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X Marks the spot

X-FactorOk, so I’ve had my birthday, and now we’ve had the second weekend of the football season (and we are sooo top of the league, yay!), but you really know when summer is over and the countdown to Christmas is on when X-Factor comes back on Chav-TV on Saturday nights.

It’s all perfectly set up to run now for the next 14 weeks, so that they can yet again produce another artist who has one hit off the back of the publicity before disappearing into the unknown.

Is that fair? Well … I had a quick count up in my head of the successes and failures of the X-Factor genre of ‘popstar’ since it started and came up with the following list starting with who has made something of their time, and who has flopped. And it’s fair to say that there are more flops than hits.

Popstars : The Rivals, brought us the winning girl band Girls Aloud, who arguably are the most succesful of the genre to date, with eight Top 10 hits. [Geoff’s rating: 9 out of 10]

The original Pod Idol series of course brough us winner Will Young, the most successful solo artist of the genre to emerge with six hit singles, seven if you include the one with the next person … [Geoff’s rating: 8 out of 10)]

… who is Gareth Gates who’s been quiet recently after emerging runner up in the same PopIdol series to Will Young. He appealed to all the pre-pubescent kids for six hits, before they all grew up and developed proper music tastes. [Geoff’s rating: 7 out of 10]

Liberty X – Runners up band from ‘Popstars’ – and still going strong. with seven hit singles, and new record due out any day now. [Geoff’s rating: 8 out of 10.]

Hearsay (From the original ‘Popstars‘ series in 2001) – had a short but decent run, before it all went wrong when the fiesty one (Kim) decided to split the band and marry some bloke out of Eastenders instead. With four top 10 hits under their belt (But I bet you can only think or hum one of them). [Geoff’s rating: 6 out of 10]

Fame Academy 1 winner David Sneddon, had one big No.1 single, a top-10 follow up, and then two more records which no one can barely remember before he jacked it all in. [Geoff’s rating: 5 out of 10]

Happy-go-lucky Fame Academy 2 winner Alex Parks, had a top 3 single, then one that scraped the top 20, and the disappeared into obscurity. Mind you her second single was filmed down at the old abandoned Jubilee Line station at Charing Cross, so she gets a bonus geek point from me for that. [Geoff’s rating: 4 out of 10 + bonus geek point]

Popstars: The Rivals, brought us the runner up girlband ‘Clea‘ who had two minor hits before it all went wrong. [Geoff’s rating: 4 out of 10]

Popstars: The Rivals also brought us ‘winning’ boyband One True Voice, who flopped after a not-very-good single, renamed them selves OTV and flopped even more. Where are they now? [Geoff’s rating: 2 out of 10]

Popstars: The Rivals even had a runners up boy-band, “Phixx” who (quite remarkably) managed four top 20 hits, before … what? Who knows. [Geoff’s rating: 3 out of 10]

Popidol 2 winner Michelle McManus. ~chuckle~ well that lasted a long time didn’t it? A No.1 single ‘All this time’ purely off the back of the publicity from TV show, then a not-very-good-follow up, and she packed it all in. [Geoff’s rating: 2 out of 10]

But what of the winner of last years X-Factor, Steve Brookstein? One bad cover version, and also .. disappeared. [Geoff’s rating: 1 out of 10]

So what on earth makes people want to appear on the new series? God knows. But funniest moment this evening had to be the four complete mingers who complained that they’d not been put through as they knew that Louis Walsh saw them as a threat to Girls Aloud. Er, yeah, like .. whatever. ~more chuckles~

CheatoogleGoogle-Agent Naomi alerts me to another Google variant that’s in the field. is a site for looking up help and cheats to your favourite game – Cheatoogle

Looking to waste a couple of hours on line? That’s the average length of time spent by people at – which, er .. well, invites you to see how long you can be bothered to hold a button down for. Doing it for 17 seconds as I did made me better then 0.1% of other people that had played it. I just think to break the record, there must be a way of sellotaping down my mouse button and then going on holiday for a week …

43 responses to “X Marks the spot”

  1. None of them deserve above a zero!

    Bad Geoff! Naughty Geoff! In your room!

  2. Oh, and, uh… first!

    Although this is technically second. But still. I’ve not been first in a while…

  3. geofftech says:

    Excuse me, Mr. Presswell! You were the one that sent me a link to the new Girls Aloud video the other day, even if were watching it with the sound down!

  4. Well, yes. It’s a thoroughly amazing video.

    I mean, look at the cinematography…

  5. Chris says:

    Despite there being more flops than hits, one thing is I like about these talent shows is the people that come to the auditions – you can’t beat a bit of performance from the Great British public!

