Unlike certain, Surrey-based media outlets, Inside Croydon has so far avoided jumping on the X Factor bandwagon, which has seen a Redhill-based newspaper devote its “news” coverage to a reality television show and declare its utter devotion for Ben Haenow ahead of tonight’s finale. Some might suggest that drooping organs that stoop so low are indulging in what media professionals describe as “click-bait tossery”.
That’s not to understate iC’s admiration for Haenow’s undoubted singing talent, which was in greater evidence in his early auditions than it has been since the hackneyed ITV producers of the karaoke-thon got hold of him to try to “mould” him into another production-line pop star, and wring out of him any suggestion of originality.
By making the top three tonight, Haenow’s short-term music career is already guaranteed.
But Inside Croydon would just like to issue a warning to the Shirley white van man to make sure that he doesn’t release too many turkeys in 2015, or he might just find himself selling turkeys, like a previous X Factor high-flyer with strong Croydon connections.
Popbitch, which knows a thing or two about these things, has had Haenow as their favourite to win for a fortnight, ahead of Italian tenor Andrea Faustini, on the grounds that television viewers in Italy aren’t going to be calling Simon Cowell’s phone lines (and also, frankly, because whoever has been picking the pug-loving Roman’s songs has been doing a crap job).
But Popbitch has also hinted darkly that the third finalist, Fleur East, a performer with years of experience performing in front of 50,000+ festival crowds, is Cowell’s pick to win this year’s series. And what Cowell wants…
JLS had Cowell’s backing once, when they were the new group sensation who finished runners-up in the 2008 series.
The band included former Whitgift schoolboy and sometime pacy Warlingham rugby player Jonathan Gill.
But after one Brit Award, five UK No1s and 10 million record sales, JB Gill is now running a farm in Biggin Hill.
JLS split as a band in 2013, amid the usual PR talk about individual projects and separate ambitions. Reunion tours are always a lucrative option.
In the past, he’d be doing seasonal cover versions of Paul McCartney’s Mistletoe and Wine. But this Christmas, instead of murdering some hackneyed old songs, Gill is wringing turkey necks and having a plucking good time, while also using his old school ties.
He can probably afford to, since the smallest birds he sells (9-pounders) are going for a cool 80 quid a time. These birds don’t go cheap.
Farmer Gill, who became a father earlier this year, is selling his free-range turkeys through his old boys’ association, offering the former public schoolboys a free jar of cranberry sauce and entry into a prize draw for a drinks hamper with every turkey purchased. Lovely!
Croydon’s 2014 X Factor finalist Haenow ought to be destined for success, any way. After all, nearly 30 years ago, Neil Finn was writing a song in his name: “Hey now, hey now…”
If only X Factor‘s karaoke-thon would ever exhibit a similar slice of originality…
Coming to Croydon
- Opera Soiree at Whitgift School, Dec 14
- Friends of the Earth Green Beanfeast, Dec 15 (book by Dec 1)
- Croydon Philharmonic Christmas concert, St Matthew’s, Dec 16
- Spread Eagle’s Christmas Improv show, Dec 17
- David Lean Cinema, Northern Soul, Dec 18
- David Lean Cinema, Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, Dec 29
- David Lean Cinema, The Beat Beneath My Feet, Dec 30
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at email@example.com