X-Factor Finalists That Got Record Deals

Oh, I don’t know.  I do not feel like thinking today.  Had another long boring day at work (don’t we all) and I have a massive home made shepherds pie in my belly that has made me sluggish.  So.  I basically feel like giving my verdict on every X-Factor finalist that got a record deal.  I am starting this without knowing how many artists this actually entails and will probably end up writing this article for over two hours like I always do.  But here it goes, in reverse date order.

SERIES 5

ALEXANDRA BURKE *****
She definitely has one of the strongest voices that the show has produced, and the deserving winner of 2008, but she does not have much originality.  There are already so many artists like her.  But she does have what it takes.  She has shown that she can take the pressure, shown that she can take set backs, shown that she can dance and shown that she dance.  Obviously.  Best of luck to her, but she will not be as big as Leona Lewis.

DIANA VICKERS  *****
Yes, I know she hasn’t officially got a deal, but let’s not be dense.  She’ll get one.  Vickers was my favourite of series five.  She has not the strongest voice, nor does she sing in a such a way that will maintain what she does have for long.  She was, however, quite original; for an X-Factor contestant, anyway.  I adored her version of U2‘s ‘With Or Without You’.  I was only sorry that the red tops picked on her, and that people were getting hung up on her hand movements.

Under-rated acts of series 5: Bad Lashes, Ruth Lorenzo, Laura White

SERIES 4

LEON JACKSON  *****
By far the worst winner ever.  I was shocked he got past week one, let alone being crowned as the winner.  The guy is tuneless, has a range of a hammer and has not one ounce of anything that could make him a successful recording artist.  I understand that he just released his album, and it was the first ever by an X-Factor finalist that did not reach number one in the album chart.  Says it all really.  We won’t see him again after this.

RHYDIAN ROBERTS  *****
You can’t deny the guy can sing but you can slot him in with the other current hundred classical crossover artists roaming the charts at around Christmas.  He has nothing at all that makes him standout, and his first offering, simply called Rhydian sounds exactly like Josh Groban.  He should get the fuck out of the recording studio and put himself on the West End stage.

SAME DIFFERENCE  *****
I felt nothing for them during the series, but now that they have released their album, I wish them luck.  They are not at original, nor do they have any depth, but we haven’t seen a family act or a fun pop act for children in a long time.  They are not about to win any Brit Awards or get great NME reviews but they have their place in the market.  Children need music, too.

Under-rated acts of series 4: None.  It was a terrible year for X-Factor.

SERIES 3

LEONA LEWIS  *****
I do not even feel worthy to write an opinion of her.  I absolutely adore Leona and she justifies the shows existence.  She’s got everything going for her.  The voice is a given, but she’s also charming and seemingly nice.  Her rendition of ‘Run’ is in a class of its own.  As of yet, however, ‘Run’ is her only decent material.  ‘Bleeding Love’ was alright for a little while, but it wore off, and her debut album leaves a lot to be desired.  Equipped with a decent album, Leona will continue to be unstoppable.

RAY QUINN  *****
I couldn’t stand this little lad.  I still can’t.  I hate the big band kids.  You know the type I mean?  Quinn epitomises everything I hate in an artist.  His album held no surprises.  I don’t think he has done a follow-up, and that’s not a surprise either.

BEN MILLS  *****
I liked him.  Not enough to win, Leona always had my phantom vote (as if I would actually pick the phone up myself!) but I like Ben.  I liked his style, though it was a bit 80s classic rock, but I like the 80s!  I liked him so much, that I got his album when it came out.  Silly me.  It’s a terrible album and it showed me that his voice was never meant to be recorded.  I can’t even sell the album on – nobody wants it!

THE MACDONALD BROTHERS  *****
Oh, come on, they were so shit!  Why were they given a deal?  I don’t even understand.  I remember laughing at them.  Laughing!  The smile was wiped off my face, of course, when they kept getting through.  The British Public makes me despair sometimes, it really does. I can’t comment on the album – I never bothered.

Under-rated acts of series 3: The Unconventionals

SERIES 2

SHAYNE WARD  *****
I rooted for Shayne since his first audition.  Loved him.  I thought he had a great voice, great look, great range.  He proved to be very diverse during the many weeks in the live shows.    My love was forever chilled after the release of his first album, which was ultimately an album full of recycled Westlife ballads.  I believe he is on his third album.  Good luck to him, but I haven’t bothered with his second.

ANDY ABRAHAM  *****
I knew he was a nice guy, but I really didn’t like him.  I thought he was going to be Steve Brookstein all over again if he won.  He had that whole big band swing thing about him, which I intensely dislike.  I didn’t bother with his album so I can’t comment.  I imagine it was full of uninspired covers just like every other X-Factor album.

JOURNEY SOUTH  *****
Going so far back in time now that I can barely remember who is who.  I remember they were a duo and were pretty uninspiring.  I didn’t like them.

MARIA LAWSON  *****
I wanted Maria or Shayne to win, but Maria made a shock early exit.  I was most displeased.  She did release an album though some years later and it didn’t chart well.  She was a fantastic singer and I am very fond of her, but the album was not very good.  Her single ‘Sleep Walking’ was only okay, and the only track of note on the album was her cover of James Blunt‘s ‘Beautiful’.

CHICO SLIMANI *****
You either loved or hated him, and I hated him.  The way I saw it, he took somebody elses place that truly deserved to be in the live shows, and he was completely tuneless.  Honestly.  Couldn’t sing a note.  I thought that he should have a career in television, but something that had nothing to do with singing.  Did he have an album?  I don’t know.  I think he had a single.  It was bad.

BRENDA EDWARDS  *****
I can’t quite rack my brains enough to remember if she did release an album, but I know she has gone on to have a career in the West End and having a string of television appearences.  I didn’t care for her either way, but she’s talented and a nice woman.

Under-rated acts of series 2: none

SERIES 1

STEVE BROOKSTEIN  *****
Since it was X-Factor’s first outing, I guess you can forgive this dreadful mistake.  I didn’t actually watch the first series of X-Factor but I do know of Steve and G4 as I did watch the final.   There’s not much to say about Steve.  Did he even release an album in the end?  I don’t recall.

G4  *****
When I saw this group in the finals I lamented not having watched the series because I thought that they were awesome.  I thought Jon had an amazing voice and they sounded fantastic together.  They fell under the classical crossover branch which I was really into at the time.  Their first two albums were really good.  Typical tracklists but they boys were distinctive in themselves.  Their third and final album was a let down, and, as if sensing their own doom, they split.  I miss them.  But hey, Jon is on his second solo album.  I am yet to listen to his albums though.

Under-rated acts of series 1: don’t know.  Didn’t watch it.

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