Sunday 17 December 2017

The 'X Factor' Flops Revisited

While the likes of Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry have used The X Factor as a launch pad for successful music careers, Mary Byrne should take note that few others have managed to extend the limited shelf life of stardom once the show draws to a close.

Here are the five biggest flops that provide cautionary tales.

1. Steve Brookstein

X Factor Winner 2004

The winner of the first X Factor was tipped for greatness but instead ended up becoming the poster boy for the brutality of reality-show success.

After winning a whopping six million votes to take the crown, he went on to score a No. 1 with his first and only single.

However, his career soon hit rock bottom when he was dropped by his record label Sony BMG eight months later.

By 2007, in a stupendous fall from the heady heights of TV fame, he was performing on the Portsmouth to Bilbao cruise ferry.

2. Leon Jackson

X Factor Winner 2007

While Steve Brookstein was reduced to entertaining ferry passengers, Leon Jackson thought he had what it takes to succeed. When he scooped the top spot in 2007 with his sexy Scottish accent and boyish good looks his debut single rocketed to the top of the charts. But after achieving the obligatory No. 1 hit single, his career slowly sank without a trace. He was eventually dropped by Sony BMG in March 2009 after his only album sold 130,000 copies.

3. G4

Runner-Up 2004

This pop-opera quartet momentarily basked in the limelight of fame and set their sights on world domination under Louis Walsh.

Even though they were accused of crimes against music for butchering such classics as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and REM's 'Everybody Hurts', they secured a £1.5m record deal.

But soon after the release of their third album, it wasn't only the world at large that began to despise G4. Yup, the group also had had enough of each other and imploded in 2007 citing "differences within the band".

4. Andy Abraham

Runner-Up 2005

The former binman became the X Factor's first true working-class hero when he came second to Shayne Ward in 2005. He went on to win the British nomination for Eurovision via a public vote, but came joint-last in the competition.

Even though his first two albums made it into the top 20, his third struggled to clock up sales after its release in 2006. He was promptly dropped from his record label. In 2008 he denied rumours he was quitting the music industry to become a property developer and is reportedly now trying to revive his career. With the state of the property market in the UK and in Ireland, one has to presume it is better to remain a struggling pop singer rather than a down-and-out property developer.

5. Eoghan Quigg

Third Place 2008

After receiving lavish praise for his cover of Michael Jackson's 'Ben', Eoghan wooed audiences and quickly became a heart throb.

He was soon strutting his stuff on stage with Enrique Iglesias and Boyzone at the Cheerios Childline Concert in Dublin in December 2008 at The O2. By January he had landed a record deal. In April his debut album, imaginatively entitled Eoghan Quigg, was released but received universal bad reviews. One reviewer even claimed it was "the worst album in the history of recorded sound". Quigg was promptly dropped from RCA records in July 2009 and his 15 minutes of X Factor fame were finally over.

Irish Independent

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