Although Little Mix were the eventual winners of 2011’s X Factor, I was extremely impressed with and very much supported Janet Devlin who got knocked out at the Semi-Final stage. I felt the judges on the show, particularly the three new ones (Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Janet’s mentor Kelly Rowland), really did her a disservice. Rather than sticking to her strengths and her natural style, they seemed to push her into being a more generic pop star.
Obviously, the X Factor is about creating a pop star but it still has the room and ability to allow some variation. Gary Barlow accused Janet Devlin of being predictable and boring, saying he knew what he was going to get with her performances. A successful pop star and recording artist is not a whacky variety performer, they cultivate and generate niche audiences of people who like their music and voice.
Leona Lewis, the 2006 winner of the X Factor, was extremely predictable when she was in the competition. She sang every different song the same way, quiet in the beginning before raising it up to show off her amazing voice. She did it week after week. And we loved it! Because she was brilliant at singing this way. She won easily and now has a career singing the same way too as that is because what she is good at and that is what the public like.
The Judges and the producers of X Factor really should have done a better job as the latter have not maximised their revenue possibilities. During the the live shows of the competition, Janet Devlin got the most telephone votes in the first 4 live shows and came 2nd in the 5th show. She was also the most downloaded artist of those in the competition on iTunes.
By forcing her to go out of her comfort zone and perform in a style that she was not happy with, the judges and producers really shot themselves in the foot. As well as Janet.
However, I still believe strongly that Janet Devlin will be the most successful contestant on this year’s X Factor. Apart from having a wonderful voice, Janet still has massive following:
- almost 300,000 followers on Twitter (@JanetJealousy) with proper fans known as Devlinators!
- her X Factor audition has been seen by nearly 6 million people on YouTube. Before appearing on X Factor she uploaded songs of herself singing and are extremely popular (see ‘Someone Like You’ below that has been viewed over 3 million times).
She seems to appeal to people of all ages. Girls her own age seem to relate to her as she is not a complete girly girl and has her own unique slightly quirky style. She is pretty in a natural way and girls can imagine being her friend. She seemed very shy on the show (she is only 17) but also seemed very tough and determined underneath it. She isn’t afraid of being who she is and she realised it wasn’t an X Factor puppet.
I don’t know what her X Factor contractual obligations are but I hope that she has someone experienced giving her guidance as I am sure there are record labels and producers out there who can clearly see there is a great market potential for her in the United States, UK and the rest of Europe. She definitely has the X Factor when she sings and I wish her the very best of luck and really hope to see and hear her soon.
I’m one of those cynical bods who watches these programmes and moans about them but never votes. I have only ever picked up the phone and voted for two people. The first was for Cheryl Cole (then Tweedy) when she was on the programme Popstars The Rivals and the second time was for Janet Devlin. If she can get a sarcastic cynic like myself to vote, then I think she can do well!
Photos of Janet Devlin: