A TEENAGER whose performance left two X Factor judges in tears is pursuing her dream despite not being selected for the final stage of the show - by releasing a single, video and performing a string of Christmas lights switch-ons.

Shanaya Atkinson-Jones, of Newton Aycliffe, won over the panel of celebrities when she performed Say Something by A Great Big World during her first TV talent contest audition.

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Although she left Alesha Dixon and Nicole Sherzinger teary-eyed and Simon Cowell speechless, Sharon Osbourne shocked viewers when she sent the 19-year-old home ahead of the judge’s houses round.

This week, the soulful singer has released a music video to accompany her debut single - her own version of Say Something - and has announced she will be doing the honours at around ten Christmas light switch ons.

She said: “Things are going well. The X Factor has given me a great platform and I have learned a lot. The overall experience has been overwhelming and I still can’t believe that it happened. Regardless of not getting to the judge’s houses I feel like I’ve achieved a lot.”

Released last month, the artist’s first single has been “well-received” and premiered at 145 in the Google Play Singles Chart and on Tuesday her music video went live online.

The black and white video sees the singer at the microphone with a montage of family pictures in the background.

“It was really fun to make and was my first ever music video so it was always going to be exciting,” she added. “It turned out really well. It kind of opens up a bit about me, what I’m like and what I was like as a child.”

The would-be star is hoping to open up even more through new music in the making.

She is currently living between Newton Aycliffe and London, where she is spending time working on lyrics in the studio.

“I’m trying to let my wall down and open up to people and hopefully in the future I will get signed - that’s the goal,” she added.

But in the meantime, a host of appearances to perform festive duties will keep the singer busy.

On November 23, she will switch on the lights in Darlington. “I feel the Darlington lights switch-on is even more of a big achievement for me,” said the teenager.

“Last year, I had a bit of a sad moment. I’ve never been one to have friends and everyone was there with friends, not just there with their mums and dads. I got upset and we had to leave. I won’t need to cry this year.”