X Factor's Luke Friend and Nicholas McDonald on their new found fame
19 NOVEMBER 2013X Factor contestants Luke Friend and Nicholas McDonald have opened up to HELLO! Online about their new-found fame, and performing in front of millions of viewers each week.
"It's weird because you always watch the show," said Scottish star Nicholas. "But you never think it's going to be you."
"It's a great opportunity," agreed Luke. "Some of the others are going to go on to do great things."
Boasting alumni such as One Direction and Leona Lewis, the competition has given some previous contestants international stardom.
"This is just the start," said Luke. "Once we come out of here, that's not the end."
If voted off, the dreadlocked contestant said it wouldn't stop him from pursuing a singing career, saying, "Maybe that's what happened in the past with contestants. That's why we never hear of them again."
For Luke, being in the public eye turned a life-long dream into reality when he met his idol, soul-singer Seal.
"It was one of the biggest things for me," recalled Luke. "I met someone who a couple of months ago, I was telling mum that I'd be so happy if I ever met him." As the X Factor heats up, he added, "Whatever happens, my life has changed for the better, hopefully."
The pressure is certainly on for the boys, especially after losing fellow category member Sam Callahan on Sunday night.
"Most of the week I'm worried in case I go out," said Nicholas. A favourite to win, he's determined to make the most out of his time on the X Factor. "I listen to everybody and soak in the experience. In the future anything they've told you could help you."
Nicholas, Sam Callahan, mentor Louis Walsh and Luke
Despite directly competing for the same prize, Nicholas and Luke have a strong bond. "I'm especially close to Nick because we’re both quite young," said Luke.
"People think it will get tense in the house," added Nicholas. "But we're like family."
Having made it this far, both boys are still amazed at the attention surrounding them. "Me and Luke 'get bombarded,'" said Nicholas. "I try to reply to as many people as I can, but it's really hard."