X Factors Same Difference Sean’s torn transformation and relationship with his sister


Sean Smith was one half of X Factor’s Same Difference, which finished third in 2007, but they’ve now split and he’s barely recognizable from his days in the squeaky-clean bubblegum-pop duo

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Same Difference’s Sean Smith unveils new look

Sean Smith is barely recognizable from his days in the squeaky clean bubblegum pop duo Same Difference.

It’s been almost 15 years since the brother and sister group captured legions of fans with their fun, cheesy tunes on The X Factor and made it to the finals in 2007.

Despite finishing third, Same Difference signed a big money deal with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco and performed around the world.

But the double ended in December 2014 because their long collaboration had become “a little too much” and the siblings wanted to be “nostalgic” rather than “whip at a dead horse.”

While sister Sarah opened a dance school and started a family, Sean took a different path as a solo artist that allowed him to show a whole different side to audiences.

The singer released debut solo single “Turn Me On” in September 2016 and his debut solo album “Solo” in July 2020. He spoke to The Mirror about his life now and his new direction in music.

Same Difference reached the X Factor finals in 2007


Ken McKay)

Sarah and Sean have gone completely different paths


Ken McKay)

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“What’s great about this album is that I was able to explore my sexuality,” says Sean. “The entire time I was in Same Difference, I was seen as brother’s brother and sister’s brother.

“I was kind of asexual in the way people saw me. I could come out and say this is who I am and start singing about relationships, love and sex.

“I really enjoyed this time in my life. In a way, that’s what I set out to do. But I had to go that cheesy pop way and come out the other side.”

His second album “Swing For The 90’s” was released in April last year and Sean’s new single ‘In love with the night’ was released on Friday and topped the dance charts.

Sean, who is currently in Miami while starring on live dance show Burn The Floor, is looking to return to the heights he reached on Same Difference with his solo music.

“The truth is in my heart I just want to be signed back like we were as Same Difference. Nothing comes close to that in truth. I just want everything back. Being an artist and making records,” he admits.

Sean, who is emotional that his fans have remained loyal to him over the years, has made a dramatic change by tearing himself up and dying his hair blonde.

“It was kind of like I had to show this new side of me that isn’t the same difference so people see you differently,” Sean tells us.

Sean showed off his new blonde look on Loose Women



“I remember being on Loose Women and they were all over me like some of the guys that are performing there, which felt great.

“I think I’m ripped just because I’m working with all these incredible ballroom dancers who keep their bodies in shape. You don’t want to be an outsider on stage.

“Get out [in Miami] I eat, sleep, train, repeat. I have a much more active lifestyle now.”

Sean is clearly loving life at the moment but admits all he’s thinking about is settling down and starting a family.

“My sister has two children now, they are absolutely amazing. I see that life and I can imagine it for myself,” Sean admits.

“I just broke up with my girlfriend. Thingas was getting too tired to be gone for so long. It got to a point where things became commonplace and we eventually broke up.

“I look at my life and I’m like, ‘You’re 36, you really need to start settling down.’ But performing is one of those things where it’s addictive when you love it and you miss it.

Here’s how he looked back on his X Factor days



“You can have the best relationship in the world and still miss everything that comes with performing — and that’s exactly where I am.

“I can’t imagine not wanting to perform. Although I’ve realized that I was always the young, youthful, fresh guy in the cast and now I’m the older, wiser guy.

“It kind of sucks because I still feel so young. It’s a strange place. I feel like if I can’t find anyone, it’s always ‘married at first sight’.”

Life is very different for Sean’s sister Sarah, who has her own dance school in her hometown of Portsmouth and lives there with her husband and two sons.

Sean explains what happened when they parted ways: “Sarah immediately bought a church and did everything with her dance school. It really put her and her husband on a new path, and now they’re absolutely thriving. It was definitely right for her.

“We have a lot of respect for each other now. Sometimes we’ve moved in different directions and as a family it’s difficult to do.

“The kids are absolutely fantastic. Being an uncle is amazing. I can already hear the boys singing and it’s like a new generation of the family is growing up.”

Sean is very proud of Sarah and very happy that she has continued the Same Difference name by naming her company SD Studios.

Sean got ripped after being on The X Factor



Sean’s new single “In Love With The Night” was released last week



He looks back on his time with Same Difference as some of the best years of his life – but the bubble burst when they were dropped by Syco after just one album.

“We ended up getting signed to Simon Cowell’s label and had some of the best years of our lives after that. We got to travel the world and work with some of the best producers,” he says.

“I just wish they had given it a little longer. Back then there were pop acts like The Saturdays that we outbid in one week when they ran for six weeks. They got a second deal and were constantly pushed in the media.

“It feels like we never got the chance. We were either going to be as big as Leona Lewis was the year before and go multi-platinum around the world, or it just wasn’t going to happen.

“It didn’t help that there was a huge recession back in 2008. It was easier to take the fat off the books. That’s life, you take the ups and downs.”

Sean reveals why they broke up: “Obviously from the start when I auditioned alone I always wanted to be solo.

“It just got to the point where brother and sister worked together for so long, we killed each other as kids and then worked every day and on tour. It just got a bit much.

“We knew Same Difference was losing some of its shelf life around that time. Sometimes it’s best to just leave things in the past.”

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