The X Factor 2015: Politics student who became viral sensation with Jessie J video tipped to win

Tom Bleasby will face a revamped judging panel on the ITV talent show

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A teenage politics student, whose virtual duet with Jessie J became a viral sensation, is tipped to win the new series of The X Factor.

Tom Bleasby, 19, from Leeds, is one of the contestants facing a revamped judging panel on the ITV talent show, which returns tonight.

Bleasby, a first year politics student at King’s College, London, is already an internet star after using a karaoke app to post a video of himself singing Jessie J’s Flashlight with the singer. The clip has been viewed more than nine million times.

The talent show judges told Bleasby, whose soulful vocal style has been compared to Sam Smith and Adele, that he was “incredible.” Bleasby said he wanted to be a “singing politician”.

He has urged the Government to retain the hunting ban and campaigns against bullying, tweeting: “I’m not cool, I never have been cool, and never will be. I’m not gonna fit into your ‘mould’.”

Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw join the judging panel this year with Olly Murs and Caroline Flack presenting the series.

The judges were also impressed by a four-piece girl group, The Fourth Power, from the Philippines, who had flown to London to audition for the show.

Simon Cowell said the new judges had refreshed the format which has been beaten BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings battle in recent years.

He appealed for the BBC to prevent “avoidable clashes” when the shows go head-to-head on Saturday nights.

The Rugby World Cup, also screened by ITV, means there will be a reduced number of live X Factor shows on Saturday nights this year.