Who will win The X Factor? Rak-Surely it’s obvious?
- Credit: ITV
The X Factor final is this weekend - who will be the 2017 winner(s)? Will it be the manband, the busker or the jumpsuit-lover?
I hate people being sniffy about TV talent shows (and soaps and reality TV, while I'm at it) – it's one thing not to like them, it's another thing to rubbish them entirely.
Just because something's popular, doesn't mean it's awful - and dismissing a huge swathe of television for the sake of it smacks of elitism: I don't like meat, but I don't think it makes me look morally superior to bang on about it and cast aspersions on those that do. Eat your burger with my blessing – just don't wipe your fingers on my sofa.
So when I say that this year's X-Factor has been a cut-above in terms of talent, I don't want to see any virtual eye-rolling. If you're not watching the show, your opinion on it isn't hugely relevant – as I've always said, there's a choice in the television-viewer relationship, one that involves the 'off' button and about a billion other channels or streaming services.
Despising everything in the same genre of entertainment simply because it makes you feel better about yourself and your choices is just lazy – if you're going to despise something, despise it with a degree of authority. No one likes a TV snob.
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With that off my chest, I am about to consult my X Factor crystal ball, via the medium of betting odds, which do the same thing, only after removing the folding stuff from your wallet – who do I think will win The X Factor? Rak-Su. Do they deserve to win? Yes, even though they did throw that horrific 'Netflix and chill' lyric into George Michael's Faith (do NOT mess with George Michael. Ever).
The truth is that in most other years, had any of the three finalists – Rak-Su, Grace Davies or Kevin Davy White – would have joined the ranks of James Arthur, Little Mix, Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis and, er, Steve Brookstein, Ben Haenow and Leon Jackson.
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Grace Davies is an accomplished songwriter at the tender age of 19 whose own back catalogue already includes hundreds of songs – even if she doesn't have a career as a singer/songwriter, she'll be making a living through music for other people. Parisian Kevin Davy White has an incredible bluesey soul voice and is a mesmerising performer who can even pull off a tasselled suede jacket without looking as if he's got lost on the way to his first line-dancing session.
But Rak-Su – the name comes from the phrase 'Tracks v Suits' which is the band's way of saying they've chosen music and fun over adult life (if only we all could) – have led the pack from the get-go. Rapper and songwriter Ashley, singer and songwriter Jamaal, rapper and producer Myles and DJ, dancer and beatboxer Mustafa have been friends since they were at school together in Watford and are all aged between 25 and 26. They have lyrics like: 'She got me in deep like a scuba, I'm telling you she hotter than Cuba' and 'I had to Whatsapp my amigos, she moving like she from Puerto Rico'. They wear rolled up tracksuits. They are always smiling. My husband LOVES them (particularly Mustafa's dancing).
Rak-Su don't have sob stories about dead relatives, hard childhoods or bullying – they do have lots of box fresh trainers, though and tunes that are so catchy you practically need antibiotics not to be infected with them all week. They've got my vote – what about yours?