had been working as a dustman in London until exposure on the second series of the TV talent show The X Factor allowed him to pursue a full-time career in recording. Although only a runner-up on the show, he signed to Sony/BMG and his debut album, The Impossible Dream
, was released in March 2006, entering the charts at number two behind fellow X Factor contestants Journey South
. Exactly half of the 14 tracks were songs he had sung throughout the show, all cover versions to show off the two sides of his voice: the Luther Vandross
type emotional soul balladeer of "Me and Mrs Jones," "When a Man Loves a Woman," and "The Greatest Love of All," and the Nat King Cole
style crooner with two Cole
songs, "Unforgettable" and "When I Fall in Love," which unfortunately show a complete lack of originality in the arrangement, the intro almost identical to the original's, a fate that also befell his version of Stevie Wonder
's "Lately." The album ends with the title track "The Impossible Dream" from the musical Man of La Mancha, a different version of which had also been receiving prime-time exposure in a Honda ad. Nice voice, nice guy, but nothing that hasn't been sung many, many times before.