With a new judging panel, and more lights, sequins and catch phrases than ever, The X Factor still succeeds in providing a Christmas highlight. And now, as the most popular talent show in television history celebrates its ten-year anniversary, I thought I’d take you through some of my current favourite contestants.

1)     Luke Friend – Now I’m not pulling a Louis Walsh here and suggesting that Luke is my favourite just because he’s from my hometown of Devon – I just love this guy’s voice.

Normally I back the big belting female vocalists, but I have to say that I’m more impressed with Luke’s range and singing abilities than I am any of the girls this year.

 From his fabulous rendition of Seal’s, ‘Kiss from a Rose’, to his recent cover of Wild Cherry’s, ‘Play that Funky Music’ which he performed in disco week Luke has proven that he is definitely in the running for that winning title and I hope he gets it.

2)     Rough Copy –This act is probably the one I anticipate watching the most. The band is so slick, and not to mention stylish, not only performance- wise but also in their appearance. Unlike many of the acts, these boys naturally know how to perform and interact with the audience contrived which is great to see on a show that is so repetitive every year with its themes and song ideas.

Like Luke, the boys have also proven their versatility, a value that will definitely help them get through to the final stages of the show if they continue to keep up their efforts.

From having done surprisingly well in big band week with their cover of, ‘Hit the Road Jack’ by Ray Charles, but having also shown their love of popular chart toppers like ‘Do it Like a Dude’ by Jessie J, the chances of another band wining the show seems to be getting increasingly probable.

3)     Hannah Barrett – One thing I haven’t quite managed to understand is why on God’s earth this girl has been in the bottom two… TWICE! Bearing in mind that Hannah is only 17, her cover of, ‘Satisfaction’ by The Rolling Stones last week was incredible, and saying that I can’t name one of her performances that hasn’t been rather outstanding and impressive for someone of her age. I love the soulful tone of her voice and she really takes on the attitude and emotion of each song she performs. Unless I’m missing something, there is no reason why Hannah should not be in the final.

Michaela Jewell


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