X Factor winner Matt Terry: an amalgam of all five One Direction members

Review: It’s hard to see 2016 victor Matt Terry achieving the success X Factor promises

X Factor winner Matt Terry. From his first audition, it was clear Terry would be in the final, but it’s hard to imagine him achieving the success that the show promises. Photograph: Syco/Thames/Burmiston/PA Wire

X Factor winner Matt Terry. From his first audition, it was clear Terry would be in the final, but it’s hard to imagine him achieving the success that the show promises. Photograph: Syco/Thames/Burmiston/PA Wire

 

The X Factor crowned Matt Terry as 2016’s winner and gave the world exactly what it deserves; a pop star that looks like all five members of One Direction melted down and moulded into one, and a single written by Ed Sheeran called When Christmas Comes Around.

The show celebrates its 13th run this year and, aside from the success stories of One Direction and Little Mix, this season confirms that even if it is technically a talent show, it’s a show driven by delusion.

Terry, who was mentored by the face of Müller yogurt and former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, was up against Finnish contestant Saara Alto and his performance of Sam Smith’s The Writing’s On The Wall and Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away were far superior to Alto’s renditions of Björk’s It’s Oh So Quiet and Whitney Houston’s I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.

From his first audition, it was clear that Terry would be in the final, but post-win, it’s hard to imagine him achieving the success that the show promises. Looking at the resumé of last year’s winner Louisa Johnson, who performed with the third place finalists 5 After Midnight in Saturday’s semi-final, the most interesting thing she’s done so far is that in the video for Tears, her collaboration with Clean Bandit, she appears alongside a snowy owl that was one of several – SEVERAL – who played Hedwig the owl in the Harry Potter movies.

The show’s history demonstrates that you don’t need to win to succeed as gigs hosting spin-off shows for The X Factor (Olly Murs, Rylan Clark-Neal) or I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (Stacey Solomon) are always an option.

However, as soon as last night’s show ended, Simon Cowell, the creator of The X Factor, proved that the whole spectacle is a farce, with the news that this year’s novelty contestant Honey G, whose mortifying attempts at rapping were both offensive and borderline racist, has been signed to his label Syco and will be releasing her first single on December 23rd.

This isn’t the first time he damned the structure of his creation. In 2010, he dismissed the entire voting structure by signing One Direction when they came third.

Guest performances on the night came from Kylie Minogue, Madness and 2011’s winners Little Mix. But with the inclusion of a performance of Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now from out-of-tune and not-quite-in-touch-with-reality rejected contestants, The X Factor isn’t even trying to conceal the fact that it’s making fun of 60 per cent of the people who partake in the show. Everyone’s delusion has become the butt of a cruel joke, and no one is laughing anymore.

Judges Cowell, Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh make their millions by throwing out bewildering comments like: “You put the word fun in funtasticle” but the award for the most vacuous compliment goes to Cowell’s “You know what I like about you Matt? This is why I think both of you are in the final is that you want to win and I love working with winners.”

Knowing the career paths that previous winners and contestants have taken since the show began in 2004, this year’s final makes for uneasy viewing as Terry and Alto perform with vivid desperation.

The prize of success and adoration is fleeting in The X Factor, and it’s quite possible that Terry, as talented as he is, could end up being overshadowed by a celebrity owl.

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