2014azIn case you are inter­ested, the defin­it­ive ranking of 2014's UK X Factor finalists — three of whom made such little impres­sion that we had to Google Image search them when we were copying this list off Wikipedia — is:

=1. Fleur East
=1. Only The Young
3. Stephanie Nala
4. Stereo Kicks
5. Lauren Platt
6. Overload Generation
7. Blonde Electra
8. Andrea Fauxnaive-Pugjumper
9. Jack Walters
10. Stevi Ritchie
11. Lola Saunders
12. Jay James
13. Paul Akister
14. Ben Haenow
15. 'Jake Quickenden'
16. Chloe Jasmine

That list's in order of actually wanting to sit through an entire album by an artist.

We've already written about the poten­tially mighty Only The Young but Fleur East's been the best solo act since Judges' Houses and her weekend per­form­ance of 'Uptown Funk' was the most exciting moment of the entire series.

More exciting than David Guetta waving his arms around near four CDJs. More exciting than 'Reece Bibby' trying to get Only The Young voted off the show. Even more exciting than Fifth Harmony per­form­ing a b-side. And what you have to remember here is that Fleur didn't even perform the best bit of the song. Perhaps this was for health and safety reasons. If she had done the 'Oops Upside Your Head' bit, there may now just be a crater where Fountain Studios once stood.

Considering 'Uptown Funk' isn't out in the UK (and pretty much just the UK) until next year, Fleur's was a per­form­ance that threw up a lot of questions. Why did Simon Cowell only hear the song five days ago when the song's amaz­ing­ness has been estab­lished for well over a month? If Mark Ronson's version of 'Uptown Funk' had suddenly appeared on iTunes on Sunday morning, would it be sailing up the charts now, or is it best to keep building anti­cip­a­tion for a big 2015 release? Did everyone know the per­form­ance would be really amazing, or was there a genuine sense of jeopardy?  Is it annoying if the per­form­ance was some sort of Sony inside job aimed at promoting a forth­com­ing release, or — con­sid­er­ing the fact that it's nice to think someone, somewhere in the music industry occa­sion­ally comes up with some good ideas when it comes to getting great new songs some attention — would it actually be more annoying if one of Q4's greatest marketing mas­ter­strokes had actually been a complete accident?

Either way, Fleur's version of 'Uptown Funk' is the first of this year's X Factor con­test­ant per­form­ances to hit Number One on iTunes.


Whichever act wins The X Factor this coming weekend, Fleur's now estab­lished herself as the one who deserves and will undoubtedly get The Full Ella (FKA The Full Leona) when it comes to career rollout. All she needs now is a debut single as good as 'Uptown Funk'.