Our Stacey's homecoming

SONGBIRD Stacey Solomon wowed 400 lucky fans at a private homecoming gig in Barking last night - just days before her X-Factor finale.  The reality show finalist was greeted by whoops and chants of We love Stacey as hordes of youngsters welcomed home

SONGBIRD Stacey Solomon wowed 400 lucky fans at a private homecoming gig in Barking last night - just days before her X-Factor finale.

The reality show finalist was greeted by whoops and chants of "We love Stacey" as hordes of youngsters welcomed home their Dagenham Diva outside the Broadway Theatre.

Twenty-year-old Stacey, kitted out in a pretty pink coat, took time to greet fans, accompanied by proud mentor Dannii Minogue.

Super-supporter Jaime-Lee Samuels, 18, from Harold Hill, said: "I'm really happy to be here. She's really good and a real inspiration: she's a young mum following her dream!"

The lucky crowd was chosen through a lottery at Havering College, based in Ardleigh Green Road.

Before the gig a shell-shocked Stacey thanked the POST for its support and all the readers who had voted for her: "Everyone who has got behind me: thank you. If people hadn't have got behind me I wouldn't have been here," she said.

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"I feel so lucky. It's 35p every time someone rings to vote for me - that's premium rate - and I just think 'oh my gosh!'"

She added: "If people are supporting me I'm grateful. At the start I thought it was my family voting a thousand times. But people want me to do good, and that's really nice."

She also told of the heart-stopping moment during last Sunday's eviction show, when she didn't know if her name had been called out to go or stay.

"Imagine if I had got it wrong - that would've been embarrassing!" she gasped.

Stacey sang a medley of hits, including Somewhere from West Side Story, her famous first audition song Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from the Wizard of Oz.

Family, including 18-month-old son Zachery, cheered her on from special stall seats.

Dannii told the crowd: "This is the first time she's been out of the X-Factor studio and on home ground, so she's very excited."

Earlier in the day Stacey, of Western Avenue, Dagenham, visited her former haunts, including King Solomon High School in Barkingside.

She also brought Dannii home - where they shared pizza with her family.

"Dannii loves Dagenham," Stacey said.

Six months ago Stacey was singing alongside classmates from her National Diploma Performing Arts course Havering College's 2009 Celebration Dance Showcase at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch.

Now she faces the biggest performance of her life this weekend when she takes on Olly Murs and Joe McElderry for the X-Factor crown.

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