I don't think we'll ever hear from Audley again. First out, he cunningly ingratiated himself with the rest of the Academy by setting up his London home as a refuge for each subsequent evictee. But he did so badly, and left so little impression on the public, that he's unlikely to trouble the public eye much in future. I'm sure God will look after him. Nick was even less memorable, but if he is remembered it'll be for seeming a bit unctuous on stage. I never did work out exactly who he reminded me of, but having a face that looked undistinguished and vaguely like everyone else doomed his chances.
Lorna told Claudia last night that she's doing workshops at schools now, which is very noble. I hope she does get into theatre, but I doubt FA will be much of a help in that regard. Still, there's no reason she couldn't be very successful in that regard, which would allow her to become a successful folk album artist in, say, twelve years' time. Long term prospects.
Gary, on the other hand, could well be strictly for the short term, if he goes anywhere at all. He's got a band behind him, he's writing songs with John McLaughlin, who has indeed written hits for Five, Busted, Liberty X and Blue, and he's excessively pretty and naturally cocky, all of which suggests he could briefly be very successful. That said, it wouldn't amaze me if he were to be the next Robbie. He's as good a singer, a better musician, and he's much prettier. The only test will be if his personality can take it, and when you think about it, Robbie's couldn't, and he's still Robbie.
Simone could have a top ten hit. If she gets to do the backing vocals on Louise's song. She's strictly session now, darling. Louise, on the other hand, has a near-guaranteed hit in the song she's lifted from Robbie, plus guaranteed tabloid footage thanks to Jenson and her status as the new low-rent Posh, and when it comes time to promote her first single, she's guaranteed an FHM photo spread. She's terrifically pretty, so she should be able to at least match Sarah Whatmore for saleability, if she gets the right song. The only thing going against her is that there's already an artist called Louise, and 'Louise Griffiths' isn't very pop. Maybe she can be Louise G, and join the ranks of Gina, Dario, Ali and, um, Debbie Mc.
Oh dearie dearie me. The Lurgan Lump and the Welsh Whinger. Not a career prospect between them, I don't think. James isn't likeable enough to do the Daniel O'Donnell thing (lest we forget, Daniel O'Donnell was a television talent contest winner, and is now a hugely successful artist among Irish grandmothers), and he's not got the right look or style to be a pop star. At best, he might be a session musician. Or a busker.
I have no idea what's to become of Barry. He has a better chance of doing the O'Donnell thing, assuming grannies can get past the serial-killer stare. He's been compared to the fat one from The Committments. Does the fat one from The Committments still make records? Hrm. According to Amazon, he released one in February of this year. I didn't hear about it.
The two guys everyone picked for the final; the last two guys not to make it to the final. Paris is being tipped for an international singing career (screeching falsetto is going to be really huge in 2004), and Peter already thinks it's his given destiny to be a huge rock star. It's really difficult to see anything redeemable about Peter now it's all over. He never really developed his voice or his performance style. He treated his girlfriend like shit, then treated Carolynne like shit, and ended up slagging off Alex in interviews, doubtless through sheer jealousy. I suspect he thought he was going to be the big alternative discovery of the show, the one who turned reality talent show expectations on their head, but he can't compete with Alex, and now he's pouting and acting the twat.
I actually wouldn't be surprised if Peter disappeared without trace, but he'll more likely have a brief career that's neither pop enough to appeal to his fans, nor indie enough to appeal to his market. He'll become a recurring joke in the pages of Heat, and then he'll disappear from the public eye, promising to everyone that he'll be back and we'll all be sorry/
Ah, Carolynne. I don't know what's to become of Carolynne. I'd buy her album, especially if it were a cover album made up entirely of soft rock 80s driving songs. She owes the world a version of Total Eclipse Of The Heart. But for all that she's gorgeous and has a wonderful voice, I'm not sure they'll know what to do with her. I think the world is ready for more femme rock, stuff that girls on drunken nights out slinging back bottles of Concorde can tunelessly belt along to at the tops of their voices while spilling out of their white stilettos into the gutter outside Edward's. The musical equivalent of Clare's Accessories. Will they - or she - have sufficient shamelessness to brand her appropriately? I hope so. A British Shania? I think we're due.
I imagine Alistair is even now in talks with Polydor about his future. As the Sneddon example has proved, the girls who voted for him will show their loyalty by buying the first single, but that'll fulfil their obligations, and thereafter they'll start to fall out of love with him. Whatsisface the A&R guy made it clear that he thinks Alistair's future is in songwriting, and I think most folks around him will agree. But, to be briefly charitable, there's bugger all reason why Alistair should settle for that if he doesn't want to. He's got a chance at a chart career, he might as well go for it, because the option to fall back on his songwriting isn't going to go away if he can still write the songs (and he did have a songwriting deal before he went in). So, we'll get one album, a few singles of ever-decreasing impact, and possibly a dismal follow up album, and then Alistair will follow the Gary Barlow route to becoming a millionaire.
Superstar! She'll top the singles charts, she'll top the album charts, and she'll break America. She'll appeal to the Avril Lavigne fans, she'll appeal to the gay audience, she'll appeal to the Tori Amos market. She'll sell to tweens, teens, twentysomethings and thirtysomethings. Dido fans and David Gray fans alike will love her. The bloom will eventually go off the rose, and she'll disappear for a couple of years to rediscover her spirituality. Then she'll come back as an album artist and age into graceful music industry seniority. When she dies, magazines will dedicate their covers to her and refer to her as a legend, and it'll barely be remembered that she started out on a reality TV show.
The last twelve months have seen singles releases by Sneddon, Sinead, Ainslie, Malachi and Lemar - the final five. Only Lemar still seems credible out of that lot, but I suspect Ainslie will come back, possibly earning credibiity on the back of Alex's success. At a conservative estimate, the next twelve months will probably see singles by Alex, Alistair, Paris and Louise. Probably also Gary, Carolynne and Peter. That's seven, which seems more than enough acts for one show to produce. I think Pop Idol I produced eight. (Young, Gates, Waller, Danesh, Whatmore, Garlick, Ribbons and Birkett.) At a stretch, we might also see singles from James, Lorna or Barry, but I doubt it. Ten years from now, Alex, Paris and Lorna will probably be the only ones still singing professionally.