Storm Lee Odds to Win X Factor 2010 (Season 7)

Can the American Rock Singer Win the UK X Factor?

Storm Lee is a Los Angeles rock singer who was born in Scotland. He ventured over to the UK and has reportedly made the voting rounds on X Factor 2010. Storm, who actually changed his legal name to "Storm" years ago, took heat from Simon Cowell for using that name. Nonetheless, the judges were impressed with his vocals (particularly U2's "With or Without You") during the initial audition and perhaps even more impresses with his bootcamp performance of Guns 'n Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine." Storm is a competent singer with consistently good vocal control and decent power. However, his lack of charisma and his nationality are potential problems in his attempt to win X Factor. Storm may "whip up a storm" for a few weeks on the show, but the negative factors will likely stop him short of the X Factor finish line.

There isn't particularly a great deal of history of contestants from other countries faring well on these TV singing contests. In fact, Michael Johns and Carly Smithson were both fantastic singers in the seventh season of American Idol and went home way too early. The fact that Storm is identified as an American now will likely not help him in the competition. Some voters will feel he can and should try out for a show in America. This is not the reality of an entertainment career, and entertainers who limit their opportunities are obviously far less likely to ever achieve a successful career by randomly limiting their opportunities. Unfortunately, some voters are not smart and just can't figure these simple things out for themselves. Instead, it is easier to just label Storm as an outsider and eliminate him as a favorite.

Although I am American, Carly Smithson is one of my favorite Idol contestants of all time and my favorite of Season 7. But the history suggests that some people just don't like "outsiders." One can only hope that Storm Lee will not lose based on his nationality. But it's more likely to hurt than help him in a popularity contest.

Perhaps worse than his nationality is Storm's lack of charisma. He constantly puts out a vibe of needing to be accepted. Charismatic contestants and people in general don't openly concern themselves with being accepted. They simply display supreme confidence in every step they make. Storm seems to want to convince himself that he is likable. Arguably, this should not matter, but personality does matter. Simon Cowell said he loves Storm's voice but wish he could have the same voice in a different person. That seems rather harsh, and Cowell had the same attitude toward Taylor Hicks, who actually went on to win American Idol 5.

So Cowell's opinion of a contestant at a given time is not necessarily indicative of the potential for success. But the fact remains that Storm is not very charismatic at this point. He will need a personality makeover to win X Factor 2010.

Strictly in terms of singing talent, Storm is probably near the top. He is not the most unique singer in the competition, but he is very consistent and technically proficient. There aren't many dynamics to his singing, but I would grade his performances as not quite as good as the originals but not far behind, either. I would personally place him fourth at this early stage behind Cher Lloyd, Matt Cardle and Aiden Grimshaw.

As these contests tend to come down to popularity, Storm certainly needs to show more charisma and confidence instead of the "desperate" sounding speeches we have heard so far. And he could also potentially gain more votes by adding more originality to his otherwise excellent vocals. All things considered, Storm Lee has low odds of winning X Factor 2010.

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