Matt has the X Factor... but is it enough?

14 Dec 2010


So it has come to an end for another year. The tantrums during the auditions, the diva-style strops following the judges’ comments and the inevitable floods of tears brought on by each elimination. My girlfriend says I get too emotionally attached to the X Factor…

Matt Cardle was led to success on the X Factor by his mentor Dannii Minogue

But I am right to take it seriously. The X Factor is perfect TV – it’s slick, glossy, visually spectacular and great fun. Simon Cowell and co. are practically a national institution now, appearing on our televisions every weekend for the best part of four months.

Each contestant’s entrance to the stage is preceded by moody glances, dramatic on-screen graphics and the boom of an enthusiastic voiceover guy – it’s a build-up more fitting of a wrestler than a popstar. I’m not sure Giant Haystacks would be able to squeeze into Matt Cardle’s neon trousers though…

Yellow peril in the wardrobe department or not, Matt is this year’s champion. Boasting a versatile voice and designer stubble that would make Colin Farrell jealous, he was the runaway favourite from the moment the live shows began.

Matt’s first single, When We Collide – a questionable cover of Biffy Clyro’s Many of Horror – has already received plenty of radio play and with CDs flying off the shelves and an avalanche of mp3 downloads, he is bookies’ favourite to be Christmas number one.

I don’t mean to spoil Matt’s party but the future may not necessarily be full of sold out tours, platinum CDs and flings with A-list Hollywood celebs.

Look at poor old Joe McElderry. He was the apple of Cheryl’s eye. But while the confetti was falling on Matt on Sunday, Joe was toasting the success of his latest single Someone Wake Me Up, which stormed into the charts at (drumroll please) number 68. Not that last year’s champ was even given a mention during Sunday’s final.

Steve Brookstein has not enjoyed the commercial success expected of X Factor winners

Joe could soon find himself exchanging hard luck tales with a few other X Factor ‘winners’. First series champion Steve Brookstein is now singing on the pub and club circuit, while Leon Jackson has done something of a disappearing act. Does anyone really still listen to any of their CDs?

But if they press their noses up against the windows of an A-list party, they might see Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke enjoying the riches the X Factor has brought them. So the moral of the story is that yes, the X Factor can bring you great fame and fortune (but not if you’re a bloke).

My two pence worth is that One Direction will do well. It’s hard for groups to win the show because there’s not that personal connection to a story that solo artists get, but JLS have shown you don’t have to win to make it big. One Direction have had a bit of buzz about them on Twitter and their baby-faced appearance could build up the same sort of internet following that Justin Bieber enjoys.

The question is which act will fare better out of Matt and One Direction?

Whatever happens, I know I and about 20 million others will be tuning in again next year – if it goes ahead (pretty please, Simon). We can’t get enough of the hopelessly deluded souls, the unharnessed talents and a bit of drama on a Sunday evening!

And while I don’t want to spoil the surprise, I think there’s a talented young man who could steal next year’s show. I’ve been known to belt out a few Soft Cell tunes on Lips: I Love The 80s, so don’t be surprised to see me pick up the X Factor Microphone and become next year’s Wagner.

Will you be tuning into the X Factor next year or have you had your fill of pop wannabes? Comment below…