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December 16 - 22 2009
By Anita Singh Showbusiness Editor JOE McELDERRY, the cherubic 18 year-old hailed as a new Cliff Richard, was crowned The X Factor winner on Sunday night.
In what was billed as the closest final in the history of the television talent show, McElderry beat Olly Murs, a call centre worker, to the biggest prize in the music business.
In front of an estimated television audience of 20million, the performing arts student from South Shields, Tyne and Wear landed a £1million recording deal and an all but guaranteed number one in the Christmas chart with a cover of the Miley Cyrus hit The Climb.
McElderry appeared stunned as the judges lined up to congratulate him. “I can’t even speak, thank you so much everyone,” he managed. His mentor Cheryl Cole was in tears as she saw her protégé crowned.
Later, he told ITV2’s Xtra Factor: “I couldn’t believe it, I nearly collapsed on stage, it’s amazing. I’ve had the best experience of my life.”
McElderry intends to spend his first royalty cheque on a house for his mother, Eileen, 47, who raised him as a single parent in a Tyneside flat.
He honed his talents in local singing competitions and first entered The X Factor in 2007, when he reached the boot camp stage.
This year, he was a bit-part player in the early shows, as the producers focused on the phenomenon that was Jedward.
However, he impressed the judges and the public week after week with his faultless vocals, and his squeaky-clean image and old-fashioned appeal prompted Louis Walsh, the X Factor judge, to describe him as “like a young Cliff”.
Victory was sealed last
£500,000 Value of the show’s sponsorship deal with Talk Talk
£75m The amount raised through phone votes and advertising during the 30 shows in the series
10m The number of people who voted in this year’s final. The figure is an increase of 2million on the 2008 final, which was won by
61.3 p c Proportion of callers who voted for Joe McElderry
Joe McElderry celebrates his victory with mentor Cheryl Cole. Inset: beaten contestant Olly Murs
Saturday night when he held his own in a duet with George Michael, who said the teenager had a “great future”.
After his victory was announced, Walsh said: “Joe, you’ve got everything. You’ve got the walk, the attitude, the charm. You’re a small boy with a big voice and a great future.” Simon Cowell, who will sign McElderry to his record label SyCo, said: “I remember the first time I saw you and I remember telling the other three, ‘This guy could actually win the show.’ I feel responsible for your success and very proud of everything you’ve achieved.”
Sunday night’s show, on ITV, also featured performances from Sir Paul McCartney and former winner Leona Lewis. It received the royal seal of approval from Prince Harry, who took his seat in the studio audience alongside his girlfriend, Chelsy Davy. His appearance comes after the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were outed as fans of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC’s Saturday night offering.
The X Factor has trounced the dance show in the ratings this year. Last Saturday’s show pulled in 14.5million viewers to Strictly’s 9.1million.
A National Grid spokesman said there was a surge in demand equivalent to more than 250,000 people switching on their kettles — 750
megawatts, or the output of a medium-sized power station — after the final finished.
The talent show is a banker for ITV, making the broadcaster £75million this series. However, Cowell has threatened to pull the programme unless a further £3million is invested for production costs.
He wants to change the format next year and sign Robbie Williams, the pop singer, as a fifth judge.
Neil Midgley Review
JUST for one evening, the nation could come together and rejoice. Gordon Brown might have bankrupted us, our children might be illiterate, our Christmas cards might be stuck at the depot. But on Sunday night on ITV1, in an explosion of gloss, glamour and glitter, Simon Cowell let us forget it all for two precious hours.
In recent memory, no TV show has united the country like this series of The X Factor, and Sunday’s final admirably crowned three feelgood months. Mr Nice — cheeky Essex boy Olly Murs — squared up against Mr Nicer, Geordie teenager Joe McElderry.
This was classic Cowell commerce. ITV milked each ad break for every eyeball it could get, the 35p-a-go phone lines reeled in 10 million calls, the winning single was shamelessly plugged. The studio audience stamped, outside broadcasts from the finalists’ home towns of South Shields and Colchester roared and 20 million viewers or more cheered, shouted and sobbed.
Cowell and his crew showed that greed is good. Because that shameless, mass-market entertainment was a public service tonic like nothing the BBC has broadcast all year.
In the end, McElderry triumphed, and could barely contain his glee as he belted out his debut single, a cover of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb.
“There’s always gonna be another mountain,” he sang. “I’m always gonna wanna make it move.” When Cowell thinks of trying to top this lot next year, he must feel much the same way.
By Nick Allen in Los Angeles TIGER WOODS’S financial empire was crumbling last weekend after Accenture, one of his most important sponsors, pulled the plug on a £12million advertising deal.
The global business consulting company said it would not continue its agreement with Woods following the scandal surrounding his private life.
The announcement came as Woods’s wife, Elin Nordegren, was said to be considering ending their marriage and returning to her native Sweden, despite the sports star’s decision to take a break from golf, which could ultimately cost him £100million, to focus on his family. Miss Nordegren was reported to have spoken to divorce lawyers but any process would only begin in the new year, for the sake of their
10-month-old son and two-year-old daughter.
The couple are expected to spend Christmas together at a sixbedroom home Miss Nordegren recently bought on an island off Stockholm, where Woods is expected to make a last-ditch effort to save his marriage.
His wife is said to have told him to see a therapist following allegations that he had affairs with more than a dozen women.
One of them, Jamie Jungers, a 26year-old Las Vegas cocktail waitress, claimed on Sunday that she was with Woods at his home in California in 2006 when he learned that his father, Earl, had died from cancer. Woods admitted publicly for the first time last week that he had been unfaithful and said he was taking an “indefinite” break from golf. A year-long absence of its biggest star could cost the golf industry more than £300million.
In its first statement since the scandal erupted, Accenture said: “Given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising.”
The relationship between Woods and Accenture goes back six years, and the business has credited its “Go on, be a Tiger” marketing campaign, rolled out in 27 countries, with significantly boosting its image. It was the first major sponsor to sever links with Woods completely.
Gillette also distanced itself from the golf star, saying last Saturday that it would not air advertisements featuring Woods for an unspecified period. AT&T has said it is “evaluating” its relationship with the golfer.
It has been estimated that if Woods is out for a year he could lose £66million in income from advertising endorsements. He made £12million in prize money in 2007, his last full season, and would have been expecting to make even more in 2010. He could also lose out on an estimated £10million in appearance fees.
Nike, his main sponsor, said last Friday that it supported Woods’s decision to take time off. He signed a five-year deal with the company in 2006 for an estimated £70million.
In a further blow to Woods’s image, it was reported that officials from the Florida department of children and families visited his home.
Radar Online, a celebrity news website, claimed that they were escorted by police and were at the house for an hour. It said the visit was a routine follow-up to the investigation into Woods’s car crash.
The veteran BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss said it was possible Woods might not play professionally again.
“He’s going to have to put up with a lot of nonsense and ridicule and comment for the next 20 to 30 years and it depends how well he tackles that,” he said.
However, Max Clifford, the British publicist, said that taking a break was a “clever move”.
He said: “The golf world will miss him more than he will miss them because you’re taking the world’s top player out, the biggest attraction, the one that everyone wants to see.” Media analysts are already expecting his comeback tournament to be one of the most watched events in sporting history.
Features, page 24