After failing to break into the music biz, Ben admitted he had lost his confidence when it came to being a singer.
But, thanks to his pal putting his name down for The X Factor, the van driver from Croydon is back on form and now within reach of taking home the title.
Speaking ahead of The X Factor final this weekend, Ben claimed he "didn't believe" he was going to make the final three of the talent competition.
Recalling his first audition, Ben said: "It was actually a friend of mine at work who filled in my application form for me.
"I had the Saturday off work. so I thought why not, I'll go and queue up with hundreds and thousands of people and see what happens.
"Then I got through that first stage and I thought... 'hmm this could work out'."
Following his room audition, Ben was praised by the judging panel, with Mel B saying his voice was a "killer", and Simon Cowell telling the 29-year-old he was "surprised" that with his talent he hadn't yet landed a record deal.
Since then, Ben has sailed through the competition, making the final three without ever being in the bottom two.
Now looking to be crowned this year's X Factor champ, Ben admitted he "would be fighting" to win.
"The closer you get to the final, the more you want to win," he said. "As cliche as it sounds, I've learnt that if you want something, keep chasing it.
"I've been trying to make it in this industry for such a long time. We've all come so far - we can be proud of that."
Meanwhile, Ben has been busy drumming up support ahead of the final this weekend.
Joined by Simon, the X Factor hopeful headed back to Croydon on the Battle Bus to perform for his fans in his local highstreet. But, making a quick stop-off before showing off his vocals, Ben surprised his mum at work, whisking her off to his show with him.
Following his hometown performance, Ben tweeted: "Still smiling from yesterday!! Your votes and support have been amazing! Let's keep it going and win this thing!! Xx."
Tomorrow night, he goes head-to-head with fellow overs contestant Fleur East and Mel B's remaining boy Andrea Faustini.
Promising to be a star-studded final, as well as the finalists performing, it has been confirmed One Direction, Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Take That will also be taking to the stage.
The X Factor final begins this Saturday 13 December at 8.30pm on ITV.
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