It’s back! That’s right, it’s that time again already, the X Factor has returned to our screens with its tenth series.Over the last ten years the X Factor has dominated the reality talent TV show scene, claiming a larger following than any other show of the same kind.

It all began in 2004, after Pop Idol came to an end. A certain Simon Cowell created the show realising he wanted to own the rights to such a phenomenon, rather than just be a member of the judging panel.

It seems to me that through the years the X Factor has developed into more than just a music programme, it is now an all round entertainment show. I have to admit it though; I am a fan, I mean, who doesn’t enjoy the truly awful auditions? Just look at this one:

I did a little research into the history of the show to obtain a full list of all the winners and runners-up from the start right up until series nine, (mainly because I couldn’t remember a majority of them). Here’s a quick recap of some of the most memorable ones:

2004 – The winner of the first season was a man who goes by the name ‘Steve Brookstein’, does anyone remember him? I don’t.
2005 – The first (remotely) memorable finalist was Shayne Ward, who was crowned as winner of the second season.
2006 – Next was Leona Lewis, she won the competition and went on to become the most boring pop star in the world, ever.
2007 – Nobody from series four is even worth mentioning.
2008 – Series five was a good one. Alexandra Burke was the winner, followed by JLS in second place – both acts were actually very successful.
2009 – Joe McElderry won series six and then didn’t really seem to do much else. Runner-up was Olly Murs, who is now still incredibly successful, even after four years. In third place was Stacey Solomon, even she developed a good television career from it, making appearances on different TV shows, as well as glamorously replacing Kerry Katona as the face of Iceland.
2010 – Matt Cardle won series seven and has gone on to have a relatively successful career. I mean, come on, he’s just released a duet with Mel C (Sporty Spice). Rebecca Ferguson claimed the runner-up spot, and I think she may have released a song at some point. In third place was a monster; a five-headed, irritating, adolescent, untalented monster. I am, of course, talking about One Direction. I don’t think I need to say anymore on them.
2011 – Little Mix were the winners of series eight and since the show are still releasing popular records. Second place was taken by Marcus Collins who did that terrible cover of the White Stripes –’Seven Nation Army’.
2012 – James Arthur took the crown, and deservedly so, in my opinion. I thought it was great to see someone completely different win the show, and he’s got a cracking voice. Jahmene Douglas came second, that’s all I know about Jahmene Douglas. In third place was Christopher Maloney, the man with the Nan. How on earth did he get enough votes to make it to the final? His Nan’s phone bill must have been huge that month.

So, looking back through the finalists it’s clear to see that a lot of them have sold, and will continue to sell a lot of records, meaning the X Factor is generally serving its purpose. Of course there are exceptions, but there will always be artists that just flop.

I’d say that the X Factor probably does the music industry a favour overall. Firstly, throughout the entirety of the show the viewers will purchase songs performed by the contestants. This is where you see random old songs re-enter the chart, a great example of this is ‘Hallelujah’ as five different versions of the song ended up in the top 200 after Alexandra Burke did a cover.

Then there is always the winners’ single, which is conveniently released just before Christmas. Of the past nine Christmases where the X Factor has been on telly, the winners single has been number one for five of them. God knows how many copies of each were sold. In a nutshell, the X Factor was created as an entertainment show, and that’s exactly what it is, it’s entertaining. Its sole purpose is to find an artist or group that will sell records, and it does exactly that. It does what it set out to do, and it does it brilliantly.

Picture Credit : The Guardian

Written by Connor Mackay

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