X Factor Pre Final ROUNDUP!



Looks like: Horror Factor IV: The Brides of Jedward
Were they actually any good?: Well, let's not beat around the bush, they're not exactly in the best groups ever, but they certainly didn't deserve to come last. 
Best performance:

I thought this was quite good, actually. It was nice to see a song choice a little different. (Side note: How rude was it that Simon asked if they had boyfriends and was like "no, I didn't think so"?!? I'd have decked him! (Or more likely, gone home later and cried into my folder of schemes to marry Ed Sheeran)).
How many Twitter followers?: 18.3k. Blonde Electra are big supporters of Jake Quickenden in the jungle (WE'LL COME ON TO THAT) and recently had fun at Parisa from Only The Young's 21st "birthday bash". Sadly Ruby commented on how being single at Christmas time "freakingggg SUCKSSSS! haha". I'd like to remind Ruby that at least she doesn't have to worry about judging a significant other an appropriate Christmas present given the length and seriousness of the relationship. Always a bloody minefield.


Looks like: The year 10s on the school bus that just can't wait for Year 11 to go on study leave so they can finally take over the back seat
Were they actually any good?: Well, they obviously could sing. But unfortunately they fall into the Nu Vibe Graveyard of X Factor Boybands That Are All Exactly The Same And Are Completely Indistinguishable From One Another. 
Best performance:

Well, I'm more a fan of the good song choice than the performance itself, but it's nice, is't it?
How many Twitter followers?: The overall band have a pretty alarming 236K followers. Now time for everyone's favourite, the Boyband Popularity Test:
Also, I'm sorry, but how come when Jordi tweets "daniel radcliffe will always be Harry Potter to me" he gets 633 retweets, but when EVERYTHING I TWEET IS GOLD I could only have ever dream of that many? *Hums If There's Any Justice by Lemar*.


Looks like: To quote Louis, a popstar. Unfortunately, she didn't quite sound like one.
Was she actually any good? Stephanie sounds as if her voice may have indeed been very inoffensive to listen to on record and I'm sure if she was given the right music it would be brilliant. However, I worry it would be a Rachel Stevens-esque "this music is so good we just need someone really pretty and fairly basic to front it so it doesn't detract from how amazing the production is" affair. I feel sorry for Steph that she left the Luminites as I felt she worked an awful lot better in that context.
Best performance:

Steph's voice is much more suited for this kind of acoustic context, and her outfit is on point. Also, just in case I don't get a chance to say this again: Careless Whisper is a COMPLETELY AMAZING ANTHEM. 
How many Twitter followers?: 74.1K. Steph comments that "waiting for a takeaway is torture" and you know what? She's not wrong. 


Looks like: The Head Girl of your year at school whose parents not only bought her driving lessons BUT ALSO A CAR 
Was she actually any good?: Well I loved Chloe Jasmine. Look, I'm not saying she deserved to win or anything, but she deserved to come on the right side of place number 10 at least. She was something a bit different and had off-stage star quality in spades; just didn't always quite translate to the live performance.
Best performance:

Well yes, this was completely ridiculous, but I enjoyed it a lot. 
How many Twitter followers?: 68K followers. Chloe loves an inspirational quote and recently shared "a friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are." Very true. In my personal opinion, a friend is someone who when they notice a pot of garlic and herb dip in your bed won't bother saying anything as it's already the standard they've come to expect, but that's just me. 

Looks like: Your boyfriend's mate that is just always talking about how many girls he is gonna pull this weekend. Is trying to save up money to go to Magaluf this summer, but unfortunately was recently sacked from PC World.
Was he actually any good? Well we're all lying to ourselves if we say Jake is anything other than stupendously, ridiculously, is-that-a-real-person attractive. And I haven't watched I'm a Celebrity this year, but my mother and sister who love I'm a Celeb even more than I love X Factor (they have a choreographed dance to the theme tune) assure me that Jake was really "nice" and that they wanted him to win. But, his voice just wasn't very strong to be honest is it?
Best performance:

I thought this was Jake's strongest vocally and I liked how it felt like a 'moment'. 
How many Twitter followers: 361K(!) although we must remember Jake is no longer a mere X Factor contestant but an official Celebrity now. 

Looks like: The person playing at an acoustic night down the pub who you should probably stop trying to make eye contact with
Was he actually any good?: Well I liked him. The whole time he was on X Factor I kept thinking "I probably shouldn't like him, really. He does slowed down acoustic versions of pop songs which in theory is the least attractive thing in the world. His voice isn't very strong, is it. And what could he add to the pop landscape in this day and age?" But the fact is, I liked him anyway for reasons I cannot define or explain. I wish him well for the future.
Best performance:
Ticks all the boxes, really. Amazing 80's anthem based around SURVIVAL that starts as a slow acoustic then KICKS OFF. Well done everyone.
How many Twitter followers?: 190K followers. Jack isn't afraid of posting a selfie or two which I respect. He comments: "just want to let you know I AM working on my original material and gonna try get some stuff out as soon as I'm aloud " legally " ".

