Matt Cardle Odds to Win X Factor 2010 (Season 7)
Can the Painter/Bum Capture the X Factor Title?
Matt Cardle is a 27-year-old painter who describes himself as a bit of a bum. He still lives with his parents in Essex, but this singer may be moving from the basement to the outhouse pretty soon if his X Factor 2010 bootcamp audition is any indication of his vocal talent. Cardle gave an amazing rendition of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." This song was a marked step up from his initial audition, which displayed a nice vocal tone but no other special vocal prowess. As a result of his amazing bootcamp audition, Cardle is likely an early favorite to win X Factor 2010.
Matt did not really catch my attention with his first audition. He sang Amy Winehouse's "I'm No Good." With this choice, I did like that his vocal tone was fairly unique, but the phrasing and other vocal elements were not that noteworthy. For example, he didn't show off his range hardly at all in that first audition. However, he did set a trend of picking female songs, which is usually good from a uniqueness perspective on reality TV competition shows like X Factor.
Matt kicked up a huge notch for his second audition. When he sang "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" for his bootcamp audition, he showed a much bigger range, vocal dynamics and emotion. In essence, Matt showed that he can both sing and interpret a song. And he also showed a slightly different and more beautiful and sweet vocal tone. This contestant appears to have some serious versatility in his voice.
There is a bit of a problem. Matt tends to close his eyes when he sings, and some people don't like this because they feel it takes away from the connection to the audience. I don't agree in this case, but Matt should work on maintaining eye contact with the audience to be on the safe side.
Based on comments around the net, Matt seems like a pretty strong early favorite to win X Factor 2010. He certainly has a great range and beautiful high notes. Great contestants and singers from David Cook and Leona Lewis to Roberta Flack have performed "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Just in terms of the vocals, I believe Matt has the best rendition I have seen so far of this song. Some people will favor one or more of these other versions, particularly because Matt is currently subject to the criticism about emotion or connecting to the audience. But if he gets that cleared up, his vocals should take him far in the X Factor competition.
Compared to the other contestants in terms of personality, Matt seems like a cool guy you would like to have a beer with. He doesn't scream "pop star" potential like Cher Lloyd or a few of the other contestants. But his "cool guy" persona makes him seem genuine, which can potentially be a vote getter. While Matt may be less likely to be a big star in the real world than Cher or a couple of others, his persona certainly could lead to great popularity among voters. In the end, whether Matt Cardle wins X Factor 2010 will not depend solely on his talent. It will likely depend on whether he can establish a strong connection to voters with his "cool guy" persona and build a sufficient fan base to outlast the more commercial friendly contestants in the competition.