While looking for a star among this years X Factor auditionees, we look back at the contestants from the past few years that are still delivering the goods.
Were keeping close tabs on the X Factor 2011 auditions to try and spot wholl be topping the pop charts this time next year. This year we are currently overcome by the boyish charms of those cheeky little One Direction types (and they were runners up remember). Take a look at our exclusive Virgin Red Room interview where we put your questions to them:
And here's part two of our exclusive Virgin Red Room interview:
In the meantime, last years winner Matt Cardle has just put out his new video. What do you think?
One of X Factors biggest successes has to be JLS further proof that its not always about the winner. These lads have risen well above the ranks of your common or garden TV talent show contestant and long may they avoid the Big Brother house for the chance of a quick and easy buck. Heres what happened when we met them in the Virgin Red Room:
2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry is now enjoying resurging popularity of the kind we didnt see coming after parting ways with Simon Cowell. Hes now doing covers, is a bit of a housewives favourite and hell always a have a wee place in our cheese-addicted hearts. Heres our interview with him when he popped by the Virgin Red Room this never fails to set off infectious giggles:
Fellow contestant Stacy Solomon is also enjoying an unexpected bit of post-Simon Cowell interest. After her triumphant spell on Im A Celebrity (no I didnt watch it either) and fronting a fairly forgettable game show (cant even be arsed to look up what it was called) she has at last signed a record deal and her debut album is due very soon. Its taken two years so lets hope its worth the wait. Go Stace!
Still firmly ensconced in Simon Cowells camp and going strong is luscious-locks Leona Lewis she who doth possess the magical world-pleasing formula that Cowell and co still hope to repeat with every successive winner. She won The X Factor back in 2006 and five years later she is all booked in to sing on both the new US and UK series and her third album 'Glassheart' is due for release in November.
Alexandra Burke may not have achieved the world domination type of success enjoyed by Leona but shes still a well-loved star in the UK and were keeping everything crossed for her second album due out very soon. She also has the dirtiest laugh and can talk the hind legs off a donkey as she proved when she graced the Virgin Red Room:
Not forgetting lovely Will Young of course. Yes we know he won Pop Idol but its really just the same show under different management. He came in to our talent show obsessed world back in 2002 and nearly ten years later hes on his fifth chart topping album, hes had a greatest hits package and has acted for both big and little screens. After going a bit wonky and in denial about his whole Pop Idol pedigree he now seems relaxed, comfortable and confident about his place in the pop firmament.
Will Young and Leona Lewis prove that credibility and longevity can be achieved. They may be the exception and for most of the others its a fickle fifteen minutes in the glaring spotlight ordeal (Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Michelle McManus anyone?) but every year we can hope and pray for a category defying performer whose talent can outshine and outlive the cosseting hold of the suited executives behind the scenes
At this stage of the game its easy to see who we think could make it based on their raw and honest talent. The X Factor is now much more about which singer can endure the increasingly bonkers styling, production, song choices and ensuing media chaos whipped up around them. So were keeping our fingers crossed for the likes of Janet Devlin, Jade Richards, Luke Lucas, Misha Bryan and Craig Colton. Please dont try so hard to change them surely Will Young proves that you shouldnt need to?
- see our X Factor 2011 final 12 predictions
- the Twitter accounts & Facebook pages of the X Factor 2011 contestants
- X Factor blog #9: The Final 16
- X Factor blog #8: Boot camp - Who's got the Tweet Factor?
- X Factor blog #7: Final auditions verdict
- X Factor blog #6: 4th audition weekend verdict
- X Factor blog #4: The third audition show verdict
- X Factor blog #3: 2nd audition show verdict
- X Factor blog #2: The first audition show verdict
- X Factor blog #1: 2010 finalists - where are they now?