By Cara Sulieman
THE FAMILY of X Factor contestant Storm Gardner are hoping fans in his native Scotland will back him all the way to the final.
Despite having lived most of his life in the States and appearing on the ITV show with a distinct American twang, Storm’s brother says he is patriotic and deserves the Scottish vote.
The 37-year-old flew over from LA where he currently lives to London to audition for the show.
When he appeared on the programme two weeks ago, Simon Cowell mocked the Edinburgh-born singer for his name but he blew the judges away with performance of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and was put through to boot camp.
But Garry Gardner said his younger brother deserved Scottish support all the way to the final.
He said: “I know he is now in LA but we would really like the backing of the Scottish public.
“You’d be pushed to find a person who is more patriotic than my brother, and we’re hoping he’ll come back to the capital when X Factor is tied up.
“Me, my daughter and my dad all watched Storm’s audition and, apart from Simon being an idiot when it came to his name, we think it went amazingly.”
And the mature student from Sighthill in Edinburgh said that Storm would be getting a lot of support from his family, adding that his little brother was his “hero”.
The pair – who speak or text every day – were inseparable as children, playing football and going to check out the local bands together.
Garry said: “It is all he has ever wanted to do and he has been singing constantly since I was little.
“I remember he used to try and sing for me, but I would walk away because I found it boring.
“My most vivid memory is of us going down to the Hibs Club on Easter Road to see the live bands on Sunday afternoon.
“There would always be an open mike competition and one week Storm got up to sing Flower of Scotland and the crowd went mad.
“The prize for the best singer was a box of Malteasers.
“Storm won the chocolates every week for a month.”
Garry, who was born with only one arm, said Storm had helped him realise he could overcome his disability.
He added: “He is my hero. My wee brother is always someone I’ve looked up to.
“He’s got courage, he always stands up for the underdog, and he’s confident without being big-headed.
“He also always had the ladies chasing him.”
The boys’ mother – Arras Robertson – walked out on the family when Storm was just four years old.
They lived with their father Robert on St Mary’s Street in the city centre.
Now partially back in touch, Arras has told newspapers of her pain at not being told about her son’s X Factor bid.
But Garry said that he didn’t want to talk about the family’s past, just saying that it has been “difficult” and “complicated”.
He added: “I don’t really want to say much about that. Storm isn’t after the sympathy vote.
“We were fine and we looked after each other.
“We didn’t have much money, but my dad worked hard as a welder and we got by.”