im since the live shows began, the 20-year-old from Geelong has been quietly building a steady fan base.

He proved that when he beat group Third D3gree for the last spot in the grand final of the smash-hit Seven talent search.

But despite the title being so close, the ever-humble former labourer is happy just to be showing Australia his music.

"I came on this competition not wanting to win for a second," he told AAA Weekend.

"I came on here because I wanted to sing and I played guitar and I thought maybe I could play Australia a song or two. I never thought I'd be singing every week.

"I tried new things, I've performed without my guitar, I did dancing and, oh my gosh, that was terrible. I just tried things that are completely out of my comfort zone and went for it and it was just fun."

Henderson - who has remained with girlfriend Meg while on the show - comes from a humble upbringing in county Victoria where he worked three jobs before his time on the show.

"I was labouring with Dad, I was stacking shelves at Cotton On in the warehouse at the head office," he said. "I was also busking out the front of an IGA where I would love it when I would be there for an hour and I would get my $27.53."

After Sunday night's show, Henderson's rendition of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun became his first No. 1 song on iTunes, where it stayed for most of the week - beating off the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

"My phone was going ballistic and it was really early. I woke up and answered my phone and my sister was like 'Taylor, you've just gone No. 1 on the charts', and I've just gone 'What'," he said.

However, it nearly didn't happen and almost ended in a heated clash with his mentor Ronan Keating.

"He goes 'Here's Girls Just Want to Have Fun', and I said 'But that's a girl's song!' I said 'But surely something's got to change here', and he said 'Yeah, your attitude'," Henderson explained.

"I really admire everything he says and, in the past, we've had a couple of little hiccups but that's OK because everyone does."

With the grand final sing-off set to air tomorrow at 6.30pm on Seven/GWN7, Henderson said it was anyone's game.

"There only three of us left and one of us has to win," he said. "It's a good place to be and the other two are incredible."

The West Australian

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