Louis Walsh shoots from the lip on X Factor winners and judges
The Mayo man pulls no punches as he runs the rule over all the former winners and his colleagues on the judging panel in a quick fire Q & A.
Mag+: What the hell actually is the X factor?
Louis: Ha! Robbie Williams has it. Bottle whatever he has. Ask him. He isn’t a great singer but he has The X Factor.
Mag+: Has anyone on The X Factor ever had the X factor?
Louis: [uncharacteristic silence] Eh…yeah…a few.
Mag+: Names please.
Louis: No [laughs].
Mag+: Okay well let’s play a game. We say a name and you say the first thing that comes into your head.
Louis: No problem. Let’s go.
Mag+: We’ll start slow…Steve Brookstein (2004 winner)?
Louis: Absolute loser.
Mag+: WOW, what about Shayne Ward (2005 winner)?
Louis: An amazing singer.
Mag+: Awww…that’s nice. Leona Lewis (2006 winner)?
Louis: What. A. Voice. She is totally unique.
Mag+: What about 2007’s Leon Jackson.
Louis: Who? [laughing] No, seriously – when I hear his name I think of Scotland. That’s all.
Mag+: Harsh. Alexandra Burke (2008)?
Louis: She is a trooper. A super trooper.
Mag+: Remember Joe McElderry (2009 winner)?
Louis: I do. He will do well in the West End.
Mag+: 2010’s Matt Cardle…
Louis: A great voice, but that’s it.
Mag+: What about Little Mix (2011 winners)?
Louis: They produce amazing pop songs.
Mag+: James Arthur (2012)
Louis: Reasonably talented but very troubled.
Mag+: Sam Bailey (2013).
Louis: She’s a belter of a singer and a person.
Mag+: Agreed. What about that chap Ben Haenow from 2014?
Louis: He’s almost good.
Mag+: Ouch. What about last year’s winner Louisa Johnson?
Louis: I absolutely loved her last year. I was supporting her from the start. She’s a superstar.
Mag+: Right, let’s kick this up a notch…Simon Cowell?
Louis: Ha. Unique, successful, outrageous, British, camp, over the top, animal lover and a great great employer. How was that?
Mag+: Bloody predictable. Caroline Flack? Surely you can put the boot in on her?
Louis: Absolutely not. Loved her. She was so much fun. I wish she was still part of the show in some way.
Mag+: Well, that’s just wrong, Louis. What about our Dermot O’Leary?
Louis: A safe pair of hands. Oodles of charisma and great with the acts back stage.
Mag+: And Nicole Scherzinger?
Louis: Without a doubt the best judge on the show. She is a triple threat. She can act, dance and most importantly she can sing. She is a breath of fresh air in between the oldies.
Mag+: We did not see that coming. What about Tulisa (judge 2011-12)?
Louis: I won’t say a bad word about her. I got to know the real Tulisa. She is amazing. Her mum is Irish too. We are still in contact today.
Mag+: Okay that’s just weird. Cheryl (A judge 2008-10, 14-15)?
Louis: She had a great run. I think it was right for her to go away and work on her music. She’ll be very happy with that lad from One Direction (runners up in 2010).
Mag+: It’s Liam.
Louis: Yeah, him.
Mag+: And finally, what about national hero and global pop icon Niall Horan?
Louis: He is without doubt the luckiest boy on the planet. That’s all I’ll say.