James - who will battle it out with Jahmene Douglas and Christopher Maloney in the 'X Factor' final - says things began to get too much for him last year.
"Who knows how bad it could have got?"
The 24-year-old singing hopeful has previously spoken of how he shoplifted food to feed himself when he slept on the streets as a teenager after being kicked out of home.
“I understand why she chucked me out because I was unbearable to live with. She couldn’t cope with me because I was so angry.
“I was a pretty tough kid, but I had to steal food a couple of times. I went to supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and filled up a plastic bag to try to steal enough food for the week."
The pair were mobbed by hundreds of fans as they arrived on a Harley Davidson motorbike. James then took Nicole to his local pub, the Victoria, before heading off for a stroll along the seafront and some fish and chips.
Nicole wrapped up for the occasion (it was 4C) in a black biker's jacket, leather trousers, knee-high boots and huge sunglasses (natch).
James said: “I just want to thank all the fans for their support. I am so excited to be back. It has been amazing.”
href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/06/huffpost-celeb-awards-201_n_2082275.html" target="_hplink">VOTE IN THE 2012 HUFFPOST CELEB AWARDS