SINGER Paul Grant failed in his bid to be crowned Stars in their Eyes Champion 2005.

But Paul, who was raised in Huddersfield, said the show had provided the best night of his life.

Millions tuned in to ITV on Saturday night to choose their favourite in the talent show.

The 38-year-old, who grew up in Birkby but now works as a bus driver in Croydon, South London, polled 13,608 votes as Luther Vandross but it was not enough.

Winner Gordon Hendrix's performance of the classic Elvis Presley hit Suspicious Minds was the run-away winner with 84,895 votes.

But Paul said he was not too disappointed.

"It has been an absolutely wonderful experience and I am very proud to have made it to the final even if I did not win," he said.

"It was a brilliant day and I will never forget it. I got on well with all the contestants, we were like a family so I am pleased for Gordon.

"He put in a great performance but I thought everyone did really well.

"I couldn't pick a winner from the finalists."

After he performed Always and Forever Paul was presented with a Luther Vandross gold disc with a message of support from the soul star.

"I will definitely be putting that on the wall - it is something to cherish from the night," he said.