Sam Bailey: X Factor judges scared me MORE than prisoners - EXCLUSIVE

You'd have thought being a prison office was a pretty scary job at the best of times.

Sam Bailey says singing in front of the judges was scarier than working in prison. Copyright [Rex]

But X-Factor favourite Sam Bailey reckons singing in front of the judging panel was far more knee-knocking than walking the corridors of a prison ever is.

Speaking exclusively to Yahoo omg!, the 36-year-old told us that the real fear kicked in when she had to serenade Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger.

Sam told us the X Factor judges freaked her out. Copyright [Rex]

Asked about how scary her day job is Sam said: "Being a prison officer is tough, you've got to be really thick-skinned but it's not a scary job you've just got to be very assertive to do it."

And she claimed facing the fearsome foursome of judges was tougher than performing in front of thousands in the audience part, adding: "I would prefer to sing in front of twenty-five thousand people than be in that room auditioning, singing in front of only a couple of people - it scares the bejeezus out of me!"

Sam Bailey would rather sing in front of thousands than a few. Copyright [Rex]

Sam joked that she normally asks to have the lights out during a performance but that this would never have been possible for the small scale audition.

She said: "I couldn't actually ask that! Just say 'Excuse me, can you turn all the lights out in the room so I can sing?'

"That was really intimidating, but put me in front of thousands and thousands of people and I switch completely. As soon as the music starts I'm in the moment, I forget where I am and become someone else."

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The Leicestershire prison officer is no stranger to singing in unusual environments. "The acoustics are good in the prison corridors!" laughed Bailey, who once sang a version of Adele's 'Someone Like You' to a room of fifteen prisoners, including being accompanied by one of them on acoustic guitar.

Would she go do it again, maybe even putting out a Johnny Cash style live album?

"In regards to performing on stage in the prison: No. But doing something that's going to help the prisoners, that's something I would like to look at doing in the future. I'd like to give back to the prison service because they've been so supportive of me and I can't thank them enough."

We can't wait to see what happens to Sam the singing sensation in the weeks ahead!

Reporting by Dashiell Asher

Nicole Scherzinger wore this semi-sheer gown slashed to the navel for the climax of the X Factor final. Copyright [Rex]
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Mon, Dec 16, 2013 11:00 GMT