“Pick up the phone and double the votes.”

That’s the message from Witham’s favourite son, Olly Murs, who was “shocked” to be in the X Factor sing off but said it has given him a “good kick up the backside”.

The star spoke to the Witham and Braintree Times on Tuesday as he made his way to a vocal coaching session at a London studio.

Olly, 25, took time out to discuss how he felt after Sunday night’s show, backing he’s had from JLS and rumours of a relationship with fellow Essex contestant Stacey Solomon.

He also described how he is facing up to missing his brother’s wedding and how his nan got the crowd at a live show chanting his name.

Olly found himself in the bottom two of the competition after singing George Michael’s Fast Love on Saturday night.

He said: “I was shocked to be in the bottom two but I don’t take the public votes for granted and I understood I could be in there at some point.

“But I have been given a second chance and I will make the most of it.”

He said this weekend the contestants have two songs to sing, a Take That number and an Elton John song, and he promised “a bit more bite and a bit more attitude”.

Olly said: “I hope people aren’t being complacent, please put one or two votes in if you can.”

The former call centre worker, who regularly receives rave reviews from the judges, said he was “gutted” when Jamie Archer was voted off the show as they are great mates.

He said as he was singing Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight for the sing off it dawned on him what was at stake.

“I didn’t think that would be it. It hit me half way through the song which was a good thing, it made me sing my heart out,” he said.

An upbeat Olly said he got a text after the show from Marvin Humes from chart toppers, and former X Factor runners up, JLS.

“He said they were in the same position last year and you can turn it into a positive. It will give me a good kick up the backside and I will get out there and perform,” Olly said.

Olly, who is now working hard for Saturday night, said he was sorry to see twins John and Edward Grimes leave the show.

He said they are “great guys” and backstage before the sing off they were wishing him luck.

Olly, of Carraways, dismissed tabloid reports him and Stacey Solomon are an item although he didn’t rule it out in the future.

He said who knows what might happen after the show but they “just get on really well.”

He said: “She is the only girl left in the competition and from Essex and I’m an Essex lad, the papers just put two and two together.

“She is my closest mate in the house but there is nothing there at all we are just so chuffed to be in the show.”

He said he would “110 percent” want Stacey to win the show if he doesn’t, as she is a “great singer and has the personality of a star”.

For the rest of the interview see the Witham and Braintree Times.

Watch the X Factor on ITV, this Saturday and Sunday from 8pm.