FOR Adil Memon, leaving the X Factor when he did was a blessing in disguise.
The Ipswich teen was the first Top 12 contestant voted off the Channel 7 reality singing show, days before his close friend and fellow contestant Josh Brookes was booted off by management.
Despite Adil being safe at home when Australian media pounced on news that Josh had been kicked off due to his involvement in an unofficial Twitter webcam session, the news still hit Adil hard.
Adil, who was a witness to the session, which he said included "a joke that was not meant to have a derogatory meaning at all" but was "misinterpreted", shut down his social media and recuperated at home for a fortnight.
Now, the Ipswich teen wants to focus on the future.
"I do feel sad for Josh; I'm hoping to do everything to help him and we might even collaborate down the track," he said. "Personally, I wasn't expecting to leave the live shows after the first one, but I feel like I've got a foot in the door in an industry I love and I'm going to keep pursuing my dream."
Since leaving the show, Adil has recorded a demo and played a few gigs, with many more lined up across Australia, including at Springfield next weekend.
"The X Factor was a very full-on experience, but now I'm back I'm busy with booking gigs and talking to people," he said.
Adil will headline the Greater Springfield Festival next Sunday, taking to the Robelle Domain stage at 6pm.
He said it would be a great opportunity to perform in front of local people, as well as to entertain his younger fans.
Adil has more than 21,000 fans on Twitter.
- Adil's family, made up of parents, a brother and a sister, migrated to Australia in 2008.
- The English family moved to Ipswich, where Adil's dad works as a doctor.
- The teenager attended Ipswich Grammar School, and took a part-time job as a local lifeguard.
- He is now pursuing a career in the music industry.