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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Matthew Raymond-Barker howls his way to win France's X Factor

Yes the winner of the France's version of the X Factor (and you have to pronounce that as "Ix Factor) is none other than a guy who was literally booted off the British version of the show without making it through to the live prime time snore-athons.

Matthew Raymond-Barker (screenshot M6 video)

Matthew Raymond-Barker outwarbled Marina D'Amico to become the country's latest super-talented "find" and in the process securing a record deal with Sony.

Oh what a night it was to be - a very long one.

Sandrine Corman was on hand to continue her sterling job of keeping the whole shebang flowing - just as she had done for the past three months.

The judges took their places with Olivier Schultheis (D'Amico's coach) and Canadian impressionist-singer Véronic DiCaire (for Raymond-Barker) keeping their fingers (and just about anything else) crossed for their protegés and it was time to let battle begin.

The show was to be - in the words of Christophe Willem, one of the judges and as a former talent show winner (Nouvelle Star) and ergo someone who should know, "A clash of the Titans".

Even the rather more surly Henry Padovani, a founder member of the Police (did you know that?) and the poor guy who had to pretend that he had actually enjoyed his role as coach of three groups that were never going to win, managed to drum up some enthusiasm for both D'Amico and Raymond-Barker admitting grumpily (and not with any real sincerity) that they, "deserved to be in the final."

Raymond-Barker's (doesn't that just trip off the tongue delightfully) parents had made the trip over from Britain. Poor things, they looked as though they didn't understand a word of what was being said throughout, which was probably the case.

D'Amico's parents too were in the audience - just as they had been all along to cheer their 17-year-old daughter along.

We learned that the 22-year-old Raymond-Barker had turned up at the auditions by - in his words - "pure chance" (yeah, yeah, we believe you), that D'Amico made endless (mindless) jokes and that the two of them couldn't wait to perform together for the first time in the competition.

The songs came and went: three from each of them including the one that would be the first single should they win the competition.

The judges gave their verdicts, which, let's face it, were never going to be along the lines of, "Well that was a load of old tripe. How the heck did we end up with these two in the final?"

Guests Bouncy - sorry Beyoncé - and Bruno Mars showed both Raymond-Barker and D'Amico how it really should be done.

But once again the presence of two international stars performing live didn't really do it in terms of ratings.

Only 2.3 million could be bothered to tune to X Factor while at the same time 8.2 million were glued to their boxes watching the US import "Dr House" over on TF1.

The finals songs sung, both competitors and their coaches joined Corman on stage as she gave a brief resumé of their capabilities (all that was needed really) and told everyone how close the competition had been with only 1,300 votes separating the two.

"The winner of X Factor 2011..." dramatic pause #1..."is"...dramatic pause #2..."MATTYOU RAYMOND-BARKEEEEEEEEER!"

Dicaire gave her "Mattyou" a huge hug. Schulties looked very purse-lipped about the result and D'Amico jutted out her substantial chin in brave defeat.

Raymond-Barker thanked everyone he could think of in French before uttering the inevitable "I don't believe it" in English and the rest of the "also-took-part" contestants rushed on stage to congratulate/comiserate a they saw fit.

Just time for the winner to prepare himself to murder Daniel Balavoine's 1982 hit "Vivre ou survivre" for one last time.

That's the song which will be released on Saturday as his first (and only?) single.

M6 has yet to decide whether it will continue the search for that someone with the X Factor next year or revert to Nouvelle Star (Pop Idol).

Here's a about "Neither of the above".

In the meantime, here's a chance for you to "enjoy" Matthew Raymond-Barker singing "Vivre ou survivre" with the original from Balavoine to serve as a comparison.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clash of the titans indeed! And so dramatic and exciting that most French viewers watched the other channels. I wonder why!

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