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пятница, 16 сентября 2016 г.

The X Factor finalists you forgot

For every Leona Lewis there are three Tabby Callaghans (what do you mean you can’t remember the Irish, guitar-playing guy who came third in series 1...) but for some X Factor flops the show was just the start of a glittering career. Here we showcase the unlikely success stories....

We're hours from finding out the winner of The X Factor 2009 and whichever of the final two win the coveted crown will be guaranteed fame, fortune, freebies and the Christmas No1. But what about the contestants who almost made it? The ones who reached the final 12, sung their hearts out, then got voted off to pursue their chart dreams elsewhere?
With 57 - count 'em - former contestants, there are bound to be more failures than successes. We're talking the likes of Tabby Callaghan - the token rocker beloved by Sharon Osbourne, who said the show nearly broke him. Or Steve Brookstein, who won the show in 2004, but now performs in places like Pizza Express, Maidstone. Or Eton Road, who eventually split last year. Ditto Hope. Or Emily Nakanda, whose career never quite took off after a video of her happy slapping appeared. Even last year's sweetheart, Eoghan Quigg, recently went back to school following disappointing album sales, admitting: "I want to have my exam results for the future. Music is my passion, but you need education, too."
However, with finalists now earning at least £100,000 after The X Factor tour, and between £5,000 and £20,000 for public appearances, don't feel too sorry for them. While not everyone can be the next Alexandra Burke, there are some that have had their own surprising successes...
G4 (Ben Thapa, 27, Jonathan Ansell, 27, Mike Christie, 28, Matthew Stiff, 29)
One of the most successful groups to ever come out The X Factor, the future looked bright for the golden boys of pop-opera after they signed a £1.5million record deal. Until personality clashes meant they split in 2007.
Head choirboy, Jonathan Ansell, 27, repackaged himself as a solo singer, and recently announced he'll be starring in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's touring production of Whistle Down The Wind in 2010. Ben has released an operatic album, and even has his own jewellery line, while Matthew is at college studying opera. It's Mike who's had the biggest life change though, as he's combining singing with a new career as a property developer. Sarah Beeney eat your heart out.
The Journey South boys are big in South Africa now
Journey South (Carl Pemberton, 29, & Andy Pemberton, 33)
Things looked good for Journey South boys Carl and Andy Pemberton after they made it to third place in 2005 and had a No1 album. But when an alleged printing error made their second single ineligible for the charts, the brother's profiles slipped.
There's one place the brothers are still massive though - South Africa - were two of their singles have topped the charts and they're set to do an arena tour. Go boys!
Brenda Edwards, 41
Mum-of-two Brenda wasn't the most obvious popstar after reaching the final 12 in 2005 on a chance audition. However she became the first contestant to cross over from the X Factor stage to the musical stage.
After a couple of years as Momma Morton in Chicagoin London't West End, Bren is now in Edinburgh receiving huge praise for her role in We Will Rock You with Darren Day. Careful there Brenda, we all know Mr Day's reputation precedes him...
Maria Lawson, 28
One of the favourites to win in 2005, Maria, was a surprise evicitee after Louis made her walk to save the Conway Sisters. Maria's early departure meant her debut single and album failed to set the chart alight and she parted company with Sony music. So when the Londoner became pregnant in 2007, she put her music career on hold to embrace motherhood and bring up Brandon, now two.
After some time out of the industry, life changed again this year when Maria got the starring role in Thriller Live, the West End stage musical about Michael Jackson. "The Jackson 5 recently sat in the front row of the show," Maria says. "It wasn't long after Michael's death. They came backstage and Tito started crying which set us all off."
Maria's also embracing songwriting again and is negotiating a deal for her new album, Emotional Rollercoaster, due for release early next year. Autobiographical, much?
Kerry McGregor, 34
Life turned right around for Kerry, despite leaving the 2006 show in only the third week. The Scottish mum, who uses a wheelchair, confessed the show saved her from post-natal depression: "X Factor was a leap of faith for me. It showed me that life didn't have to be over because I'd become a mother."
Since then Kerry's helped launch a range of clothes called Wheelie-Chix for young women in wheelchairs, had a role in Grange Hill and does motivational speaking for charities. As for the singing? That's mainly just in her own time these days, which could be wise.
The MacDonald brothers were 2006's answer to the Proclaimers!
The MacDonald Brothers (Brian, 22 & Craig, 23)
2006's answer to the Proclaimers, if such a thing isn't too terrifying, faded from many people's memories when they left the show. Unless those people were Scottish. Or Australian.
Brian and Craig, from Ayr, are currently on a sold-out tour in their home country, and their first two hit the top of the Scottish charts. And not only that, they've been given a song written by Mr Elton John himself.
But it's the other side of the world that's home to the most surprising MacDonald Brothers fanbase. "Our label, Sony BMG, released an album there this year and when we went out to promote it we were very well received," explains Brian. "Being so popular in Australia that we were asked to go back and tour is something we are both very proud of."
