We’re now into August and you know what that means right? The return of the X-Factor. Yes, the ITV’s juggernaut entertainment show will be back on our screens in a mere matter of weeks for more faux drama, questionable singing and terrible song choices. After last year’s disappointing season, I’m still not sure whether I’m actually going to watch the new season. It’s not as if there is much else on TV on a Saturday night but even I am feeling the X-Factor fatigue. I can’t remember the last time the show actually gave me a proper artist to stan for. The wrong people always win! And it got me thinking about all the winners we’ve had. Who has been the worst and who was the best? Let’s take a walk down memory lane as I rank the winners of the X-Factor.
I can still remember the night Alexandra Burke won the crown. Waiting for my then boyfriend now husband to pick me up outside my student flat so we could watch it together at his parent’s house. Alexandra winning was just so right. Up until that point, we’d never had a winner that was pure pop. Alexandra delighted us week after week with her incredible voice, captivating stage presence and strong dancing skills. The fact that she’s pretty much faded into obscurity now is honestly a joke. Such a waste of talent.
I’ve never been a fan of the groups that the producers put together on the show and to be honest, I expected Little Mix to leave the competition early. But I think things changed for them when they performed Katy Perry’s E.T. in week four. Something just clicked and they suddenly became the act you looked forward to seeing most. Of all the groups that have been on X-Factor, I’m glad they were the first ones to win the show. I’m not a big fan of their music, only liking a handful of their songs but I like them as people.
A lot of people think that X-Factor really became a show to watch when Leona won season three. And they’re not wrong. She changed the game for X-Factor and I don’t believe we’d have X-Factor today if it wasn’t for Leona. The show needed her as much as she needed it. To this day, she’s still one of the best vocalists to grace the X-Factor stage and despite a lull in her career, her voice is still as incredible as ever.
Looking back on the seventh season of X-Factor, Matt Cardle would have been so much better not winning the show. He had such an incredible voice and was a bit of a babe that he deserved more than the dodgy single the label forced on him which essentially grounded his major label career to a halt. He’s carved out a career for himself though so good on him. Who remembers him wearing those god awful yellow trousers though?
Here’s the thing with Sam Bailey – she’s incredibly talented and very likeable but she’s not a popstar. I’m sorry Sam but I never saw you selling tons of records. But I do see a very successful West End career for you. That being said, Sam was undoubtedly the best contestant in the tenth season of the show. She was head and shoulders above the rest.
A lot of people forget that Shayne Ward won the second season of the X-Factor. To be honest, I don’t remember much about that season as it’s been so long. I do remember rooting for Journey South to win (whatever happened to them?) but Shayne was the right winner. Young and good looking with a good voice. He had the full package. Unfortunately, being signed to Simon Cowell’s label meant Westlife cast-offs and a rather rubbish music career. But hey, he’s a successful actor in Coronation Street now so at least he’s doing well for himself.
Little Joe McElderry was just so sweet and adorable wasn’t he? Nobody can question his talent as he absolutely killed it week after week. But like Sam Bailey, a pop star career just didn’t seem like the right fit for him. I did want Joe to win but in hindsight, I should have backed Olly Murs who has gone onto have a huge career and given us some great bops. I did like Joe’s debut album for a while but I don’t listen to it anymore.
I actually think Leon had real potential to be huge. He could have easily forged out a career in the same market occupied by Michael Bublé. He has a good voice and have you seen what he looks like now? Absolute babe! Seriously, go check out his Instagram! His lead single ‘Don’t Call This Love’ is a lovely song but the rest of his debut album was quite poor. Shame.
Can somebody explain to me why people love Louisa? I just don’t get it at all. I don’t see anything special in her or her voice at all. She seems like a nice girl but there are tons of female artists out there that are much stronger than her. Maybe it’s not just me, she is struggling to find that hit that resonates with the general public. I’m open to Louisa changing my mind on her though but as of yet, I haven’t seen anything from her that makes me want to support her music.
I feel bad for Ben because I think he was royally screwed over by the show. There seemed to be very little to no effort in promoting him as an artist. I think he belongs in a band though rather than on his own. He’s got a good voice and is quite good looking so he does have the package. I did quite like his single with Kelly Clarkson but the album was too generic for me. He would have benefited with Fleur winning the show (she should have to be honest) and avoided the winners curse that plagues so many.
The ninth season of The X-Factor will go down as one of the worst seasons in the shows history. I wasn’t rooting for anyone so I wasn’t mad when James won. He’s got a fantastic voice and it was obvious to see which avenue he’d go down musically. It’s just an avenue of music that I don’t like. It’s bad enough with Ed Sheehan dominating the airwaves, do we really need James too?
We’re almost at the end and we have another straight white male winner. Seeing a pattern here folks? In a season that had some real unique talent such as Saara Aalto, Relley C and Gifty, how did a generic Sam Smith rip-off win? I don’t see anything special about Matt that can set him apart from everyone else in the industry. There are plenty of artists doing what he does but better. He’s yet to release any solo music but I don’t see it happening for him.
The X-Factor likes to pretend that season 1 never happened and with Steve Brookstein as the winner, can you blame them?
And that completes our rundown of the winners of the X-Factor? Do you agree with my comments? Are you excited for the new season of The X-Factor? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading.