‘Avoid Louis, snog Gary, marry Simon’: An interview with 2013 X Factor contestant Tom Mann


Tom Mann, a 19 year old singer songwriter from Southampton impressed the judges at his recent X Factor auditions before wowing the nation when they were aired on national television. Tom popped up to Portswood to answer a few serious questions for The Edge.

How did you decide what songs to sing in your auditions? What other ones were you thinking about singing? 

I knew I definitely wanted to sing Passenger at my first audition. For my second, I considered singing ‘Ordinary People’ by John Legend or Paolo Nutini’s ‘Last Request’, but in the end I decided on Little Mix, ‘How Ya Doin’‘. I liked the idea that it was a boy doing a girl band song.

Where have you been when watching the shows you’ve been featured in?

Both at home with all the family round my house.

Do you like listening to yourself singing?

I’ve got used to that, that’s fine, but when I hear myself talking back to cameras and stuff I hate it, I sound like a sap.

Do you have any lucky rituals that you have used before auditions?

Not rituals but for the second round I had a stress ball, a little football, because I’ve never been so nervous in my life. I was scared of Sharon, I felt the pressure to impress her and it was the first time I’ve performed without a guitar. Good time to choose to do it haha. Literally from the moment we set off at 6am, throughout the whole day I had to rely on a little stress ball.

When you leave the X Factor will you be easily influenced to change your style like so many other X Factor contestants appear to have done in the past?

Umm no, because judging by what’s happened on Twitter and other social media, I’ve already gained quite a large fan base. From the first two rounds people have seen who I am and the fact that that’s created such a large following, I’m influenced to stick to what I’ve been doing already. It’s crazy.

What is your all time favorite song?

I have two! ‘Falling Slowly‘ by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, and ‘To Build A Home‘ by The Cinematic Orchestra; that’s gonna be my funeral song.

What is your favourite song right now?

Klangkarussell – ‘Sonnentanz‘ feat. Will Heard.

Other than music, what would be your ultimate career?

Football coaching, carrying on doing that, but I’d branch out into management and stuff like that too.

What would you choose as your first song to dance to at your wedding?

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You‘ – Frankie Valli.

Now, for some more quirky questions. Snog, marry, avoid – Simon, Louis, Gary?

Playing Hungry hippos with Tom

Playing Hungry hippos with Tom

Avoid Louis, snog Gary, marry Simon. Just cause he’s so manly.

Okay, so I’m going to begin a song that I’ve made up and I want you to come up with the next line. ‘I went to Oceana dressed as a banana…’

…One of my mates was a horse and the other was a llama!

Give us your most interesting, ‘never have I ever’

It’s not very interesting, but I’ve been driving for nearly 3 years and never have I ever parked in a multi storey car park, just cause I don’t like them. Multi-stories freak me out.

You’re on stage singing to a large audience, an elephant falls out of the sky and walks up to you. What does he say and why is he here?

Ohh, I hate questions like this! Well, he wouldn’t land on the stage cause there’d be a roof, so your question’s irrelevant. So the elephant’s actually on the roof, so I don’t know what he wants, you’ll have to find that out yourself cause he’s definitely not on the stage next to me. And he definitely can’t talk!

Would you rather live in a world without music or a world without food?

Will you get hunger pains in the world without food?


Ahh then without food. Definitely. I only eat when I’m hungry.

We ended the interview with a game of Hungry Hippos. Tom’s hippo was clearly more fussed about food than Tom himself as he won the majority of games. If X Factor doesn’t work out for the Southampton lad then at least he has a future in board games.


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