EXCLUSIVE 'He's like my little brother': X Factor winner Matt Terry reflects on his close friendship with Freddy Parker after denying THAT kiss... as he insists he's 'too busy for romance'
X Factor winner Matt Terry has insisted Freddy Parker is 'like a little brother' to him in the wake of fans' claims the pair shared a kiss on Sunday night's final of the ITV1 talent show.
The former waiter, 24, explained his fellow contestant was his closest friend on the show and admitted he is 'too busy for romance'.
Speaking in an interview with MailOnline, Matt said: 'Freddy’s like my little brother. Relley C, obviously Saara (Aalto), 5 After Midnight are my brothers. I love them all – I just can’t wait for the tour.'
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No romance: X Factor winner Matt Terry has insisted Freddy Parker is 'like a little brother' to him in the wake of fans' claims the pair shared a kiss on Sunday night's final of the ITV1 show
'Did I see him kiss Freddy?' As Matt was crowned the winner of The X Factor on Sunday night, fans speculated that he kissed former contestant Freddy on stage
Despite receiving hundreds of offers from swooning fans, the Bromley-based singer admits he's been single following a painful split from arts student girlfriend Jasmine Avis earlier this year.
And while the offers keep coming, Matt insists he has no desire to embark on another relationship at such an early stage in his career.
'I’ve just come out of a long relationship with my girlfriend, so I feel like now is my time for me to just take that on board and really focus on this,' he told MailOnline.
'It’s what I’ve wanted for such a long time so I’m just going to take it with both hands.'
Good pals: The former waiter, 24, explained his fellow contestant was his closest friend on the show and admitted he is 'too busy for romance'
Busy Matt looks ahead to a predicted number one with the Ed Sheeran-penned charity single When Christmas Comes Around.
But his success on the show comes as divisive rapper Honey G prepares for her own music career after being offered a surprise record deal by Simon Cowell's label Syco.
The performer polarised fans with her own unique take on a string of hip hop classics, however Matt insists the former recruitment consultant – real name Anna Georgette Gilford – has every right to pursue a recording career.
'I feel like throughout the competition she kind of just grew on people and had so much fun on stage,' he told MailOnline.
Plenty to celebrate: Despite receiving hundreds of offers from swooning fans, the Bromley-based singer admits he's been single following a painful split this year
Talented: The singer was mentored to success by show judge Nicole Scherzinger
‘Her fun kind of came across to everyone else. I 100 percent would take a record deal if I came out and I think fair play to her.
'I can only speak for myself, I think she’s one of those people you either grow to or you don’t and she takes it well.
'I think she’s got respect for it and she’s happy doing what she’s doing and that’s what’s most important.'
As the latest in a long line of winners, Matt is all too aware of the perceived curse that has resulted in former male victors Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Matt Cardle and Ben Haenow struggling to make a lasting impact on the charts.
Talented: Matt beat runner-up, Finnish singer Saara Aalton (pictured with mentor Sharon Osbourne) to be crowned winner of The X Factor 2016
Yet he remains quietly confident that hard work and commitment will help him maintain a successful pop career.
‘I feel like it depends on you and if you really want it and put in the hard work you can go out and get it,’ he insisted.
‘Say Shayne Ward for example, he’s just changed his career and won an award, he’s an actor in Coronation Street. I think anything is possible, whatever you put your mind to, and if you’re working hard you can do it.’
For now, Matt is hoping to land the coveted number one spot with his new single – and with good reason.
Bitter? As the latest in a long line of male winners, Matt is all too aware of the perceived curse that has resulted in the likes of Steve Brookstein struggling to make a lasting impact
All proceeds from the festive track will be divided between Together for Short Lives, a leading charity for UK children’s palliative care, and Shooting Star Chase, a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies.
‘It’s so important that this charity single does well for them,’ he said.
‘I’ve met some incredible kids on this journey, they’ve come to the show and you kind of get to know them on a personal level so I hope this charity single does well and I’m going to make sure I do my best.’
Why not? Matt told MailOnline divisive X Factor rapper Honey G has every right to pursue a recording career after her stint on the show
Earlier on Monday, X Factor winner Matt dismissed claims that he kissed former contestant Freddy while performing his debut single on Sunday evening.
The singer laughed off rumours of an intimate moment with Freddy as he closed the sixteenth series of the long running show with the Ed Sheeran penned charity track When Christmas Comes Around.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: “I don’t know what this is about. Freddy is my little brother, we hit it off straight away.
It didn't happen: X Factor winner Matt dismissed claims that he kissed former contestant Freddy while performing his debut single on Sunday evening
‘Since day one, we are just bro’s man. We have such a bromance going – no relationship I’m afraid guys, I’m sorry to say. Sorry man.’
The singer playfully added that Freddy would be 'fortunate' if he ever did the opportunity to kiss him.
'No I don’t think we kissed but he would have been lucky if I did,' he said.
On Sunday night Matt had much to celebrate as he was crowned the latest winner - promising a recording career and potential chart success.
