X Factor: Family are rooting for Ella Henderson's fairytale ending
THERE are many simple things Ella Henderson has been missing since living the X Factor life – and one thing is her piano, which her parents have now taken to London for her.
Mum Michelle Henderson, 49, from Tetney has put her "life on hold" to support Ella during the X Factor, even packing her small piano into their Range Rover to help support Ella's creative songwriting while she is living in the capital.
And another thing Ella has been missing is her mum's home-cooking.
Michelle said: "Ella is really close to all of her family and she misses it all when she is staying in London.
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"It was a surprise when she came home on Halloween for her brother, Fraser's, 21st birthday.
"She had really missed my home cooking, and she especially loves my seafood risotto.
"But she had missed my shepherds pie even more, and I even spelt out Ella with tomatoes on the top of the pie."
Michelle said Ella missed being creative and writing her own songs while at X Factor, which is why she asked for her piano to be with her in London.
She added: "Every artist on the show has got their musical instruments with them like a guitar, and we thought 'why can't Ella have hers?'
"I think she uses the piano to chill out and get away from it all, and she feels like she isn't being creative when it's not there."
Michelle believes Ella has coped with X Factor so professionally because she is used to being away from home and family, including dad Sean, brother Fraser and sister Holly, after attending Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire.
"She is very grounded and copes with the demanding schedule – getting up at 6am and not finishing till 8pm – because she used to do that at Tring.
"When she went to Tring in 2007 she had a huge party with all of her friends from St Martin's School and Lesley Swaby Dance School. It was heartbreaking to let her go to boarding school, but it was something that she has always wanted to do."
One of Ella's most influential mentors, apart from Tulisa, was her singing teacher Steph Norman of Clee Road.
"She was a real mentor for her and very influential. She went to her from seven years old and had piano lessons – she had a lot of singing exams with her too.
"And Ella loves Tulisa's advice, she is there for her 24-7 and she feels comfortable speaking to her.
"Ella has got so much respect for all the judges – she used to dance to the Pussycat Dolls when she was younger, and she thinks Tulisa is a great singer.
"Ella also used to love Barney the dinosaur, and when she was one we had to sing the I Love You song every night.
"When she was a little older she used to be singing all the time around the house and her brothers used to say 'Mum! Tell her to shut up' but when she went to boarding school we missed her singing."
Other family memories include the time spent at their beach hut in Sandilands, near Mablethorpe.
Michelle said: "She used to sit in the beach hut and just sing – every time she amazed me.
"In a karaoke competition at Sandilands, she blasted everyone with a Tina Turner song – Simply The Best – at the age of seven.
"The resort is a place to touch base and a place to relax – we have been back there after she came back from the judges' houses and had a really nice time."
Supporting Ella through the live shows has been a real family affair, with almost every family member making the journey, including uncles and aunties from Scotland.
"The tickets are like gold dust and we have to share them out. Her aunty from Cleethorpes is going to see the live shows this weekend, and Ella's three cousins from Cheshire have also been to see her," Michelle added.
"The show is absolutely amazing and you feel like you are part of it, rather then being on a television show.
"It is so professional and the atmosphere is amazing. Last week I think Ella did a fantastic job and she stripped back the song and gave it her best.
"Each week she has a big say in what she wants to wear – she is good with choosing her outfits. She never wears anything that she doesn't feel comfortable in."
The X Factor live shows will be on ITV1 on Saturday night at 8.05pm and the results are on Sunday at 8pm.
Keep checking www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk for live updates. Full coverage will appear in your Grimsby Telegraph on Monday.
Send your messages of support to Ella and Micky by filling in the online form. A selection will be printed in the Grimsby Telegraph.