Sam Kelly: Britain's Got Talent finalist to 'pay back' fans
- 19 May 2012
- From the section Norfolk
A week after the Britain's Got Talent (BGT) final, contestant Sam Kelly, from Norfolk, is in a thoughtful mood.
As he reflects on playing the biggest gig of his life in front of a 12 million strong TV audience and music mogul Simon Cowell - what comes next for the singer-songwriter from Spixworth?
The terribly non-showbiz answer to that - as he sits in a Norwich student café bar nursing a cup of tea, oblivious to the frisson of excitement he's causing among the lunchtime crowd - is the hunt for some throat pastels.
The adrenalin-fuelled high of BGT slowly ebbing away, leaving behind a raging sore throat.
"I'm feeling the effect a bit now," he said. "I think the fuel of all the excitement has run out and I'm just completely shattered, but I'm not downhearted about not winning at all.
"It was a fantastic experience, I'm so pleased I've done it - but this is the first time I've really had a chance to sit down and catch up on everything I've just done."
Kelly, 19, strummed his way into the TV talent show final picking up the most public votes in his semi-final heat following his stripped-back version of the Goo Goo Dolls' hit Iris.
Although failing to make the top three in the live final with his performance of The Rascals' Bless This Broken Road - the show has rewarded Kelly with a management deal, floods of offers for personal appearances and 62,000 plus followers on Twitter.
"I think '62,000 followers - that's really weird'. It's just strange so many people want to know what I'm doing as obviously they are used to following big celebrities and that's not me.
"I have to think what I tweet now too. It's strange having to be careful with stuff like that as you could completely ruin your career by just making a joke."
Paying back fans
Far from simply riding the BGT bandwagon, Kelly refuses to immediately release an album.
"First for me is to get some live gigs to pay back all the people that voted for me by gigging near them.
"I want to gauge my original material with a live audience and see what they think. I don't want to make a mediocre album of covers just to sell as many as possible on the back of BGT.
"You see that all the time, people trying to get something out as soon as possible so they can make a bit of money - but I know I'd look back in five years and think 'That's rubbish, why did you do it?'
"I want to spend time writing a good album of original material, but I'm not going to rush into it - musical integrity is really important to me."
The BGT bandwagon threw Kelly into the media spotlight. Surprisingly, it was his lifelong love of sport and Norwich City FC that quashed inquiries.
"One tabloid kept ringing me up about girls and eventually I said I fancied Delia Smith to get them to go away - and then there was a massive article about how I like older women and Delia being tasty - but they didn't ask me again, so thanks Delia.
"I love playing sport and and I'm a massive Norwich City fan. After BGT maybe they'll let me play for the crowd one game."
As Kelly enjoys a few days in Norfolk, there's one final thought that crosses his mind.
"One of the best things about BGT - being a student with not much money - is I got about £600 of free clothes. The semi-final and the final were the two nicest pairs of shoes I've ever worn."