Danyl Aaron Johnson (born 1981) is from Arborfield, near Reading, Berkshire, England. He works as a dance and drama teacher, having taught at three stage schools, including the Southcote-based renowned stage school Starmaker and School of the Arts (SOTA) in Windsor. He also revealed that he survived testicular cancer as a boy. He opened up about his experience while answering questions from fans at a secret X Factor gig held at the O2 arena in London on 5 Decemeber. He said his brush with cancer had left him feeling passionate about encouraging men to get themselves checked out.
Johnson was previously a member of two boy bands, Upfrunt, a duo with band mate Steven Blackie, and StreetLevel, with band members Adam Harris, Dean Brindley and Steven Blackie. StreetLevel disbanded when Johnson left in 2006 to audition for The X Factor's third series, but he failed to make it past the early stages and did not get to audition for the judges. Johnson is also member of the band Empty Spaces, but he was forced to put the project on hold because his bandmate Nick Burrage did not want to be involved in The X Factor.
At the auditions in 2009, Simon Cowell described his performance of "With a Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles as "the best first audition I have ever seen." Johnson came out as bisexual in August 2009 in the national press, fearing kiss-and-tell stories. Following his performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in the first live show, Minogue said, "If we're to believe what we read in the papers, there was no need to change the gender reference" causing outrage amongst viewers. Minogue later apologised for any offence caused.
In week 2, Johnson sang a yet unreleased and largely unknown composition, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength", from Whitney Houston's I Look to You album, for which Cowell stated on air during an interview that he got special permission from Houston. However Johnson revealed later that he infuriated Houston by his choice of singing her unreleased album track. He admitted: "Whitney absolutely hated me and she was the worst guest." In week 3, Johnson sang "Feeling Good", receiving glowing comments from the show's judges, including one from Walsh that he was "unstoppable". However, after the public vote, he found himself in the bottom two with Miss Frank. After the judging vote went to deadlock, he was saved by the public vote. In week 4, Johnson sang Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing". In week 5, Johnson came on stage with a new look while singing Prince's "Purple Rain". He received great praise from the judges who approved of his new demeanor.
As of November 29, Johnson has made it into the Semi Finals with his performances of Take That's "Relight my Fire" and Elton John's "Your Song".
Danyl Johnson left the X-factor in the semi-finals on 6 December 2009 receiving the fewest number of votes of the remaining finalists, thus finishing 4th. His mentor said: "I said to him before we went on stage, there is nothing I would have changed, nothing more he could have done, he?s gone out on high. The official Danyl Johnson website also featured an original song from his Enchanced CD, an original composition entitled "Beautiful Life".
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