X Factor winners - where are they now?
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ITV has kick-started the reality conveyer belt as the search for Britain's latest singing sensation has hit our TV screens once again. Simon Cowell, kingpin of the show and general musical warlord, has always stressed the priority of tracking down the hidden talent within the country, (the swelling of his bank account from premium rate phone lines a mere bi-product, it seems) indeed ITV's promotion of this years show emphasised their pride in the success of contestants, and with this in mind, I scoured the depths of Wikipedia and entered domains of the internet rarely accessed by any human being in order to evaluate the success of the X Factor's mission. The show it self these days of course resembles a little too closely ancient Rome. Contestants are wheeled out to the Coliseum, often selected for the main audition (by producers in the initial audition which is not televised) based purely on the eccentricity of their character, potential for controversial reaction, or indeed down right mental instability. Hyped from progressing from the initial rounds, the fall of self esteem is all that harder when its carried not only by people you admire, but often in rude, insensitive and damaging fashion. All of this of course, is lapped up by the hoards of public viewers, chanting and booing the isolated wannabe pop star, a verbal thumbs down from the Roman public, a mental decapitation for the gladiator, who slumps back into their hole, only more vulnerable after the character destroying experience. The fact the show is so often blaringly staged makes the whole ordeal of watching that little bit more tragic. All of which makes it all the more incredible a star has indeed emerged from the chaos of the X Factor. Leona Lewis was the winner back in 2006. From there she has sold 28 million records worldwide, breaking into the UK top five seven times, as well being nominated for seven Brit Awards, and three Grammys. Her position as darling of the X Factor props up a procession of other calamitous idols, too which tracking down information on their musical exploits became more difficult than an attempt to access the FBI's best kept secrets.
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