Having made it into the final 17 contenders on The X Factor, former postal worker turned successful singer LeRoy Bell finally has the opportunity to make it into the big leagues.

While we’re all used to seeing teenagers and twenty-somethings get their chance at stardom on a reality show, offering that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a 60-year-old is unique for both the viewers and the Seattle singer, who doesn’t look a day over 40!

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Bell for an exclusive interview to find out what it’s like to be a contestant on FOX’s latest reality hit, and if it’s true that age really is just a number.

Credit: Aldo Rossi/FOX ©2011 Fox Broadcasting Co. Photo: X Factor Top 4 Over 30s Contestant Leroy Bell

Wetpaint Entertainment: How have you felt about the way you’ve been edited to appear on the show?  In real life you perform for sold out crowds, but the show makes you appear to be a loner with quiet strength.
LeRoy Bell: I feel okay about the editing so far. You expect to be edited, they must get so much on film you know there is no way they could use it all, unless they’re making a mini -series!

I like the fact that they make me appear to have this quiet strength. I’d like to see myself that way but in reality I’m kind of goofy.

How do you feel about the way others have been edited? Do you feel anyone was misrepresented?
Since coming into this competition not really knowing any of the contestants, it’s hard to know if they have edited anyone differently than they appear.

As far as I can see everybody seems to get along well! I’ve become close to Josh (Krajcik), we seem to have hit it off right away from boot camp. It was like we had met before, we became instant friends.

Also, my roommate Phillip Lomax and I are buddies. But seriously there are so many people I’ve grown fond of, I imagined much worse!

What sort of access did you have to the judges? Which one did you feel closest to?
The only judge we’ve spent much time with is Nicole Scherzinger. She’s the Over 30s Judge and she’s really engaging. She’s been wonderful to work with.

You’ve been around a while, you’re a survivor, is there a musical talent show from the past this experience reminds you of?
Honestly I usually don’t watch much reality TV. I saw bits of American Idol and that’s pretty much it.

If you don’t win, who do you want to win?
That is a really hard question. I really don’t know. There are some really talented people on this show — who am I to say who should win? I wouldn’t want to be a judge, I wouldn’t want to have that power over people.

What’s your beauty regimen? We can’t get over your youthful appearance!
Wow. That’s so crazy how everybody’s doing the age thing. I’m flattered, but I’d like it to all be more about the music than my age.

For the last 10 years or so I tried to avoid the question to the point of saying I was 45, because every time I told someone my real age it turned into a huge deal.

Plus, people judge or categorize you by age. Luckily I don’t feel my age at all — knock on wood!  I don’t really have any beauty secrets to pass on. I might have to write a book someday, I can’t give it away now.

Want more X Factor goodness? “Like” us on Facebook!