X Factor holds Matt in good stead despite new setback
December 26 2016 10:36 PM
CANDID: “I couldn’t be happier about doing all the work which has come my way,” says the singer.

By Geoffrey Rowlands

The number nine position on the UK chart reached by 2015 X Factor winner Louisa Johnson with her debut single, Forever Young, obviously disappointed and shocked show creator Simon Cowell. Most artistes would be delighted if their song made the top ten but it was by far the lowest placing for any X Factor winner’s single.
Simon’s song choice of Bob Dylan’s ballad was seen by many as determining Louisa’s relative failure. Some of his previous choices for the winner’s single have caused eyebrows to be raised but they had all proved hugely successful.
He seemingly ensured the 2016 X Factor winner would return to their customary number one spot by recruiting star singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran to pen a new song for the winning artist. Ed co-wrote When Christmas Comes Around with singer/songwriter Amy Wadge. They had previously collaborated on numerous occasions and earned the Song of the Year Grammy Award last February for Ed’s world-wide smash hit, Thinking Out Loud.
Despite the help of these can’t miss contributors, X Factor winner Matt Terry has not taken pole position on the UK chart. At least, not yet. When Christmas Comes Around debuted at number three behind Clean Bandit’s Rockabye, which has now spent eight weeks on the chart, and Just Hold On, One Direction star Louis Tomlinson’s debut single which also features Steve Aoki.
“I suppose it might be seen as a little disappointing,” remarked 23-year-old Matt. “But you have to bear in mind that my song wasn’t released until after the X Factor final on Sunday night. This meant Clean Bandit and Louis Tomlinson had two extra days of sales.”
Matt is still on cloud nine after his X Factor triumph. The native of Bromley, Kent, was working as a waiter before he auditioned for the show. But his rendition of Ben E. King’s classic, Stand By Me, earned acclaim from all four judges and immediately earmarked him as a favourite to win.
“The great thing for me was just getting through the audition. I figured if that went well and I reached the boot camp stage, I’d accumulate enough time on TV to promote myself as Matt Terry from X Factor and hopefully, get some singing work.”
His progression through the show was not completely smooth. Matt never placed lower than third but won just three of the ten viewer votes before the head to head final with Finnish singer, songwriter and musician Saara Aalto, who had led on five votes. He also had to survive a semi-final sing-off against Glasgow student Emily Middlemas.
But his X Factor victory means Matt need have no concerns about finding work. Indeed, the reverse is true. He is inundated with so many demands that the problem is finding some time for himself.
“I’m not going to complain about that. Winning X Factor is a dream come true. I couldn’t be happier about doing all the work which has come my way.”
Despite receiving hundreds of marriage proposals since appearing on the show, Matt is also too busy to look for love.
“The ending of a three-year relationship was what prompted me to audition for X Factor. My ex-girlfriend, Jasmine Avis, dumped me two days before my birthday last May. We’re still friends and she was supportive during my time on the show. I’ll have fun and meet people so I suppose that special girl could come along tomorrow but I’m not looking for anyone at the moment.”
Matt is looking towards the X Factor concert tour early next year.
“It’s strange in that we all desperately want to win yet so many of us become really close friends. Freddy Parker, in particular, is like a little brother to me. But Saara (Aalto), Relley C, 5 After Midnight and others are all like family to me. Doing the tour with them will be great.”
Matt is also looking forward to working on his debut album.
“I’ll obviously be guided by much more experienced people but I’d like to co-write at least some of the songs. I think it’s important to use your own life experiences in writing songs and I’ve certainly had plenty to write about during 2016.”


Saara Aalto

Finishing runner-up on the inaugural season of The Voice of Finland did little to further the career of Oulunsalo-born singer, songwriter and musician Saara Aalto. But placing second to Matt Terry on British television’s X Factor may well have set 29-year-old Saara on the road to stardom. She has signed a joint recording contract with Simon Cowell’s Syco label and Sony Music.
Saara deserves a lucky break. In addition to her second places on The Voice of Finland and X Factor, she also placed second on two occasions in the competition to determine Finland’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Clean Bandit and Adam Lambert have expressed an interest in working with her. Adam has already done so. He teamed up with Saara on X Factor to perform Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Their rendition can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLDPk38htwc.
Saara’s other X Factor performances are also on YouTube. So too are numerous videos from the course of her career. These are posted on her own channel, www.youtube.com/user/saaraaalto

Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello is another X Factor graduate. The 19-year-old Cuban-born singer/songwriter auditioned as a solo artist on season two of The X Factor US. After being eliminated, Camila was brought back into the competition along with other failed solo artists, Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui and Normani Kordei, to form the group Fifth Harmony.
The girls became enormously successful. Their 2013 debut EP, Better Together, reached number six on the Billboard 200 while their two albums both made the top five. They have also enjoyed a number of big hit singles. Earlier this year, Work From Home became the first top five song by a girl group on Billboard’s Hot 100 since The Pussycat Dolls peaked at number three with Buttons in September, 2006.
Camila has also experienced success as a duettist with Canadian singer/ songwriter Shawn Mendes on I Know What You Did Last Summer and currently with rapper Machine Gun Kelly on their smash hit, Bad Things.
This led to speculation about Camila’s future with Fifth Harmony. The rumours about her leaving have proven true with the recent announcement that she has quit the group.
She left immediately after Fifth Harmony concluded a US concert tour although Camila’s manager had informed the other members of her intention to quit in mid-November. The other girls had apparently made every effort to keep Camila within the group. They even went so far as to arrange a group counselling session to enable any grievances to be aired but Camila chose not to attend.
For her part, Camila insists the other girls knew how she felt and were not informed of her intention to quit by her management.
Whatever the truth may be, Ally, Dinah, Lauren and Normani will move on as a foursome while we await the solo material from Camila.


Fifth Harmony fans disappointed by Camila leaving the group can at least look forward to hearing more from the remaining quartet plus Camila’s solo work. The same cannot be said for fans of synthpop duo Chairlift.
Singer Caroline Polachek and producer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wimberly announced their decision to disband after a farewell tour next spring during the duo’s recent homecoming concert in Brooklyn, New York.
After meeting at the University of Colorado, Caroline and multi-instrumentalist / singer / songwriter Aaron Pfenning formed Chairlift in 2005. Patrick joined them in 2007 before the release of their 2008 debut album, Does You Inspire You.
Aaron quit to pursue a solo career in 2010 leaving Caroline and Patrick to record their critically acclaimed albums, Something and Moth, in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
Patrick intends to concentrate on producing records while Caroline will become a solo artist.
All three Chairlift albums can be heard in full on YouTube.

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