OMG, WTF, LOL and other textspeak acronyms we’re too old to fully understand!
What a week it’s been on The X Factor. And this time we’re actually serious.
Tulisa and Kelly didn’t even have to claw each other’s eyes out or anything!
Luckily such as been the standard of Frankie’s cat-butchering for the last few weeks, we’ve been preparing his obituary for a while – obituary in the X Factor sense as opposed to the Amy Winehouse way. All we need is a couple of drugs references and it’s pretty much all salvaged.
Officially he was kicked off the show for breaking one of the ‘golden rules’ – innuendo so thinly veiled it makes the infamous ‘tired and emotional’ phrase look like an indecipherable cryptic riddle from the Enigma machine. It’s an open secret he was caught singlehandedly boosting the Colombian export industry and that just smashes too many of the X Factor’s vague morals to be tolerated. Tut tut. Let’s completely ignore the ethical issues raised by the show’s producers and decision-makers’ not so gently pushing an 18 year old boy with no discernible talent to live up to the hell-raising rockstar persona they were attempting to sculpt for him – a persona he was hopelessly immature and ill-equipped to deal with. It’s tough because Frankie seemed like a nice kid. Granted a nice kid with atrocious hair and vocals that make nails on a blackboard sound like Debussy. So now they’ve got too many weeks and not enough acts. We’re not sure how exactly they’re going to solve this little dilemma. They’re talking about bringing a previously eliminated act back on the show. As long as it’s not Jedward we’ll be happy enough, but when the dust and white powder does eventually settle, this week’s information may or may not help in identifying the likely winner.
Linking this week’s events to any sort of stats would be tricky. ‘The number of ecstasy pills you need to drop before Kitty starts to get a little bit less annoying’ might be an option, but we’ve gone for something a little less needlessly insulting and possibly even useful. The question we set out to answer is ‘doing being from any particular region help with your chances of winning the X Factor?’. It’s a tricky area to address because implying that the people from one region are in any way to superior to people from another area isn’t too far away from eugenics and from there it’s only a merry hop, skip and goosestep away from checking the gas chambers are still in working order. With those risks in mind, we’ve divided up the X Factor Isles into smaller regions along the lines of regional stereotypes that will doubtless offend some people and here’s the fancy graphic.
It’s an inexact science so without implying any sort of genetic superiority we can conclude the people of the Midlands are rubbish. Despite containing England’s second city and a smattering of other large urban centres, they’ve produced very little in terms of X Factor. We initially included the picture of Noddy Holder eyes as an ‘ironic’ reference to the music of the region, but nope – it turns out he’s about as good as it gets. Baddiel and Skinner – whose main musical achievement was flogging the largely agreeable Three Lions to the point of being immensely annoying (3 versions lads! 3 versions – why?) – were the other option, but again they would count as one of the more successful musical acts from the area. Only 1/5th of an X Factor act (one of the hairy embryos from One Direction) has hailed from the Midlands. Of course that may be down to the type and standard of people auditioning in the area rather than the region being a black hole of talent, but it does suggest that if you’re from the area, you’re unlikely to go too far on the X Factor. Maybe the region is too loosely defined a group to be lumped in together – someone from Nottingham probably feels absolutely no obligation to cheer on someone from Wolverhampton in the same way the people of Ireland or Scotland may get behind one of ‘their own’. It’ll surprise no-one that no remaining on the show could be described as coming from even the loosest definition of the Midlands.
London – which is taken to mean the Greater London Area as opposed to the area around the Bow Bells and anywhere you’re in danger of running into Madonna talking about ‘apples and pears’ in this instance – is responsible for the largest representation of contestants from a single area. A high percentage from the capital city of the X Factor Isles is to be expected, but with 34% of the 21 acts to have made the final 3 of the show, they do enjoy a disproportionately high representation in the latter stages. Maybe the yoof of London go out of their way to stop the teenage pregnancies and stabbings on a Saturday night, but for whatever reason, acts from the area tend to do very well on the show. Ironically however, at this stage of the show, the only act that can currently claim to have any link with London are two quarters of Little Mix and they’re already busy battling the curse of the bands.
The horribly contrived ‘south of England excluding London’ region is another area with a wide variety of people with little to band them together, but despite that they’ve got a pretty good record on the show. Four of the show’s 21 finalists have come from the non-London south with reigning champion, Matt ‘silly hat’ Cardle hailing from Southampton. Before that Olly ‘silly hat’ Murs finished a close second to Joe McElderry, Same ‘silly act’ Difference finished third as did Ben ‘silly hair’ Mills. This time, the Lidl version of Lady Gaga, Kitty Brucknell is the only remaining act from the area, so it’s doubtful as to whether or not she’ll be able to maintain the good record of silly performers from the south in the show.
With a fine tradition of producing world class musical acts, choosing an image to represent the north-west was tricky, but after beating off the challenge of the Beatles, Stone Roses and Sonya, the choice was obvious – Atomic Kitten. We were able to fit all three of them into their slice of the pie which means the area has had a fair few representatives in the X Factor Top 3. That’s good news if you’re starting to think that Marcus or Craig can charm their way to victory or Misha B can reduce all the other acts to cowering wrecks her way to victory. Across he Pennines the people of Yorkshire aren’t going to be too happy about being lumped in with the Geordies et al, but really if they want to change that they should produce more X Factor finalists. With Joe McElderry winning it, Journey South and bits and pieces of One Direction reaching the final, the North-east hasn’t done too badly over the years. Little Mix – the band who sound like a brand of cat food – are kind of from the area, so if the locals want to get behind a group and demand they achieve results way beyond their actual abilities – and the entire history of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC suggests they do – they’re the act for them.
The island of Ireland – represented by the Coors girls looking like they’re peeing down an alley on a Saturday night – have produced a couple of finalists. If anything, these stats do the land of saints, scholars and dubious banking practices a minor disservice because Mary Byrne fell just short of the final and Jedward got far closer to winning it than they actually deserved. Janet Devlin is the sole remaining act from Ireland in this version competition. She’s in danger of being a fragile one trick pony, but if she’s managed correctly in the closing weeks, she should be in the final shakeup. The fact that Billy Connolly started out as a musician in Scotland and ended up as a comedian to the rest of the world tells us all we need about Scottish music. They’ve had comparatively few acts involved in the X Factor final, but when they do you should take notice. Leon Jackson and his spiky-haired vampire act is the only Scottish act to have made the final, but he did go on and win it on that occasion giving the region a perfect 100% finalists to winners ratio. Sadly the only Scot involved in the show towards the end is once again the vocal coach, so this information is of little use at the moment. Wales has a similar record to Scotland, but without the success. Rhydian finishing runner-up in series 4 was the peak of their X Factor performances and this year their greatest contribution to the X Factor cause was having Robbie Savage on Strictly Come Dancing.
Sadly the evidence feeds the raging egos already prevalent in a lot of Londoners. The stats suggest that being from London helps if you’re hoping to win the X Factor. They’ll probably insist it’s because they’re a more cultured and talented bunch than the rest of us, but in reality it’s probably got more to do with a higher proportion of deluded wannabes gravitating towards the place in the hope of getting their big break. We’ve all seen Made In Chelsea.
– X-Factor Betting
– X Factor Statistics of Dubious Value Part 1
– X Factor Statistics of Dubious Value Part 2
– X Factor Statistics of Dubious Value Part 3
– X Factor Statistics of Dubious Value Part 4