And so another series of The X Factor comes to an end, in a blaze of glitter cannons and overblown guff from the judges. This year’s winners were the girl band Little Mix. Good for them. But will it do them any good in the long run? When you consider the track record of previous contestants, the outlook doesn’t look great.
Matt Cardle won in 2010, largely on the strength of wearing a nice hat. He then released a Biffy Clyro cover, supposedly signalling that he was a “serious” artist, rather than a desperate cruise-ship song-and-dance-man. His last single, the faux-anthemic ‘Run For Your Life’, phutted its way to Number Six. Bad luck, mate. You’ll be dropped come springtime.
The afterglow of X Factor ‘triumph’ is typically brief. 2009 winner Joe McElderberry was unceremoniously dumped by bog brush-haired TV tycoon Simon Cowell’s record label SyCo in April this year. Thankfully his music will live on. After all, who could forget such hits as, erm, that cover of… no, sorry, it’s gone.
Things have gone downhill for Jamie ‘Afro’ Archer, termed the “rock” contestant in 2009 after performing a shouty version of ‘Sex On Fire’. He’s not signed a record deal, and was last seen gigging at Chicago Rock Cafe venues in Stourbridge and Yeovil.
After treating us to Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted To Love’, bongo-thumping weirdo Wagner Carrilho was booted off the show after an argument about deodorant. Since then he’s canceled his weekly sickness benefit of £94.10, but not been up to much. In fact he recently submitted to the ultimate indignity – blogging for The Guardian.
Another scab on the nation’s consciousness, Chico Slimani dates all the way back to 2006. He recently appeared as Aladdin at the Darlington Civic Theatre. Chico Time!
Overly-styled Irish runt Eoghan Quigg came third in 2008. His debut album did spectacularly badly in the charts and even worse in reviews. NME’s Peter Robinson (in a review for The Guardian) called it “the worst album in the history of recorded sound”.
The Macdonald Brothers (us neither) came nowhere in particular in Series Three. They subsequently released a string of progressively less-successful albums before attempting (and failing) to break the record for most amount of instore performances in a week. Presumably the Southend branch of Greggs wouldn’t let them in.
2008 semi-finalist Diana Vickers has done relatively well, starring in West End musical The Rise And Fall Of Lucky Voice and scoring a Number One with her debut album ‘Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree’. It’s not like she’ll be packing out The O2 any time soon though.
There’s practically nothing to say about Series Three losers Eton Road; they don’t even have their own Wikipedia page. The band have obviously split up but Danny Morris (left, or maybe second left, or is he second right?) has had a successful solo career, and even switched on Liverpool’s Christmas lights a few years ago.
Freaky-looking opera caterwauler Rhydian Roberts came second in Series Four and mugged 150,000 people into buying his debut atrocity ‘Rhydian’. He’s also collaborated with that crazy chick Charlotte Church.
Stacey Solomon finished third in 2009, but she’s not set the charts alight since then. According to her website, recent performances include one at the International Boat Show, and a glamour gig opening a branch of Quality Solicitors in Bristol. Although she’s also been crowned “queen of the jungle” on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
Porcine-featured crooner Ray Quinn was a runner-up to the all-conquering Queen Leona in Series Three, released a Number One album then was promptly dropped by Sony. He then went on to star in ‘Grease’ (as Doody not Danny).
Series Two runner up Andy Abraham has released a string of mediocre albums since the show, and even represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. He came last and his entry didn’t even break the Top 40. Nice work.
Rowetta Satchell came fourth in Series One. Previously she’d had a stint in the Happy Mondays and sung on ‘Step On’. After completing a tour called ‘The Songs Of Sister Act’ she joined up with Peter Hook to sing on his ‘Unknown Pleasures’ jaunt.
Ah who could forget one of The X Factor‘s cheesiest prospects? Journey South were massively successful after clinching the bronze in Series Two, hitting the top spot with their debut album. Then they went and released another on their own label, which reached the giddy heights of Number 43.
The winner of Series Four Leon Jackson sporting chunky knitwear and some fetching leather trousers. The spikey-haired tyke held the Christmas Number One spot to ransom in 2007. Eight months later he released another single, ‘Creative’, which peaked at #94. And people say The X Factor audience are fickle.
G4 give the cameras the finger (and some pasty squints). Their rendition of ‘Creep’ in the final of Series One handed them the second spot and great success followed. They split three years later.
Despite chopping off her frizzy locks for a fresh start, Katie Waissel is supposedly still scared to go in public, after being pelted with a banana skin by an angry fan. She’s made a few appearances since leaving the show – you can keep track of her whereabouts and follow her on Twitter.
Pool cleaner Daniel Evans was a finalist in Series Five but not too popular with the judges. He found one fan in Chris Moyles, who urged listeners to vote for him, mainly to annoy the judges.
Ashley McKenzie limped on to week four of Series Three. His most memorable moment was when he forgot the words to some forgettable song. He launched a debut album a few years ago to universal shrugs.
Ben Mills came third in Series Three and released an album that got to third place in the charts for one week only. He was last seen at Pontins in May a few years ago (presumably not for the ATP festival).
Steve Brookstein won Series One and was immediately signed up to an amazing record deal with Sony BMG. Then dropped eight months later. Expect him on the ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ line-up soon.
Shayne Ward won Series Two and with his schmaltzy effort That’s My Goal kickstarted the annual tradition of ‘X Factor’ bilge at Number One (or thereabouts). Last year he released a Nickelback cover before getting dropped by Syco, and is now lined up to play the role of Stacee Jaxx in comedy rock musical Rock Of Ages with Justin Lee Collins. The glamour.
Jedward still manage to be everywhere, after appearing on the sixth season of The X-Factor. They’ve completed a UK tour, became the faces of Nintendo DS game Dragon Quest IX, helped launch a new recycling campaign, met Tony Blair, and entered the Celebrity Big Brother house. A recent report suggested the high-haired cretins trousered £3 million in 2010, the utter, utter bastards.