So, Simon Cowell is ‘furious’ that a list of 12 acts has been posted on the Internet purporting to be those that have made it through to the live finals of the X Factor.
Viewers will have to wait until Sunday night to find out on screen who the judges choose, but the red tops are convinced the cat is out of the bag.
The Mirror quote a source close to Cowell who says he’s “very disappointed” adding “Simon is a complete perfectionist. This was not part of the plan. Everything is stage-managed to within an inch of its life so this will not be looked on favourably.”
They go on to suggest that Cowell is even considering legal action … however, it is less clear who said litigation would be against … and for what?
None of the tabloids (all of whom seem to be running a similar story) have published the list or even mentioned the name of the website that is alleged to have leaked this list.
Enter the Beehive and its famed use of popular search engine Google, let’s try the term “X Factor final 12 2010″.
Aha, we have a possible culprit … Unreality TV. On the September 22nd, eight days a go, they claim to have talked to inside sources, checked with fans and performers and come up with “ this year’s rumoured X Factor finalists” … note the word rumoured …
I get the feeling their ‘sources’ might have been in the singular, as the next result on Google returns exactly the same list, but published a day earlier on a Betfair message board. A character called Mr X claimed to be mates with a builder working on the X Factor girls’ house. He said his friend was pals with Katie Waissel and she revealed the full list to him: “This is 100% fully confirmed, he has shown me the text she sent him.” So was it a contestant who let it slip?
Now whether Mr X really has a hotline to Waissel is yet to be confirmed, but a day earlier the same 12 were named on a ThisisBigBrother.com web forum by a user who calls himself Smithy. When challenged on provenance by another forum-user, Smithy simply said, “t’was online”
The same day, the most likely originator of the names, a site called X-Factor Updates published the finalists. They simply have pictures of the three contestants in each category in four separate posts by ‘Judge’, the administrator of the site whose profile says, location Waterford, Ireland.
This is the first reference I can find to the top 12 online … whether it is the original source is difficult to say, but it is certainly the same 12 acts that have been quoted subsequently, and ten days later (yep, the tabloids are quick off the mark on this one) has caused such a storm.
How X Factor Updates got the names, we don’t know as journalists were banned from the room when the final 12 were revealed and the contestants and crew were required to sign confidentiality agreements … which someone, it seems, might have broken.
Now, there has been no confirmation that these are the correct names, but if Cowell’s reaction is being reported correctly, one would assume that they’re pretty close to the money. Which goes to show that for a show as popular as the X Factor, secrets won’t keep – and with increasing amounts of money wagered on the show there is a growing incentive to get correct info (or false rumours) out into the open.
At this rate Ofcom, or the TV Stock Exchange, or Betfair is going to have to start regulating the show. Or demanding that everything happens live.
Now, if you don’t want to know the 12 names that have been quoted again and again
… look away now … I mean it …
we don’t want to spoil your X Factor party, but in the spirit of openness, we though we should show you what the Beehive research department found again and again …
One oddity is the absence of current second favourite for the competition, Zimbabwean Gamu Nhengu who bookies are still quoting at 11/2 for the crown. Do they know something we don’t … or are they happy to go where the money is until Sunday night’s TV reveal?
+++ POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT +++
Cheryl Cole: Girls
Dannii Minogue: Boys
Louis Walsh: Over 28s
Simon Cowell: Groups
New Direction (boyband formed at bootcamp)
Unnamed girl band ( formed at bootcamp)