Popular! The hunky singer revealed that he had received 'maybe hundreds' of marriage offers
Black to basics: Matt looked stylish in an all-black ensemble that included a leather jacket during an appearance on Good Morning Britain
But Matt also learned that his win has proved to be quite an aphrodisiac for older female fans, who have inundated him with marriage proposals.
The hunky singer made an appearance on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Monday, where he said of the amorous attention: 'Of course, it's so much fun. It is a lot of fun. It's crazy. I've said yes so many times (to the proposals)!'
Prompted by co-host Piers Morgan to estimate how many proposals he's received, Matt eventually agreed that he's 'maybe' had 'hundreds' of offers.
However, when Matt made a visit to the Lorraine show later on in the same morning, he appeared receptive to eponymous host Lorraine Kelly's advice to stay single.
As the jovial Scot concluded their interview with the advice that he has 'no time for romance', Matt Shook his head and replied: ''I'll remember you said that.'
Clear winner: Matt beat fellow finalist Saara Aalto with 48 per cent of the vote to 40
Notably, no mention was made of the speculation that he shared a kiss with fellow contestant and close pal Freddy Parker, 18, on the X Factor final stage.
As former contestants swarmed Matt during his moment of victory, eagle-eyed fans of the show soon began to claim that they saw him receive quite the congratulatory gesture from Freddy, who was voted off on Week Two.
As the likes of 5 After Midnight, Honey G and runner-up Saara Aalto surrounded Matt in a massive group hug in the centre of the stage, viewers took to Twitter to declare that they caught a glimpse of the two hunks sharing an affectionate kiss.
Pals: During his time on the show, Matt revealed that he's become pals with singer Sam Smith
The write stuff: His debut single, which will compete for the Christmas number one spot, was written by chart-topping star Ed Sheeran
Fresh faced: Matt looked fresh-faced for his early morning appearance, despite revealing that he'd only had 'about two hours' of sleep beforehand
No mention: During his chat with co-hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, no mention was made of the alleged kiss he shared with fellow contestant Freddy Parker on the X Factor stage
Before the final even came to a close, tweets began emerging from viewers who caught a supposed glimpse of Freddy and Matt's giddy moment.
'Well is there something going on between Matt Terry and Freddy Parker on the X Factor? Me thinks there is!' one social media user typed speculatively.
'Freddy Parker & Matt Terry are definitely a thing!!' came another more certain post.
'Matt and Freddy an item? Is that true or just gossip?' another fan desperately wondered.
'Very glad #MattTerry won #XFactor well deserved and did I see him kiss @FreddyParker98 at the end I do hope so!!' came someone else's commentary.
Still visibly elated, said on Good Morning Britain of his win - which saw him scoop 48 per cent of the vote over Saara's 40 per cent: 'I kind of didn't think I'd done it.
'I thought, "Woah, I can't believe this is happening!" To hear my name (announced as the winner) was a shock to me. It was amazing.'
He added: 'I still believe that this is happening to me. Honestly, I thought Saara had done it. She is amazing. She is one of the nicest people ever and she's so talented.'
Speculation: Fans of the show soon took to Twitter to express their views on Matt and Terry's close friendship
He also spoke of Louis Tomlinson's brave performance on the show's final, just days after losing his beloved mother to cancer.
'Honestly, to see him up there, all of us on stage and the entire arena, could see his bravery. I don't know id he could have done it. He was so brave to stand up there and sing that song. Absolute, complete trooper.'
Given his new-found fame, Matt is enjoying a growing list of celebrity pals - most notably Sam Smith, whose songs were covered by Matt during the competition and in the final.
'I was just on London Bridge and I bumped into Sam Smith and his sister! I have no idea how it happened. I just started speaking to him and he said, "Just be yourself and stay true to who you are.' I've taken it all on board.
Close: Hours after Matt's win, Freddy Parker, left, took to Instagram to share a selfie with the victor, alongside the caption: 'My brother. You did it,' followed by a heart emoji
'I haven't spoke to him since the X Factor win, but he did say he was really proud of my performance of his song, which means so much.'
Later, when he made his way over to the Lorraine' show, he said that he was looking forward to spending time with his family, in between a hectic schedule - but thanks to space constraints his sleeping quarters will be quite humble.
'I think I've got next week to be with my family,' he said. 'I'm so excited. My older brother's moved back though, so I'll be sleeping with the dog on the sofa!'
He also spoke about the close bond he has developed with his fellow contestants - and how he is looking forward to going on the X Factor tour with them.
Group hug! Host Dermot O'Leary, left, looked on as the contestants swarmed Matt
'I'll be grateful for that,' he said. 'We're an X Factor family and I can't wait for the tour. It's going to be so good.'
Matt has been supported by Freddy - who was mentored with him by Nicole Scherzinger in the Boys category - throughout, with Freddy championing the solo artist via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, encouraging the public to vote for him.