    Some of the people are so cringeworthy, that you can’t help but laugh very hard at their attempts to “perform”. Remember the eye-of-the-tiger guy, the bloke from the chicken factory who did Barbie Girl, the guy in the banana peel suit singing Sinatra, and the buxom cake maker who spent ages playing with her tape recorder before a verse even came out of her mouth. You just couldn’t make some of this stuff up! 🙂

  6. Neil says:

    What about that pikey family on tonight, who were praying the girl got through and when she didn’t (cos she was crap) they all went in and got on their knees and prayed to Simon Cowell to reverse the decision.

    “That’s her life they’ve just taken away in there” said the mother as they traipsed off.

    God, I weep for humanity sometimes.

  7. Geoff – in your – Pop idol, Pod(sic) Idol, Fame Academy, X factor, Popstars the Rivals – I can’t believe you forgot to mention one of the most successful artists to come out of shows like this – Lemar from Fame Academy who came third to the awful David Sneddon.

    Three Top 10 singles, ‘Dance (With U)’ (No. 2), ’50/50′ (No. 5) and ‘Another Day ‘(No. 9), a debut album, ‘Dedicated’, with sales of over 600,000 and a sell out UK tour” Also nominated for two Brit Awards.

    As for the musical skills of Girls Aloud or Girls A-Lout (as I like to call them) – loved by blokes and teenage girls the world over.

  8. geofftech says:

    Arse! I knew I’d miss someone out. Sorry.

    To be honest, what it is, is that Lemar is actually quite good, and because of that that is that I can’t believe that he came out of a talent show.

    But ok, yes. Lemar. [Geoff’s rating: 7 out of 10]

  9. OK you’re forgiven 😉 as I’m sure everyone thinks the same. He’s so mainstream now that people don’t need to say “former Fame Academy finalist” about him.

  10. Which reminds me though, that you’ve missed out another one – the woman who didn’t make it into Girls Aloud – our Eurovision Song Contest entrant Javine Hylton. Tsk, tsk. and what with her famous wardrobe malfunction too.

  11. Lemar went to my college.

    Apparently, he returned there about 18 months ago to pay a visit, and was met by classrooms of screaming girls asking him to sign their Biology text books.

    What the hell is wrong with this world?

  12. James_#510 says:

    Interesting entry, to say the least. I don’t lsiten to ‘modern’ music so have no idea who you are talking about.

    PS. You’re typing is really bad today!

  13. Jezz says:

    I’ve actually never heard of Clea, I’m quite proud of that.

  14. geofftech says:

    James – Why so bad? There was only one type I could see which I’ve just edited.

    ‘Girls Aloud’ were formed out of 5 of the last 10 girls in Popstars : The Rivals. Out of the 5 runners up, four of them went on to form ‘Clea’ – called so because those were the initials of their four names.

    I think my saving grace here is that I can honestly say that I don’t know what those names are.

    This has of course, reminded me that I’ve missed someone else out! That being the tenth girl, who didn’t go into Clea, but went solo : Javine! Who had a big top 10 hit with “Real Things” (a really good song!), but has then managed only minor follow-up singles. [Geoff’s Rating: 6 out of 10].

    God i’m sad. I promise i’ll talk about iPods or something tomorrow.

  15. geofftech says:

    Annie. I wrote my ‘Javine’ post above, and then found your one sitting my ‘pending’ folder because you’ve put links in it. So I wasn’t having a dizzy moment. Honest.

  16. chichard41 says:

    Geoff pls explain this EVIL EVIL pic of Blair on the BBC site:

  17. geofftech says:

    His eyes are quite red, aren’t they? I could draw firey coloured laser lines coming out of them or something for full effect, but I would lose my job faster than you can say “Stop! Police!”

  18. That’s funny, Geoff..

    That wasn’t your reply a minute ago..

  19. Me. says:

    Notice that those “pop stars” have got progressively worse. I stopped being aware of any of it just after One True Flop thankfully disappeared.

  20. chichard41 says:

    Geoff tell me u didnt move the picture down on that news article?

  21. geofftech says:

    Chris, i’m really quite concerned about the frequency that you must press F5 on my website so see something that is only up for less than 5 minutes. Anyway, like I’ve always said: My blog, and i’ll edit/remove what I like! 🙂

  22. Hey, man!

    It’s Sunday!

    What else am I gonna do?!

  23. geofftech says:

    ooh, it’s moved! Chich.. I did not move that picture down! I wasn’t at work then, but I am now. I’ll just go and have a look… [checks the publishing system..]

    Ok, it was last edited at 21:21, before that at 18:12 and before that at 16:30 today.

