Happy Birthday Olly Murs | 10 Best Songs By X Factor Contestants
Think all X Factor singles are rubbish? Think again…
By Gary Oden
With The X Factor set to return to our screens this summer, not to mention the fact it’s alumnus Olly Murs’ 30th birthday on May 14th, we’re counting down the top 10 singles to come from former contestants of the TV talent show.
While The X Factor has produced some rubbish, if you look a little deeper you’ll find a lot of gold in the careers of these one-time wannabes. Don’t believe us? Watch and learn.
Aiden - Better Man
Aiden Grimshaw was a funny one – all brooding, with a vendetta against smiling – but unlike a lot of contestants, he had something a bit different about him. Namely his own unique sound, which he has perfected since leaving the show, releasing genuinely great and unique album Misty Eye. Then last November he shortened his name to simply ‘Aiden’ and released the banger you can hear above.
Rebecca Ferguson – Backtrack
Rebecca came second in the 2010 series of The X Factor, just behind Matt Cardle, but it’s her output that’s definitely made more of an impact. Her strong and distinctive voice lends her songs an old-timey feel, whilst still sounding modern. Check out Backtrack for a perfect example of this. It only got to number 15 in the charts, which is a travesty, obviously, but then the world is full of morons so it was to be expected really.
Parade – Light Me Up
Parade were a short-lived girl band, a member of which was Emily Biggs, previously of other girl band Hope that was formed on The X Factor. Parade only released one album and scored a top ten hit, but it was this proposed song that was to be contained on their second album that really gave a hint as to what we could have expected had they not broken up. Shame.
Ella Henderson – Ghost
You all probably remember Ella Henderson for being the best contestant to ever finish in sixth place. It was a bit of a joke really, because she was (and is) great, as can be seen with her debut single above. We had the chance to hear some of her other tracks off her debut album and we can say now, with confidence, that it’s going to be a quality piece of work when it’s released later this year.
Amelia Lily - Party Over
Another singer with a mega voice that didn’t win here and with a single that only got to number 40 in the charts (!). Pretty insane really, considering the quality of the track and also the fact that her preceding single went to number two! Still, on the strength of this track, we’re certainly excited to see what her debut album has in store for us when it’s released next year…
Cher Lloyd - I Wish (ft. T.I.)
We guess Cher Lloyd is kind of love-her-or-hate-her, but guess what? We love her and we love this track, which doesn’t even seem to have been released in the UK, for some reason. It’s got a guest spot from T.I. and it’s sodding catchy as Hell - why isn’t it available over here? Still, there’s this thing called the Internet, which means you can listen to it no matter where you live. Check it out above.
Diana Vickers - Lightning Strikes/Music To Make Boys Cry
Ok, we’re cheating a bit here and including two songs, because both are quality and we couldn’t choose - wanna fight about it? Diana Vickers is another contestant who’s never really hit the big time (at least as far as One Direction are concerned), but she’s got her own inimitable sound, as can be heard in the two belters above. And she does theatre too!
Little Mix - DNA
Little Mix have done pretty damn well considering the track-record that X Factor has when considering girl bands. Maybe it’s because they’re actually genuinely good? Who knows - the world works in crazy ways. Still, one thing we do know for sure is that their best song is DNA, and luckily the public (sort of) recognised that by helping it peak at number three in the charts.
Shayne Ward - No U Hang Up
Remember Shayne Ward? No? That’s probably because he won the second series of The X Factor and that was like 50 years ago or something. Well, listen to the above song and maybe it’ll jog your memory - it’s an absolute TUNE. It got to number two back in 2007, but was really Shayne’s last hit - his singles went further back up the charts from thereon in. But hey, he’s back in the studio soon so more of this please, Shayne.
Girls Can’t Catch - Keep Your Head Up
Girls Can’t Catch were a girl band that included a different girl from the aforementioned Hope - Phoebe Brown. They only released two singles, which is a shame because this song and their follow-up Echo were both brill. This one just pips it though, and is a song which we still listen to now, even though nobody bloody did when it was first released.