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Josh Daniel’s Tragic Story Makes Simon Cowell Cry His Eyes Out — Where Is He Now?

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

In 2015, singer Josh Daniel performed an emotional audition on The X Factor that made judge Simon Cowell cry. He shared the tragic story of his friend’s death, which touched Simon, who had recently lost his mother.

The audition has gone down as one of the most memorable in the show’s history. But where is Josh Daniel now? Read on to find out more about his time on The X Factor, and what he’s done since.

Josh Daniel makes Simon Cowell cry on “The X Factor.”

Josh Daniel Makes Simon Cowell Cry

Before he sang, Josh shared that he had lost his best friend two years before. “We were really, really close. We did everything together,” Josh said of their friendship. He chose to sing Labrinth’s “Jealous,” which he related to his grief.

“The lyrics kind of say, I’m jealous that you’re happy without me,” Josh explained. “And I kind of see it in the sense that I’m jealous that he’s now happy in heaven. That he’s moved on to a better place, and that I can’t still be with him.”

As Josh performed, judge Simon Cowell looked like he was holding back tears. Afterward, fellow judge Cheryl got choked up as she tried to share her thoughts. Tears started streaming down Simon’s face as Cheryl spoke.


Simon asked to go straight into a vote instead of sharing what he thought. “It’s three yesses,” he told Josh with a wink. As he walked off set, Simon could be seen crying. He had recently lost his mother and returned to work shortly after her death because she loved the show.

“I mean it was quite near when it all happened and I think it was the last audition and I wasn’t really expecting what happened,” Simon later said of his emotional reaction. “Of course the lyric of the song and it was quite difficult because I thought, ‘God this is going to be really hard to sit through this’. But then you’ve got to think of [the contestant] and it’s his moment but yes it was very emotional.”

Josh Daniel answers fan questions in a Q&A.

Where Is Josh Daniel Now?

Unfortunately, Josh didn’t make it to the X Factor live shows after his performance at the Judges’ Houses. The next year, however, he released his first post-X Factor single, “Nowhere To Hide.”


Josh has gone on to release several other singles since then, and he said in a recent YouTube Q&A that he writes or co-writes all of his original songs. He’s also put out covers of popular songs like “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish, which can be heard on his Spotify.

The singer also previously toured the UK in 2017 with Beverley Knight. The same year, he released a music video for his single “Skimming Stones,” which has over 900,000 views on YouTube. His most recent track is “Tattoo.”

Josh also has a “passion for business,” and in 2018 he opened up about running a successful packaging company with his friend. “With music, you never really know how long you will be in the spotlight,” he said. “I always wanted to have seeds planted elsewhere to make sure I wasn’t left stranded.”

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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