The X Factor giant, Goldie eggs and some magic beans

16:22 03 October 2011

Johnny performing in Torrellea, Spain, during the judges

Johnny performing in Torrellea, Spain, during the judges' house section of The X Factor

Steve Brookstein gives his views on The X Factor as the final 16 acts are decided.

I missed The X Factor on Saturday as I was doing a gig in a town many miles from where I live to fans I never knew I still had.

Seven years after hitting what I mistook for the big time, I can still get people to come down to a show on the strength of a few performances and CDs from way back when.

I must add that halfway through the show I was heckled: “What happed to your career?” a guy shouted.

I joked that I would think of a retort at 3am that morning and if he came back next week I would tell him. I was actually impressed that he was willing to travel to the Arts Centre and pay £10 just to say that to me.

Anyway, this year’s X Factor finalists have no such worries and it’s quite an interesting bunch but sadly very young.

Unless drag queen Johnny pulls out a shocker I think I will remain the oldest person to win the show.

@CaitlinMoran of the Times tweeted: “Louis’s line-up looks like the cast of Toy Story”

There are two girls for the The Only Way Is Essex lovers (one will be eight months’ pregnant if she makes it to the final), a soldier for those who want to help a hero, a lesbian, a shy Irish girl, a drag queen, an ex-convict, some boy-bands for the teens and for a moment we had Goldie Cheung, the 50-year-old who brought what Louis would call the “fun” factor.

You wouldn’t know by the way they skipped over this story, but Goldie Cheung became the FIRST PERSON EVER to reject a place in the live finals of The X Factor.

Think about that. After months of auditions she has turned her back on the most exciting experience of her life. According to first reports, her husband had told her about the publicity she had been getting and it was clear that she was going to be this year’s Wagner.

Goldie was to be the joke act to be laughed at in between the average acts and the good acts who are getting groomed for record deals.

She would have made great TV even though it would have been at her expense. The press love her now but remember when Wagner became popular with those wanting to scupper the show? The Sun branded him a weirdo, a pervert, a sex pest and a bully.

The story broke last week that she turned down the opportunity but Goldie wasn’t allowed to comment. Instead an “insider” told the press that she didn’t like the cameras in the contestants’ house. However, Goldie has now spoken to the Official X Factor website and they say she left because she was …homesick. Really? And they didn’t get this on camera?

Surely if Goldie was homesick they could have filmed her crying and shown happy pictures of the children she missed followed by a slow-mo embrace with Louis Walsh and a track playing from Leona Lewis as she walked off into the distance.

The truth is, The X Factor is a drama and Goldie quitting on her dream because she realised she was being made a laughing stock would make for terrible television and an uncomfortable reality.

Oh well, we still have Johnny Robinson the drag queen to give us a laugh and I’m betting one week of being in the bottom two and he will throw on a frock and “tackle” some “ballsy” diva tunes. See what I did there? Just don’t wear a mini skirt Johnny!

So there we have it, 16 acts hoping for a career in the music industry, a giant record label hoping they have another goose to lay some golden eggs and I’ve finally thought of a comeback for my heckler.

What happened to my career? I traded it for magic beans.


By chance I caught a bit of The Xtra Factor. I saw The Risk being interviewed and then they showed a clip of one guy’s first audition.

Gary Barlow said: “It’s the most boring song you could have sung for us.”

The song he was referring to was also the song I sang for my first audition, A Song For You by Leon Russell. I have to take issue on this.

It has been recorded by Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, The Carpenters, Nancy Wilson, Whitney Houston, Simply Red, Michael Buble, Gerald Levert, Elton John, Beyonce, The Temptations and James Taylor to name a few. It won a Grammy for Ray Charles in 1993. This song is far from boring. It is pure genius, a classic.

Now I know Gary has written some fantastic pop songs but maybe he is enjoying the Cowell role a little too much and it’s making his head a bit fuzzy.

A Million Love Songs was a B-side for Shayne Ward’s single No Promises.

That’s all I’m saying.

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