Kimberley Southwick was the first hopeful to get the boot in 2007
Kimberley Southwick, 21
Kimberley's dream was over before it began, when she was the first contestant to get the boot in 2007. The former barmaid got a bit-part as Angela in Shameless and joined band, Club Town Freaks, managed by Take That founder Nigel Martin Smith.
But when the group failed to live up to the hype, Kim decided to tackle the other side of fame by setting up an affordable stage school, Aspire, in her hometown of Tamworth, Staffordshire. "I've been given a great opportunity thanks to the show" she says, "I'm looking forward to opening other schools in the Midlands to help more children." Awww.
Daniel DeBourg, 28
Daniel shunned the normal exit strategy when he left the show in the second week in 2007. "My instinct was to keep a really low profile," he reveals. "I learnt so much on the show, but I could never be myself. I've got an urban background and they had me singing Build Me Up Buttercup for God's sake."
Staying behind the scenes meant the former dancer could work with up and coming urban acts like Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk and DJ Ironik, often using the pseudonym DDB. And it's paid off as Daniel's just been offered a "very very nice" record deal by the Prince of Bahrain's 2Seas Records (the one he used to own with Michael Jackson, FYI) and is soon off to the US to work with from the Black Eyed Peas. And there might be more exciting collaborations ahead. "I worked with the JLS boys years ago so I'm hoping they'll be doing something on my album." Who knew?
Beverley Trotman, 40
Beverley impressed audiences with her soulful voice in 2007, but shunned fame and went back to her old job as a Primary School teacher in Luton after she lelt the competition. However, last December the bright lights of the stage proved too tough to resist and Bev won the role of Miss Sherman in the touring stage version of Fame. And she'll be staying out classroom a while longer, as she's just released a gospel album called Voice Of Hope.
Same Difference (Sean, 24 & Sarah Smith, 21)
Before there was Jedward, there was Same Difference, the original sibling duo who terrified and delighted audiences in equal measures in 2007. Despite signing a million pound deal with Simon Cowell's company Syco after the show, Same Difference didn't sell enough albums and were dropped in April. "That was definitely our lowest point," says the pair.
However, probably unsurprisingly, they kept their smiles plastered on and have now found themselves new management, signed a record deal, and even banished the puff-ball skirts and cardigans of old. "We're recording and writing our second album which sounds a lot more mature and contemporary," they say. "We're really thankful to The X Factor for all the opportunities. Although we are excited about doing things on our own terms this time round!"
Scott Bruton, 20
Scott left with more of a whimper than a bang last year, when he was the third act to be voted off the show, but surprisingly his career's become more successful than many finalists who went the distance.
The Mancunian has spent the last year in the lead role in hit musical Dreamboats And Petticoats after beating fellow X Factor reject, Austin Drage, 23, to the role, which will be returning to the West End in January.
But it's his recent album deal with Universal that's most unexpected. "I never thought I'd get signed," he reveals. "Most finalists fade into obscurity if they don't get into the top four. And now I've got this amazing opportunity. I want to do something with a Jason Mraz/James Morrison sound. I've even changed my image so people see I've moved on from the pretty boy-next-door I was on The X Factor."
The stars who really raked it in from The X Factor
Leona Lewis is a world-famous star now
Leona Lewis, 24
Just two years after winning the show, Leona's already made £10million, and counting, after conquering the all-important American market. Her second album, Echo, has stormed the charts this year and her star looks set to shine even more brightly in 2010. Viva the diva.
Alexandra Burke, 21
Last year's winner, Alex, 21, has proved her title by releasing a number one single and album, gracing glossy magazine covers and even emerged as a fashion icon.
JLS (Aston Merrygold, 21, Marvin Humes, 24, Jonathan 'JB' Gill, 22, Oritse Williams, 22)
Proving that you don't have to win The X Factor to do well off the back of it, JLS have won over the nation with their sultry voices, funky moves, and lovely arms, thanks to a multi-million pound record deal. Hot.
Ray Quinn, 21
Baby-faced Ray has spent the last three years exciting audiences with his skating skills, in pantomime and playing Danny on stage in Grease and earning a tidy £400,000.
Rhydian's currently promoting his second album...
Diana Vickers, 18
After leaving the competition early last year, Diana's made a real comeback, winning critical acclaim for her role in musical, Little Voice. And not a claw-hand in sight.
Shayne Ward, 25
We haven't heard from Shayne for a while, but he'll always have a special place in our hearts after winning the show in 2005. We're sure his £500,000 fortune will keep him going till his third album comes out.
Rhydian Roberts, 26
The Welsh Warbler has been keeping his head down recently promoting his second album, O Fortuna, which was released at the end of November. Which, if it gets anything like the 600,000 sales of his debut, will make him even richer.

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