    It’s currently called “Blair lends support to Met Chief“, but was previously called “Met head defends Menezes handling” and “Clarke backs embattled Mat Chief” when it was first published at 05.25 this morning.

    There are nine ‘203’ wide picture associated with this story, only two of which are used at anyone time, but the journo can update/swap them in as they see fit.

    So now you know.

    How the hell does a blog entry about X-Factor end up with us talking about this ?!

  24. Neil says:

    Because going off-topic is the new black.

  25. You neglected to mention that the reason HearSay split up was apparently due to “public abuse”.

    When the public hate you enough to make it clear to you in the streets, you know you have a problem.

    Oh, and Lemar may be crap but he was blessed with one of the best songs of all time, If There’s Any Justice…

  26. Meh.

    It’s hardly Won’t Get Fooled Again, is it?

  27. Lorenzo says:

    Hey you forgot to mention the ‘care in the community’ case, who brought John Lennon back from the grave, to sing his own wonderful material.

  28. Neil says:

    Yes, they’ll probably get him on the final live show to make fun out of him.

  29. Ian says:

    No. I can’t think of a single hearsay tune actually.

    You missed Darius too, didn’t you? *hangs head in shame*

  30. Neil says:

    And what about those other two bozos from Fame Academy years ago?

    That Irish one Sinead and err, the annoying one – Ainsley was it? Remember THEM?

  31. James_#510 says:

    I said it was bad because I found 3 others:
    “ni” (Gareth Gates paragraph)
    “decnt” (Hearsay paragraph)
    “compained” (Last XF paragraph)

  32. Neil says:

    What’s wrong with Ni?

    Perfectly good word when searching for the Holy Grail.

  33. Yep Darius – another severe omission – Sinead and Ainsley – do they even count? They hardly went on to do anything at all did they?

    Re current X Factor – I’m really hoping that dairy farmer Justin/Justine gets further than the next round.

    I actually felt really sorry for the pikey family who were praying and the pikey girl – it was really humiliating car crash TV.

    I also like the bloke who Louis Walsh reckons will be the next Ronan Keating – his family look WELL chavvy and he’s obviously going to go further than the next round – voice like an angel – face like a pizza! He rocked!

  34. geofftech says:

    I’ve just thought of another one two .. Sam and Mark who ended up ‘co-presenting’ Saturday Top of the Tops as well were in the final ten of the series that Michelle McManus won, and they released a cover version of “With a little help from my friends” last year.

    And Darius! OMG! Of course .. how could we forget? Mr Britney impersonator himself. Is he still going?

    Hear’Says big hit was “Pure and Simple”. I can upload a sample if you’re that desperate to hear it Ian. Actually, funnier still is playing the Chris Moyles piss-take version of it, which is fucking hilarious … go play it!

  35. geofftech says:

    Corrected. ~cough~

    Now go and play Hear’say!

  36. Neil says:

    Is it now accepted practice to correct all of Geoff’s typos and spelling mistakes on his blog?

    I keep reading things I wrote months ago which are wrong and I still go in and correct them, even now.

    So don’t get ME started on this blog … 🙂

  37. Smudger says:

    I don’t want to be really sad but weren’t those other limelight seekers ‘The Cheeky Girls’ spawned as rejects from one of these shows..?

  38. JJC says:

    And what happened to the love and adoration of mothers winner, G4. Loved by all who like group opera and don’t forget they were runners up on X Factor 1.

  39. geofftech says:

    Oh. My. God!

    The Cheeky Girls! Smudge – you sad sad man. (But funny).

    I think that just goes to show how instantly forgettable they were.

    Surely that’s it .. surely there can’t be anymore we’ve missed out?

  40. I saw the Cheeky Girls in Leicester Square at a premiere once. They were handing out printed cards with their autographs. Partly to avoid the huge surge for demand they were expecting, and partly so that people had a clue as to who the fuck they were…

  41. Andrew says:

    Ooooh, i never leave comments but thought i really should this time. I know where one of ‘one true voice’ went. He’s playing drums and singing (yes, at the same time!) for a very cool jazz/funk band called Ticklin’ the pickle, or at least he did play with them so i’m not sure if it was a one off or a permanent thing. Oh and on the subject of failed pop artists, i work in a kitchen and i made a chicken burger for the keyboardist out of Blazing Squad. Hurrah!

  42. stardust says:


    Failure? He’s made at least 1 million, is co-writer on Nate James’ album hit single, still singing and songwriting, and writing new album. He has a website,

    and reads and replies to as many messages as he can. Really nice, down-to-earth guy. Good luck to him for the future.

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