Thousands of people have been watching the YouTube videos of Italian singer Andrea Faustini performing at X Factor UK.

The 20-year-old from Rome conquered the hearts of the four judges when he performed Who's Lovin You by the Jackson 5.

In another exhibition, the talented singer moved judges Cheryl Cole and Mel B to tears with his rendition of Whitney Houston's I Didn't Know My Own Strength.

Faustini – described as "fantastic" by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran - explained that he chose the song because he related to the lyrics.

"These lyrics are about me. I didn't know my own strength. I didn't know I could be powerful on the stage," he said.

The video of the performance has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people in three weeks.

Faustini, who is being mentored by Mel B, is one of the favourites to win this year's competition.

Who was Faustini, before becoming an X Factor star?

Faustini, who has been singing since he was three, first appeared on Italian TV in 2008, when he took part in entertainment show Ti lascio una canzone, I leave a song to you.

He then released his first single: Per Me e Per Te, For me and For You, produced by record company Cantieri Sonori.

According to people close to him, the young singer loves pugs so much that he went to the X Factor casting wearing a t-shirt with the image of a pug on it.

In an interview with the Italian press, the singer defined himself as the male version of Bridget Jones.

"I am clumsy, gauche and I always stumble," he said. "I am the male Italian version of Bridget Jones".

Speaking to Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, Faustini said he tried to participate in the Italian version of X Factor, but was rejected three times.

"Maybe I was not ready," he said and then added he has always been "a fan of the English version."