As soon as Matt was announced as the winner of the series, Freddy uploaded a cute snap to Instagram of him cuddling up to the champ, along with the caption 'My brother... you did it,' followed by a heart emoji.
Emotional: Freddy could be seen in the background, clearly happy for his former-competitor, being hugged by Gifty Louise as they watched Matt make his winner's speech
Matt was left astounded as he discovered he had beaten fellow hopeful Saara Aalto, 29, after the duo battled it out in the live show in Wembley Arena.
Led by Nicole Scherzinger, the Bromley-born crooner reigned victorious in the show's 13th series after which he belted out the winner's single Christmas Comes Around, written by Ed Sheeran.
He is the eighth solo male to win the show, although his predecessors have often failed to find chart success - a curse Matt is no doubt aiming to defeat.
Bromance in the air? Matt was then dragged away from the rest of his co-stars by the show's host Dermot O Leary, to express his reaction to winning the X Factor crown
As host Dermot announced the news that he had trumped his rival, Matt's reaction was so dramatic that he collapsed to the floor shortly before scooping his mentor into his arms.
The show's head honcho and chief judge, Simon Cowell lauded the rising star for his win as he said: 'Matt it's your night, it's an important record you know that' - a comment which could allude to his status as a male winner.
As he belted out the winner's single his fellow finalists joined him on stage while he tearfully sang the record during which he was congratulated by his cohorts, who bundled on top of him in an overjoyed display.
Proud pal: Freddy is a proud supporter of his pal Matt, who was long one of the favourites to walk away with the coveted crown
Disbelief: Matt was left astounded as he discovered he had beat fellow hopeful Saara Aalto, 29, after the duo battled it out in the live show in Wembley Arena
Another tweeter typed '#MattTerry giving Freddy a lil kiss there...' followed by someone else who posted: 'That hug from behind and that kiss!'
Last month, it was alleged that a secret romance relationship had blossomed between two of the show's unnamed male contestants.
The alleged dalliance was being kept hidden by the pair - known to both be singers that had made it through to the live shows - after they struck up a relationship during the audition process.
Cuddling up: The new friends been unabashed about showing their affection for one another
It was reported that the relationship was so under wraps not even the show's judges and most of their fellow contestants were aware if it.
According to The Daily Star, a same sex couple had been growing close after meeting during an earlier stage of the contest – but were keeping things quiet as their feelings developed.
'Their family and friends know they are an item but they've kept it a secret from viewers and that's the way they want it for now,' the source said.
Close pals: Freddy has long been a strong supporter of Matt, despite leaving in Week Two
Gratitude: Following his win, Matt has taken to Twitter to express his gratitude all around
Matt has grown increasingly close to mentor Nicole Scherzinger, who even broke down during an exchange with the contestant on final night.
She told him that he was the reason she returned to judging the competition as she gushed about her pride for him.
Similarly, it was Nicole who was first to receive a congratulatory hug from the winner, who swept her off her feet before doing the same for runner-up Saara.
After the show, the pair discussed their well-talked about relationship, calling it 'brother and sisterly'.
In touch: As seen on Freddy's Instagram account, the pair have stayed in touch throughout Matt's hard-fought rise to the top on the televised singing
'Since day one she's been there with open arms,' Matt said. 'And she's made me feel like I can go to her with anything I need.
'If I have any concerns, and she's just like "I'm your big sister", and that for me is so refreshing to have that. So I hit the jackpot with you.'
She added: 'It's so funny because they asked me to do a quote, and I was like "he's like my little brother", and I feel like I'm part of the family and I'm so proud.'
Controversially, Matt told Now magazine that Nicole was 'definitely' his celebrity crush, this week.
Back on stage: Freddy made a return to the ITV show on Saturday night to perform with the rest of the season's
Such a Doll! He was photographed receiving a hug from his mentor, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, who made a triumphant return to the show this year
He's certainly been inundated with female attention after being tagged with eligible status ever since his first audition.
'It’s been so cool!' he told the magazine. 'To see what they think of me… all of the letters have been really cute.
'But I do get a lot of older ladies saying that my voice does something to them, which is really strange.'
After all, it was during his first meeting with the judges that he revealed he was bouncing back from a break-up from his girlfriend and performed a song written about his heartache.
Secret romance: A love affair has been blossoming behind the scenes of The X Factor between two contestants that even the judges don't know about, a report claimed last month
The X Factor has had a long history of decidedly close friendships and romances and this year is no different – it brought together couple Emily Middlemas, 18, and Ryan Lawrie, 20.
And arguably fellow 1D star Liam Payne, 23, and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, 33, owe their relationship to the show – having originally met in 2008 when Liam auditioned in front of Cheryl when he was just 14.
Similarly, Zayn Malik - of One Direction fame - dated Rebecca Ferguson during the show and even went on to share a highly-publicised engagement to Perrie Edwards.
No secret: Emily Middlemas and Ryan Lawrie have been very open about their romance behind the scenes of The X Factor
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