X Factor: Can The Band winners Real Like You be successful?

X Factor: The Band winners Real Like You Image copyright Dymond/Thames/Syco/REX/Shutterstock

And the first winner of X Factor: The Band is… Real Like You.

After performing three songs the girl group beat rival boy band Unwritten Rule to the prize of a recording contract.

The ITV competition lasted just over a week and included judges Nicole Scherzinger, Leona Lewis and Simon Cowell.

But the X Factor doesn’t quite carry the same influence it did in 2010, so how far can Real Like You go?

Firstly, if you didn’t watch X Factor: The Band, the winner is a six-piece girl band made up of Kellimarie Willis, Jess Folley, Luena Martinez, Seorsia Leagh Jack, Virginia Hampson and Halle Williams.

Success in singing competitions isn’t foreign to two of them – Jess won The Voice Kids and Luena has appeared on The X Factor before, making it to the six-chair challenge in 2016.

Can they hit the big time?

The X Factor has launched the careers of bands such as One Direction, JLS – and Little Mix and Rak-Su, who were winners in 2011 and 2017.

The six members of Real Like You, all aged between 16 and 20, will hope to follow in their footsteps.

But in recent years the show’s popularity has fallen.

“It’s a challenge,” says TV critic and broadcaster Scott Bryan, who thinks it’s hard to keep winners in the public eye.

“By the time they release an album the following year, people are moving on to the next singing show or have forgotten about it.”

The X Factor’s viewing figures peaked in 2010 when episodes averaged more than 14m viewers in the UK, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB).

The final on Sunday had 1.7m viewers.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption One Direction became one of the biggest bands in history after appearing on the X Factor

Naturally, Scott thinks the fact that fewer people are watching will make it harder for Real Like You.

“If the ratings are not a blockbuster high, it’s harder for the band to have a lasting power.”

And he says that because of streaming services the way we consume music now is different.

“10 years ago we would pay so much attention to the X Factor in terms of knowing what was big. People don’t feel like they need to know about upcoming talent from watching shows like the X Factor anymore.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Real Like You – the highs of One Direction and Little Mix aren’t entirely out of reach.

“I don’t want to be overly cynical – they obviously do have a chance. Others have been incredibly successful,” Scott says. “It’s down to the individual talent.”

He says having a link to big names in music such as Simon Cowell and his Syco label can only be a help.

“They’ll be able to use those connections to help them, to fast track creating a song or a hit much quicker.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Scott also suggests they need to get their social media game right.

“A lot of fans have a strong attachment to bands and musicians long after they may have released a single because they keep popping up and have interesting things to say, or campaigns or music to release.”

Wherever they end up, winning X Factor: The Band was obviously a real moment to be proud for Real Like You.

Seorsia Leagh Jack said she was “speechless”.

“I’m so overwhelmed! I never thought I’d be on a winning band on the X Factor.”

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