Jahmene Douglas on a mission to raise standards in music

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X Factor finalist Jahmene Douglas

He's loved for his shy and gentle manner, but X Factor finalist Jahmene Douglas has shown real strength, not only in surviving the horrific abuse of his father, but in putting his foot down when he is asked to do something that contradicts his values.

Jahmene, who will be competing in tomorrow night's finals, spoke to the Daily Mail about how he used to pray to get through the torment of living with his abusive dad, Eustace.

The abuse included torturing Jahmene's mother, Mandy, with a blowtorch and beating Jahmene with a belt.

"When you hear your mother screaming you have to zone out and pray. It's the only thing you can do when you can't help," he said.

"I block it all out so it's hard to remember stuff. But that last night, before my father was arrested for the blowtorch, that was the only time I thought: 'I won't see my mother in the morning.'

"So when you wake up - I didn't wake up, actually, as I didn't sleep - and your prayers have been answered because she's alive, it shows no matter how bad things are, there's always something to remind you that you can pull through."

Although Eustace was eventually jailed, he made life at home miserable for years and Jahmene's older brother Daniel committed suicide four years ago because he could not cope.

Jahmene recalls how his father didn't want them to go to church and stopped the children from going to Sunday school.

But the difficult past is inspiring Jahmene to sing not for money and fame, he said, but to share love and give people hope.

"When I sing, I'm separating myself from everything else and trying to offer something else - a light or a beacon of some kind."

He also wants to restore values to the music industry as a whole. When the X Factor production team wanted the contestants to join in a performance of Katy Perry's Last Friday Night, he objected to the lyrics - which reference getting drunk and having a ménage à trois - because he felt they were inappropriate for 16-year-old contestant Ella Henderson to be singing.

"A lot of singers have forgotten they have a responsibility through influencing people - mainly the younger generation," he told the newspaper.

"So all these foul songs - they don't realise how badly the're poisoning children's minds.

"I'm trying to bring back the class of the olden days and hopefully set some standards."

Jahmene sees his appearance on X Factor as the answer to his prayers to bring about positive change in the world.

"When all hope was gone, I used to get on my knees and pray for the strength to change things," he said.

"I think the fact I'm here now proves my prayers have been answered. The X Factor is a massive platform to help change things for someone else."

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