Single: James Arthur – “Impossible” (2012)

James ArthurSo it’s all over. 17 weeks. SEVENTEEN WEEKS!  This series of the X-Factor has been a bit shaky, particularly as the press have been circling now the ratings are slipping. However it’s still a massive show for ITV1 and I’d be amazed if we weren’t getting another series next year. Well they’ve been plugging the auditions for next year already so I guess it is happening. Whether or not it will be in the same format is another question…

James Arthur managed to salvage what was a ropey selection of contestants this year. It seems to have been dominated by the car-crash acts, namely terrible cruise-ship singer Christopher Maloney and homo-explosion Rylan, but we ended up with the worthiest final two in the end. On one side we had gospel squealer Jahmene, on the other, rough diamond James. Both armed with the requisite sob-stories, with timid Jahmene coming from an abusive household with a father in prison, and James… well he just lived in a bedsit. Is it that bad?

X-factor logoJahmene squealed terrifyingly through various diva standards, reaching ridiculous high notes but struggling to control the rest. James stomped his way angrily through pained and emotional songs. How to decide? In the end I think the public surprisingly made the right choice, de-railing a tedious anti-vote for Christopher. So James has a single out at midnight tonight, a cover of a Shontelle track, “Impossible”.

I never gave Shontelle much time of day, shipped in from Barbados, presumably as an ‘answer’ to Rihanna, and I didn’t give this song a second though after the boring “T-Shirt”. But James seemed to polish this one up in his usual rough-voiced stompy style, and it’s one of the more interesting X-Factor winner singles we’ve had.

It’ll be a real acid test to see what the label will do with him now. Little Mix last year had a defined image and an obvious demographic, but James is more of a ‘real music’ artist from a show that real music fans hate with a passion. Can he break through and sell some actual records? It’s been a while since we had a good X-Factor album seller, with the various runners-up often outselling the winners. I’d have my eye on Union J if I were you…

Nicole Scherzinger

But I think the real winner of this series has to be the amazing Nicole Scherzinger. She really got into the spirit of this show, throwing herself wholeheartedly into the mentoring of what turned out to be three of the top 5 acts, the first time a mentor has taken all their acts into the quarter-finals. She provided a non-stop avalanche of ridiculous moments, most notably the astonishing duet with Jahmene. She could have sung him off the stage anyway, but after a mic malfunction, had to SNATCH Jahmene’s mic mid-performance to finish. She’s just the gift that keeps on giving, and I dearly hope she returns next year, or just sticks around the UK for shits ‘n’ giggles.

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Filed under Music, Reviews, Songs

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