The real reason X Factor judges don’t want Christopher Maloney to win

Christopher MaloneyThe X Factor reached crisis point this weekend, when one of the hot favourites, Ella Henderson, was booted out after no-one voted for her.

According to the Daily Mail both the X Factor judges and Twitter went into meltdown, because she was nailed on right from the beginning as the one to beat.

In contrast, Christopher Maloney – the act who didn’t originally make Gary’s final 3, but was brought back from the cold in a public vote – has been pulling in the votes, despite being dismissed as cheesy and ‘not relevant’ by the judges.

In fact, there seems to be a concerted campaign to stop Christopher winning this year. Louis Walsh even admitted as such in a Guardian interview at the weekend, saying they’ve “got to find a way to stop Christopher Maloney from winning X Factor”.

So why is “Mr Shake and Fake” – as the other contestants call Christopher Maloney – such a threat?

Not a trained monkey

The bottom line is that Christopher Maloney is a wildcard – in more senses than one.

You see, the majority of contestants who reach the final stages of X Factor are anything but ‘amateur pop hopefuls’. They’ve nearly all got managers before they audition, according to finalist Kye Sones.

In an interview given to The Standard after leaving the show in early November, he revealed that practically every artist has management.

It seems that Christopher Maloney doesn’t fall into that category. He’s not as malleable.

The Brookstein effect

Simon Cowell is nervous, because he can see Steve Brookstein all over again. The winner of the first ever series of X Factor in 2004 briefly flickered before ending up on the trash-heap of failed former contestants.

And, although there’s no guarantee that winning X Factor can guarantee you a long-lasting pop career (see Shayne Ward, Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle for proof), it’s much easier if Simon Cowell has something to work with.

From his eyrie in LA, he would have looked at the likes of Jahmene and Ella and seen dollar signs = in much the same way he did with Leona Lewis.

Christopher Maloney – on the other hand – is popular enough while the show is on, but his appeal outside the confines of the Fountain Studios on a Saturday night is limited.

What about Britain’s Got Talent success?

There are many who will be citing the likes of Susan Boyle or Paul Potts for proof that you don’t have to be young and attractive to make it big, but they’re forgetting that both of them had a strong USP and were discovered not on a singing show, but a ‘talent’ show.

Potts was the insurance salesman with the operatic voice that blew everyone else away.

Boyle was the frumpy, slightly dotty Scotswoman who ‘sang like an angel’.

Maloney? His USP is that he’s a cheesy, camp, Scouse, mummy’s boy. And you can probably find them in any number of holiday camps, wearing a red coat.

Don’t panic yet, Simon

The chances are, Christopher will implode before the end, and Jahmene will walk off with the crown. However, if he does win, it will be interesting to see how much they invest in his career, following the obligatory Xmas single.

Keep watching this space…

Cheryl Cole’s sacking is no different to the real world of work

In case you hadn’t heard (arf, arf), Cheryl Cole has been booted off the X Factor USA judging panel and hasn’t even made the UK X Factor roster of judges.

But let’s leave aside the fantastic publicity that this has brought to both X Factors and try to examine this as if it was the scenario in a normal job.

I’ve worked for a number of companies over the years and seen, on more than one occasion, someone come into a job but not get past their probation period.

You see, no matter how great a person seems at the interview stage and regardless of their qualifications, sometimes a person just doesn’t fit in. More often than not, the harmony that’s required across a team is more important that one individual’s abilities.

Obviously, the world of celebrity is slightly different, but the fundamentals remain the same. If Cheryl didn’t gel with the rest of the judging panel and the management didn’t feel ‘it was working’, then it’s perfectly reasonable to let her go.

Now think about the UK X Factor situation in a more normal setting. Imagine you’ve just been offered a new job, signed the contract, etc and you suddenly hear on the grapevine that the previous incumbent hasn’t succeeded in her new position.

Now imagine there are rumours at your new company that she’s angling to get her old job back. Can you imagine how pissed off you’d be if she was brought back?

That’s exactly the position that Tulisa from N’Dubz is in currently. Doesn’t sound so hot now, does it?

We get blinded by the glitz, glamour and publicity of the world of TV and celebrity, but ultimately, the way things work there isn’t that different to the rest of the work world.

Louis Walsh – makeover update 2010

Louis Walsh - before and afterSeeing as Louis Walsh seems to be a popular chap currently, I thought I’d update my occasional postings on his ‘makeover’.

Just over a year ago, I posted about Louis’ obvious makeover, but he’s gone much further this year. Taking a few tips from Simon Cowell, he’s clearly had his eyes done and he’s also removed much of the grey from his hair colour. There’s also possibly a bit of Botox in there, too.

I think he looks a lot better, but it’s quite a drastic change. Anyone else like his new look, or should he have simply aged gracefully instead?