The X FACTOR Blog: SAM BAILEY – X FACTOR Winner 2013!

By on 16 December, 2013

Winner - SAM BAILEY performing on the X-Factor Grand Final! TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!

So here it is the end of three and a bit long months, and a lot of telly watching and not being able to go out on a Saturday night. Despite the X Factor apparently shedding viewers in favour of ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘ (which in my opinion has been substandard this year), you only have to watch Twitter come alight, as soon as it comes on to see it still holds a peculiar fascination with the British public. I for one have enjoyed the series. There weren’t too many sob stories, contestant scandals, and for once the judges appeared to genuinely get along.

Louis Walsh’s clichés have now become so ridiculous, he even parodies himself. Sharon Osbourne was funny and engaging, and part of the thrill was the worry that she was going to say something inappropriate. Gary Barlow was as serious as ever, giving the contestants critiques about their vocal range that they probably didn’t quite understand; and to me the star of the series was Nicole Scherzinger. She is truly batty, lives in her own world and at times I think she was quite possibly on medication. But she exudes warmth and humour and the X Factor will be a poorer place without her if she doesn’t come back.

The Judges on the X Factor Grand Final! TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!
Anyway, back to the show. Saturday night started with the three finalists – Sam Bailey, Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend. I’m still not sure about how Nicholas got there, but let’s not start shall we? I will always think Rough Copy and their skirts were robbed, but I’m sure they have a career in front of them. The final being at Wembley Arena gave it a whole new and bigger dimension and I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for the finalists to perform there.

After what felt the longest intro in the history of Christendom, Nicholas kicked off the show by coming down in a hot air balloon, singing Candy by Robbie Williams. Too much was going on in the background, like an explosion in a bubblegum factory or a really bad acid trip. It looked like a small budget Olympic opening.

Sam then sang Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga (what an apt title for a song?). There was still a lot going on, but at least there weren’t any migraine inducing colours, and Sam’s voice didn’t get lost in the production.

We were back to the over the top production, when Luke Friend sang We Are Young from the top of a section of an Underground train for some reason. His voice is strong and he is capable of giving a good performance by himself, without all the phaffing about. This probably didn’t do him any favours.

Out of all the special guests, to me the weirdest choice was Tom Odell. He sang Another Love whilst they played a montage of feel-good X-Factor moments, and I’m not sure how his angsty pop matched the VT. Surely it would be more suited to footage of all those who had been rejected?

Next came the duets and Luke got to sing with Ellie Goulding. They did that irritating Anything Could Happen song. Their voices sounded really good together, but it didn’t stop the song being annoying.

No X Factor final would be complete without the appearance of a member of Westlife, and Nicholas got to sing with Shane Filan. But they sang Flying Without Wings, which is my ultimate guilty pleasure song (there I’ve said it), and so I loved it. My favourite duet of the night.

Sam got to duet with Nicole (honestly couldn’t they have afforded anyone else? Nicole is already on the payroll). They sang And I am Telling You from ‘Dreamgirls‘. Weird talking noises were apparently coming from Jedward’s mics not being turned off. Although I did wonder at the time if I was still tripping off Nicholas’ first performance in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Nicole hogged the limelight, but we could still hear what a phenomenal singer Sam is.

Next we had the most memorable contestants from the past ten years of X Factor, although there didn’t seem to be anyone from pre-2010. We were treated to 2 Shoes, Jedward, Wagner, Johnny Robinson, Diva Fever and Rylan (can I just say that I still think we should send Rylan to Eurovision next year?), and for me the biggest surprise was what a bloody good voice mad Kitty Bucknell has; and it was a shame she couldn’t have toned the act down a bit as she could have gone further.

In a result which came as no surprise whatsoever, Luke was voted off and Nicholas and Sam sailed through to Sunday’s (15th December, 2013) final. Personally, I would have put Luke and not Nicholas through, but what do I know?

Sunday night’s show (15th December, 2013) started with all the finalists singing Roar by Katy Perry. (I think they were miming) Sam and Nicholas came on last, looking scarily like mother and son. The first special guest of the evening was The X Factor‘s biggest success story (sorry Leona) – One Direction, and they were no doubt here to give the winning act a glimpse of what they could achieve. The boys sang Midnight Memories, which sounded to my old ears, a lot like 80s-era Kiss. But at least they are growing up so rapidly, one doesn’t have to feel guilty about finding them handsome. Dermot interviewed them like the uncle at a the party, who doesn’t have any children (see also Nick Hewer with Rachel Riley on ‘Countdown‘).

NICHOLAS MCDONALD on the X FACTOR Grand Final 2013 - TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!
After some more phaffing about, the show finally started and Nicholas sang Angel by Sarah McLachlan, sounding like the missing Westlife member. But let’s face it, this the sort of music Nicholas will release. Next, Sam sang The Power of Love, and I don’t know if it was nerves or what, but she really sounded like Celine Dion. But given that Dion is a multi-million selling artist with billions of fans, that’s hardly a bad thing.

Katy Perry sang her new song, wearing a dress that she appeared to have borrowed from Lady Gaga.

Next came Nicholas’s winner’s single. Superman (It’s not Easy) by Five for Fighting (me neither). It is an anodyne, dull ballad; but it wouldn’t be an X Factor winner’s single if it was remotely interesting. Sam’s winner’s single is Skyscraper by Demi Lovato (X Factor US Judge – it’s all about the kerching Mr Cowell!). The song is small and poppy and not deserving of Sam’s voice. I’ve heard it twice now and I’ve already forgotten it (spoiler there!).

Final special guests were Elton John and Gary Barlow. The beginning of the song they sang sounded like The Riddle by Nik Kershaw, and I was very disappointed when it turned out the marching band was just there for a sort of decoration. The duet was dull but this was Elton John and Gary Barlow, what did you expect? Throbbing Gristle?

After what felt like the longest two hours of my life (come on! I could have spent that time looking at pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch) we got to the result. Sam Bailey won. In the words of Thom Yorke, “there were no alarms and no surprises”. I predicted Sam’s win in week seven and so I have redeemed myself for all my lousy guesses at who was going to go each week. If they handle Sam’s career right, they could have another major star on their hands. A well deserved win.

SAM BAILEY wins the X FACTOR 2013 Competition - TOMORROW'S NEWS - The Latest Entertainment News Today!
So that’s it. Thank you for reading my weekly twitterings and I hope you have enjoyed them. I might be a lone voice singing in the dark, but I have enjoyed X Factor 2013 and hope next year’s can deliver the same standard. I might even go out next Saturday night – woo hoo!

I wish you all a lovely Christmas, and hope that you’ll enjoy my weekly TV round-up, which starts in January – when we see the return of ‘Sherlock‘, ‘Benidorm‘, ‘Mr Selfridge‘, ‘Splash‘ and many more.

Merry Christmas! x


About Karen Mason

Karen Mason is a London-based writer. She has published fifteen historical fiction novels and is currently working on her sixteenth. She is also an avid movie goer, with a particular preference for gritty British cinema and a weakness for Jason Statham films! Her music tastes stretch from Muse to the Cinematic Orchestra and she loves discovering new acts.

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