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Mel had X Factor even as a toddler

X FACTOR contestant Melanie McCabe was destined to be a star from a young age.

As these exclusive photos prove, Whitehall native Melanie grew up honing her pop star talents.

All the hard work has finally paid off for Melanie who has made it through to the judges' house stage on The X Factor.

But it wasn't all fun and games -- Melanie revealed that although Bootcamp was tough, it was nothing compared to the girls' stint in Miami, which she insists has been the most difficult part of her X Factor journey so far:

She said: "Bootcamp was hard, but the judges' houses was much harder because there was so much pressure and emphasis on you the whole time -- you have to do well.

"Once we got there it was straight into pure work and four days of intense challenges."

The 18-year-old wowed audiences with her voice when she auditioned in Manchester for the TV3 series and is one of 32 hopefuls hand- picked for the latest round of the show.

Set to compete for a place in newcomer Kelly Rowland's top four for the live finals, the beauty said that while she loved every minute of her stateside trip, it was extremely difficult at times.

She said: "We had jetlag and no time to sleep -- we were up every morning at half-six to get ready for the cameras.

"It was so hot over there during filming -- we had to film certain scenes like 10 times and it was roasting -- my make-up was melting off me," the singer laughed.

Mel divulged that Destiny Child star Kelly (30) has been a fantastic mentor. She also performed with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.

She said: "We all thought it was going to be Beyonce who would help Kelly, but I was just as happy to see Jennifer Hudson because I adore her and love her music."