Last night the X Factor’s token novelty act, Stevi Ritchie, was finally booted off the show having gone head to head in the sing-off with Andreas Faustini, arguably the best vocalist on the show.
Essex boy Stevi (34) managed to last a whopping seven weeks on the live shows thanks to an endearing earnestness and ability to, well, give it socks like his life depended on it on stage.
Before X Factor, Stevi worked in a call centre, but it’s unlikely he’ll be returning to manning the phones any day soon.
Undoubtedly, winning X Factor isn’t the only way to land a showbiz career. In fact, sometimes winning is a poison chalice, eh Steve Brookstein?
One Direction, the biggest boyband on earth, only came third. JLS were finalists but didn’t win. Olly Murs was beaten by Joe McElderry. Remember Joe? No?
Of course, Stevi isn’t quite cut from the same cloth as One Direction or Olly Murs and a careers as a serious music artist probably isn’t on the cards.
However, as novelty acts go, he has massive potential to earn big bucks.
Stevi lasted to the same point in the competition as Jedward, probably the most successful X Factor novelty act of all time, having reportedly raked in €6m by September last year, making them the fifth most financially successful former contestants – novelty or not.
The Dublin twins( John and Edward Grimes) were championed by mentor Louis Walsh following the show and went on to release nine singles, represent Ireland at Eurovision, and have their own reality show.
And the gigs just keep on coming. This weekend saw them appearing on TV3’s Christmas Toy Show. It’s been five years and they’re still working the circuit.
Similarly, Rylan Clark, the flamboyant X Factor novelty act of 2012 who made it to week eight in the competition, has become a household name.
After X Factor he went on to win Celebrity Big Brother before landing a co-hosting role with AJ Odudu on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. He also pops up on ITV’s Daybreak and This Morning as guest showbiz reporter.
Rylan bagged an estimated £250,000 for his Celeb BB appearance and £35,000 for his X Factor tour fee. Given the number of guest presenting and personal appearances he has had since then it’s fair to say Rylan has probably easily cleared £1m.
Chico Slimai, who also managed to battle through to week 8 of the X Factor in 2005, claimed to have made more than £1m by early 2009.
He assaulted the charts with ‘It’s Chico Time’ and ‘D.I.S.C.O’ before appearing on CelebAir and Dancing on Ice.
The latter show reportedly saved him from losing his home, however, since he admitted that from 2009 and 2012 the work dried up and he didn’t have the cash to pay his mortgage.
Not every novelty act makes it work. Johnny Robinson and Wagner failed to gain any momentum post X-Factor.
Whether Stevi capitalises on his five minutes a la Jedward and Rylan, or fades into obscurity like Robinson or Wagner remains to be seen. However, a stint on Celeb BB or a suitably chart-friendly novelty record could give him the momentum to make that million.