Wednesday, December 19, 2007

There can be miracles...

Since Leon Jackson won the latest series of "X Factor" last Saturday night, he has been a target for criticism, and not just from disgruntled Rhydian fans. Like many others, I thought Rhydian had it in the bag, whilst Leon and Same Difference were just there on the final night to make up the numbers.

Why did Leon win? Hopefully not because of the "sob stories" aspect, which IMHO ruins the show from the audition stage onwards.

Again in my own humble opinion, Leon clinched victory because in his rendition of "When You Believe" he made that connection with the audience, even an old cynic like me who hates everything about "X Factor" (although I still watched it every week). Yes, Rhydian was a note-perfect, professional singer who was too good for this contest, but in the end he failed to connect. I doubt if Leon has the emotional strength or charisma to survive in the cut-throat pop world, but what he does have is a great voice, and that's what impressed me in the end, and I like the way he sang that song.

I was genuinely delighted when Leon was announced as the winner, as it was one of those moments which hadn't really happened since the Will-Gareth "Pop Idol" showdown when you expected a foregone conclusion only to get a major surprise. Leon is no Will Young however, and his career will need to be carefully managed and the correct songs chosen for him, otherwise he may just remain a one-hit wonder.

Good luck to Rhydian though: a long career in musical theatre is virtually guaranteed, and in the end it may be more rewarding than the five minutes of fame and Christmas number one that being an "X Factor" winner brings.

For the moment though, I like Leon singing "When You Believe", and I've never liked an "X Factor" winner's single before. So there is indeed a first time for everything.

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