SPANISH songstress Ruth Lorenzo proved she still had the X Factor when she performed to adoring fans.
The ITV reality show sweetheart was greeted by hundreds of screaming fans at a new car dealership in Rochford.
The event was organised by the Basildon-based Toomey Motors Group to mark the opening of its showroom in Cherry Orchard Way, Rochford, on Saturday which sees all its Southend operations under one roof.
Ruth serenaded her audience with a soulful rendition of Knocking on Heaven’s Door before giving away two cars to lucky winners on Saturday.
Despite her confident performance, before taking to the stage, Ruth admitted to having a touch of the jitters.
She said: “I always get nervous no matter what happens. I just can’t believe it all. People have been treating me so well, even though I’m not British and didn’t get to the final of the show. Everyone has been so loving, so welcoming.”
Ruth, 25, had only just been back to her home in Murcia, Spain, for the first time since appearing on TV and she was over-awed at being recognised there.
Now she is looking forward to the X Factor tour which starts on February 22 in Aberdeen.
She said: “The best thing about the tour is being together again. It’s like going back to the X Factor house, and we all get along well.”
She was later joined by fellow finalist Rachel Hylton, 26, who had got stuck because her driver had failed to appear and arrived in a flurry of apologies.
“I really really really want a record deal,” she said. “I sort of know maybe on X Factor I maybe came across as being a bit difficult, but I don’t consider myself difficult. I’m just passionate about what I do and what I love.
“I hope there’s a record company out there that will see that and see that I will give 110 per cent.”
Rachel’s dedication was clear after she took the 114 bus to her home in south Harrow on Friday and decided to serenade everyone onboard.
She said: “I was coming home on the bus with my kids and this group of teenagers from secondary school saw me and they said, ‘That’s Rachel!’ So I sang to them.”
The girls were joined by Scott Robinson, who was one fifth of boyband Five, and hopes to be hitting our TV screens soon.
The Pitsea lad has been putting his name forward for reality shows and has already appeared on Celebrity Scissorhands, but he is hungry to appear in the I’m a Celebrity jungle.
He said: “A couple of years ago if somebody had said to me would I do Celebrity Big Brother I would’ve said no.
“This year I did get put forward for it and apparently I didn’t do it because I’d just done Scissorhands.
“Jay, my fellow bandmate, did the jungle and said it was a life-changing experience.” He has two sons Brennan, seven, and Cavan, two, and the eldest is already following in his footsteps by performing in an open mic night at their local pub in Pitsea.
Scott, 29, said: “He loves it naturally and I haven’t even tried to get him to be a singer.
“He’s come to me and said, ‘Dad, can you help me do this backing track?’ It must be in the blood!”
During the event to mark the opening of the £18million dealership development, a Vauxhall Aglia and a Chevrolet Matiz were given away during a game where Ruth had to totter around in high heels trying a selection of keys to the doors.
Kristian Hills, area manager for Toomey’s Southend, said: “We are really pleased with the event and both Ruth and Rachel were fantastic.
“This is the perfect way to official open the new showroom.
“Giving away two brand new cars to people who really appreciated them was the icing on the cake.”