The X-Factor is now fully up and running this year so Lies Lies Lies has decided to launch an investigation to determine what exactly was the ‘X-Factorness’ of previous X-Factor winners.
In 2004 the Saturday night entertainment show was won by Steve Brookstein from London who, after his victory, secured a deal with Sony BMG. It was a high coup for the pub singer who eventually reached number one with a cover of the film classic Against all Odds. It sold 250,000 copies but the success was shortlived and that was about it for Brookstein. He never released a follow-up single and now he’s just a bitter middle-aged man.
Next year Shayne Ward won it. He went to number one with That’s My Goal then followed that up with No Promises, which went to number 2. Then he got to number 14 with Stand By Me. Ward’s album Shayne Ward was certified platinum after selling 520,000 copies in the UK and 200,000 more worldwide. Ward developed vocal cord nodules in 2006, a condition that stopped the career of singer Julie Andrews but was successfully treated. Ward is still singing.
Leona Lewis won the third series of X-Factor and is perhaps the most popular winner of the show to date. Her first single A Moment Like This broke music world records after it was downloaded 50,000 times in 30 minutes. Lewis became an international star in 2007 after signing a £5 million contract with an American record company.
Leon Jackson won the fourth series of X-Factor and his first single went to number one. He followed that up with a few more singles that failed to make an impact and Jackson was dropped from record label Sony BMG.
Alexandra Burke murdered Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah but, alarmingly, it sold 105,000 copies in one day, breaking the world record previously held by Leona Lewis. The song sold more than one million copies in the UK, the first time a solo female artist had achieved this.
Joe McElderry won the 2009 contest and recorded Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ but was pipped to the number one spot by Rage Against the Machine after a campaign to stop the X-Factor taking the Christmas number one.
So what’s the common thread here?
They’re all crap.