Looks like: The girl behind the Meat & Fish counter at Sainsbury's that your boyfriend always goes on about fancying and you pretend it doesn't bother you because everyone's allowed a crush but really you are petrified that at some point they'll run into each other at Vodka Revs
Was she actually any good?: Lola could obviously sing (well, a good 50% of the time she could sing well anyway) but I've never really been much of a fan of the "just stand there and sing a power ballad" girls of her ilk. Also, didn't really appreciate her weekly fishmonger shaming. Thousands of fishmongers in this country, demeaned every Saturday night.
Best performance:

This was good. A particular highlight of the video is when Louis begins to lipsync "you make me feel like a natural woman". (PS: Does this song remind you first and foremost, of Latrice Royale? If so, hey, let's be friends).
How many Twitter followers?: 90.2K Twitter followers. Lola's been supporting Jake in the jungle, and recently went to see Michael Buble with Jay James and Paul Akister. Blimey, what a night out that would be.


Looks like: Someone at a wedding who you think you fancy and want to try and get off with but you're not sure if you only think that because you're at a wedding and he's the only other person in your age bracket there
Was he actually any good?: Can't fault Paul vocally, and I really like him as a person, but can I see him being a huge popstar who's album I'd be interested in listening to? Not really. 
Best performance:

This was a brave song choice and I think it worked. If he released an album like this, maybe I would listen to it, actually.
How many Twitter followers?: 148K followers. Paul has been supporting Jake in the jungle, Andrea on X Factor and, pleasingly, took some time to praise Fleur's Uptown Funk performance (WE'LL COME TO THAT). He has also recently retweeted a lot of people using the hashtag #GetPaulOnTour.


Looks like: A Geography teacher that you pretend to fancy to fit in with everyone else
Was he actually any good?: Several minor tremors were felt in South West London over the early autumn due to the force of me rolling my eyes every time Jay 'Have you heard I was in the Navy?' James came on stage, but I was actually pleasantly surprised with how he ended up when they put him through to the live shows. Simon seemed to try very hard to make him contemporary, and there were a couple of performances that were actually far better than we could have ever expected because of that.
Best performance?:

A song choice I would never have thought of myself, but it really worked!
How many Twitter followers?: 146k followers. Also, I know I haven't bothered to do this for any of the others, but the beauty of this tweet deserved the approx 90 seconds extra arsing about sorting out a screengrab. 
If there's one thing I love more than the word "organically". it's an inappropriate use of the word "literally".

Looks like: "But Mum, I CAN wear a crop top and a bandana to non-uniform day, ALL OF THE OTHER KIDS ARE DOING IT!!!"
Were they actually any good?: I really liked Only The Young. I looked forward to their performances each week and I feel there's been a bit of a gaping hole ever since they left. I was however a little disappointed in their performance at G-A-Y which I attended, which seemed to mainly consist of the one that kept saying "cheese on toast" in the VTs yelling "LET'S HAVE SOME SERIOUS FUN!!!!" multiple times. And fun isn't serious by the very nature of the word.
Best performance:

On paper this sounds absolutely awful but I actually think it was completely brilliant. (Sadly was vice versa for their Boom Clap performance).
How many Twitter followers?:  218K. Unfortunately they don't seem to have individual accounts so we can't do the Popularity Test. My favourite's Parisa though as she is from the same town as me. (And this is the first time someone famous from the same town as me has been anyone except Tracy Emin).


Looks like: The man who came up to me in Wetherspoons last New Year's Eve (yes of course that's where I went last New Year's Eve) and told me I had "nice teeth and arms" and did I want to meet him at the casino later? I might get a cocktail out if it if I'm lucky! To be honest, I'm not 100% sure that man was not actually Stevi Literal Ritchie himself, but I guess we'll never confirm.
Was he actually any good?: Now, I love a ridiculous novelty act, me (Jedward are easily one of my favourite contestants of all time) but when he came a place higher than Only The Young it did wear a little thin for me. :( However, I saw him at G-A-Y as well and cannot fault his entire performance. What a man.
Best Performance:

Ridiculous. But who doesn't love a) Mambo Number 5 and b) She Bangs? No one I wanted to dance with at the year 6 leavers' disco, that's for sure.
How many Twitter followers?:94.8K. Stevi puts two kisses on the end of ALL his tweets. I instantly refuse to reply to any Tinder message if it ends like this xx

Looks like: "Can you give me an example of a time you worked in a team?" "Yeah, when I was at university me and a couple of mates decided to set up a mentoring project for kids doing their GCSEs."
Were they actually any good?: To be honest, not particularly. Was all a bit of "8 people standing in a line and singing" for me. 
Best performance:

Alright they probably had better performances but I LOVED these outfits (and this song choice).
How many Twitter followers?: 229K followers. ALRIGHT HERE WE GO, THE BOYBAND POPULARITY TEST. It's gonna be a long one...
Tom Mann - 150K followers
James Graham - 135K followers (*NB the main one with the really good voice who was robbed for not being put through as a solo act really)
Barclay Beales - 128K followers
Casey Johnson - 124K followers
Reece Bibby - 117K followers
Charlie Jones - 114K followers (tweeting about his first day back at school(!))
Chris Leonard - 101K followers
Jake Sims - 68.6K followers (Ouch.)
What have we learnt from that? Precisely nothing, really, although I think Reece is my favourite. Why? I could not say, to be honest.


