A 31-YEAR-old singer who auditioned for Simon Cowell as a teenager received a standing ovation from the Britain's Got Talent audience.
Even Simon eventually got to his feet to applaud Andrew Derbyshire who appeared on the ITV1 show on Saturday night.
The former Accrington and Rossendale College student won through to the next round with his lively version of Jocelyn Brown's Somebody Else's Guy.
As a breathless Andrew declared: “I'm exhausted”, the judges returned to their seats to heap praise on the performer.
Alesha Dixon said: “You really did just own the whole stage and I'm just pleased for you because your talent is just fantastic.”
Once Andrew started his song, the crowd were on their feet and three judges, except Simon, stood to clap at the end.
As Andrew encouraged, ‘C'mon Simon’, a grinning Cowell rose to his feet. Judge David Walliams said: “Andrew, you were singing for your life there. Be confident in your talent because it’s 100 per cent there.”
Meanwhile, Simon said he thought Andrew, who is from Burnley, had ‘probably sung in some really horrible places’ since his audition on Pop Idol as a youngster, and accused him of appearing ‘quite desperate’ in his performance.
But he said: “Actually, you've got a really good voice Andrew. We've never had a male diva on the show like you before.”
To which Walliams retorted: “I think we have.”
According to national newspaper reports, this was the fourth time Andrew had appeared on talent shows. He also auditioned for The Voice and X Factor, as well as Pop Idol. But the openly gay performer was unsuccessful on those occasions and said: “I was pretending to be this straight little boy and now I'm happy to be who I am.”
And there was no mistaking his success this time as Andrew, who said he'd done a number of jobs including being a ‘meeter and greeter for Argos’ and a ‘perfume sprayer at Debenhams’, took to the stage at the Hammersmith audition in London.
It was also reported that he has already had several roles in West End shows, including We Will Rock You, and he is also said to have toured with Joseph after winning a scholarship to study at the prestigious Arts Educational in London.
Andrew, who admitted to being 'absolutely obsessed with the Queen' received four 'yes' votes on Saturday’s show to progress to the next round.
And, once he had skipped off stage, he told presenters Ant and Dec: “Just to hear a positive coming from him (Cowell), it just feels like the best thing in the world."