I have to confess to being very confused about the X Factor this year. Usually I am either pretty sure who is going to win from the outset or I have at least narrowed things down to two contestants and I am generally proved to be correct. This year, however, I have had several mind changes and things have been much less clear.
In the Beginning
After the initial auditions I felt that the most likely winner was Luke Friend purely on the grounds that he was different and the only person that really stood out to me. By the time the show had progressed to boot camp I was becoming unsure and after judges houses I felt that Tamera Foster would win! Another change of mind quickly ensued after the first live show when Rough Copy really impressed and being all male and so current they now appeared to be serious contenders.
Naturally the landscape would look very different if the X factor was a singing contest which of course it isn’t. It is a popularity contest which is why the voting yields so many results which are deemed a surprise. Actually they are not surprising at all for the most part. To win this contest you have to be likeable, to have a back story which tugs at the heart strings and you must be appealing to the younger viewers. If you are either very young or male it certainly helps and if you are both it helps a lot. In view of these facts I don’t understand why I couldn’t see things more clearly from the start.
The Required Attributes
If you happen to be a very young man, extremely likeable, nice looking and have a life threatening health condition you should win the show hands down without the need for any vocal ability. If you can sing as well then there certainly shouldn’t be much that will get in your way. Whilst the judges favourites and the contestants who get the most critical praise are Sam Bailey, Hannah Barrett, Rough Copy and Tamera Foster these guys shouldn’t be investing in any party goods for the victory celebrations just yet because Nicholas McDonald is standing in their way.
Nicholas is so squeaky clean and loveable that the others just can’t compete and the young man can really sing. Sam Bailey is from another generation and although she has an amazing voice I don’t see where she fits in to the current music scene. Hannah Barrett is a wonderful singer but lacks individuality and Tamera Foster looks incredible, has a great voice but is surrounded by bad press. Rough Copy tick most of the boxes but there is no sob story here and there are links to crime which may put off some voters.
If you ignore the performances and just look at the facts of the case Nicholas McDonald is the obvious winner and I understand from voting leaks that he is comfortably the people’s favourite every week. The dynamic can change as other’s get voted off so it is not a done deal but I would not be at all surprised if he goes all the way.
Winning, however, does not mean you will ultimately be the most successful contestant in the real world. The acts people vote for are not necessarily the ones best suited to the music industry and I fear that Mr McDonald will not be a pop star of any great note. He will probably end up in theatre as will Sam Bailey and quite possibly Hannah. The acts with the best chance of commercial success in the music industry are Rough Copy and my original pick Luke Friend. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.
Article by Sally Stacey