WANNABE pop star James Wythes, from Cradley Heath, hit a chord with judges to prove he had the wow factor at a Black Country talent contest.

The 19-year-old scooped first place after beating off strong competition from other hopefuls - including his own sister.

James impressed judges from Waterfords Entertainments Agency throughout the 12-week contest at the George Pub, Warley, which tested his singing ability and versatility, winning him £650, six hours recording studio time and a chance to work for the midlands-wide agency.

Contestants had to perform three songs in various styles each week with the challenges increasing to four numbers in the quarter finals, five in the semis and six in the final last Sunday.

His older sister, Elizabeth, aged 37, lost out in the round before the quarters, but cheered James onto success.

The teenager, of Station Road, performs in the style of Michael Buble, Westlife, swing, jazz and wrapping and recently reached the final of a Free Radio talent contest in Birmingham.

“I think I won the Wow Factor because I was the most versatile and probably improved the most over the time,” said James, who will perform in the regional finals of an X Factor-style contest run by the Hungry Horse pub chain on Sunday.