Last week, after keeping us waiting for almost two years, we finally got to hear the Ella Henderson debut single, ‘Ghost’ and we were pleased to report that it was very much worth the wait.
The mature-sounding single was exactly what we were hoping for from the promising star, who first wowed the judges on ‘The X Factor’ back in 2012 with her own unique composition at the age of just 16.
Ella’s impressive debut got us thinking about other acts from ‘X Factor’ series gone by who have released music that might have slipped under your radar a bit. Yes, we all love an Olly Murs single when one comes along, and we did used to look forward to a new JLS track (particularly if they were lopping their tops to help promote it), but there are some other ‘X Factor’ acts whose singles mightn’t have reached the dizzying heights of number one, but still stand up to repeated listens.
Former ‘X Factor’ contestants Diana Vickers, Aiden Grimshaw, Cher Lloyd and Ella Henderson
And no, before you ask, we’re not talking about Chico.
Critics might claim that ‘The X Factor’ is destroying the music industry and making music more soulless and manufactured, but if these acts are anything to go by it’s still helping give a platform to artists who are putting out some genuinely decent music.
If you don’t believe us, click through our gallery and remind yourself of some of the best overlooked ‘X Factor’ releases…
Diana Vickers – ‘The Boy Who Murdered Love’
Diana topped the charts with her first single ‘Once’, though unfortunately failed to repeat that success with her second single, which peaked just inside the UK top 40.
Cher Lloyd – ‘Want U Back’
Cher Lloyd more or less sealed her fate in the UK when she made the even-more-irritating-than-we-remembered ‘Swagger Jagger’ as her debut single, but more wisely opted for the more catchy and radio-friendly ‘Want U Back’ as her first single in America. And what do you know, no ‘Oh My Darlin’ Clementine’ sample in sight.
Amelia Lily – ‘You Bring Me Joy’
This song is brilliant. That’s about all we have to say really.
Aiden Grimshaw – ‘Is This Love’
Aiden Grimshaw arrived on ‘The X Factor’ back in 2010 and was pretty much a ready-made pop star. By the time he performed ‘Mad World’ in the first live shows of the series that year, it was obvious exactly what he was about, and ‘Is This Love’ made a perfect debut single for the bequiffed Blackpool singer
Misha B – ‘Do You Think Of Me’
A ‘Show Me Love’-esque club banger about an absent father probably shouldn’t work, particularly when it’s being sung by an ‘X Factor’ contestant, but somehow Misha B pulls it off beautifully.
Jedward – ‘Waterline’
Yes, yes, we know. But if you can get over the fact it’s Jedward (difficult, we understand) then this – their second ever Eurovision entry representing Ireland – is genuinely an excellent pop song.
Ruth Lorenzo – ‘Dancing In The Rain’
And speaking of Eurovision, here’s Spain’s 2014 entry, sung by none other than ‘X Factor’ 2008 contestant Ruth Lorenzo.
Union J – ‘Carry You’
We can’t help but feel that Union J have been a bit unfairly overlooked since coming off ‘The X Factor’ a few years ago, and have been unjustly billed as some class of One Direction Lite. True, the similarities between Union J and One Direction are unignorable, but if Union J are going to keep putting out pop songs as brilliant as ‘Carry You’ then surely we can agree there’s room for everyone?
Rebecca Ferguson – ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’
2010 was a landmark year for ‘The X Factor’, with the discovery of acts like One Direction and Cher Lloyd. Matt Cardle was named winner, while acts like Aiden Grimshaw, Katie Waissel and even Wagner have stuck in our memories long after the series ended. One act from that year who seems to have slipped through the net a bit is Rebecca Ferguson, who thankfully is still making music, though we still love her 2011 debut ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’.
Little Mix – ‘Salute’
True, we probably can’t claim Little Mix have been “overlooked” – they did win the show back in 2011 – but we do think it’s fair to say they’ve been underestimated a bit. This is the title track from their album ‘Salute’, released in 2013, which proves that the group really do mean business.
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