Looks like: A model for Tammy Girl circa 1999
Was she actually any good?: Most of Lauren's good performances were unfortunately earlier on in the series and live shows - she seemed to tail off towards the end. I was really excited about Lauren at the beginning but she seemed to lose confidence and in turn her ability.I wonder if she was too young and would have been better off waiting a couple of years. Anyhow, that's 
all beside the point, and let's remember what's important - Lauren had PERFECT hair every week. I think she genuinely may be the X Factor contestant with the best hair ever.
Best performance?:
Far and away her best performance by miles. If only she'd been this standard and had this good song choices throughout!
How many Twitter followers? 209K followers and possibly the best "fan name" ever - wait for it - Lauren calls her fans - THE PLATTERS. Amazing.

AND IN THE FINAL IS (in alphabetical order, for sake of fairness...)


Looks like: A perfect pop android built by aliens (the rest of the Addictiv Ladies?) to win the X Factor in order to reveal her true form and perhaps eat Simon Cowell whole in a scene reminiscent of when the Buffy series 3 finale when the Mayor ate Principal Snyder at the graduation ceremony. And I mean that ENTIRELY as a compliment.
Is she actually any good?: If Fleur wins (which she doesn't need to, but I hope she will) she will be easily my third favourite X Factor winner ever and probably my second. She's, to be frank, amazing. I found it difficult to get on board at first - mainly because of my disbelief  that the producers had just decided not to mention Addictiv Ladies, the band she was in that came last place in series 2 (don't forget to use the #justice4addictivladies hashtag), and partly because I was a little bit offended that she came out and sang All About That Bass with abs that we could all carve our Christmas turkeys on. But week after week she has delivered consistent, amazing performances and perhaps more than ever she holds the accolade of being a contestant that appears like a guest artist.
Best performance: 
And if you don't believe me, just watch...
That OUTFIT. That WALK. That DANCING. That THRONE. This is history in the making. This is already perhaps my second most watched X Factor performance ever, and given that my most ever watched X Factor performance is probably also my most ever watched YouTube video overall, this is no mean feat.
How many Twitter followers?: 146K followers. Fleur, is naturally, very excited to be number one on iTunes. (Amazing).


Looks like: Someone you'd really like to just give you a cuddle, to be honest. Very gentle.
Is he actually any good?: Andrea is obviously an AMAZING singer but I'm not a huge fan of those who warble and yell their way through Whitney ballads. I wouldn't be upset if he won as he seems like a nice guy and certainly has the best voice of the three left, but I am unsure what exactly would be in store for him after the show.
Best performance: 

May have been one of the most obvious and lazy song choices ever, but give him his dues, he slayed.
How many Twitter followers?: 215K followers. I notice from his tweets he got sent free trainers the other day. Did I ever tell you I got sent free trainers once for my ridiculous 'fitness' blog? I haven't used them once since I moved house. IN AUGUST. Oh dear.


Looks like: ............................... sorry, I'm back. Slipped off into a bit of a reverie thinking about that. (My mum said to me the other day "I wouldn't mind you having a boyfriend like Ben Haenow, you know" with the tone as though I'd had the possibility all along but had decided not to to respect my parents' wishes).
Is he actually any good?: I quite like Ben, and I think he's been robbed by not having a Rock Week to properly showcase his 'skills'. (When I am on X Factor I hope it's Rock Week every week as I have song choices for it coming out of my ears). Again, much like Andrea, I wouldn't really mind if he won because he's quite good, but it's just Fleur is such a clear winner that it would be a shame for Ben to win just because basics like me all up and down the land are suckers for men with all their teeth who love their nans.
Best performance:

This is one of my favourite songs ever. (#credible) ("Some dance to remember, some dance to forget", though.)
How many Twitter followers?: 122k followers. Rather amazingly, Ben calls his fans the "Haeniacs" but I think ultimately I still prefer Lauren's "Platters".

So that's it! I hope you all join me in hoping for a Fleur win this weekend. God do I love producing this X Factor "content" (mainly watching YouTube and looking up people's Twitter follower numbers). Mwah! xxxxxxxx

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  1. Just the fact that there is someone in the world called Barclay Beales. Just... what?

  2. I once carried out an extensive analysis of x factor contestant twitter followers - from live show one until the final, then checking in the weeks and months afterwards to see whose popularity grew and whose dwindled (it was the year Little Mix won). Probably the most pointless and most time consuming exercise of my life, and I'm not really sure why I did it, other than the fact I fucking love a spreadsheet. The only findings I can remember are that Little Mix showed the most dramatic rise in followers towards the end of the show (thus kind of predicting their win) and that Tesco Mary saw a speedy drop in interest after the show. Thrilling.