Matt Cardle, the winner of “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010, has given a revealing interview in which he expresses regret about “compromising” himself while he was on “The X Factor.” He also says he can’t wait for the day when he will no longer be associated with “The X Factor.” (Reality check for Cardle: That day will never happen.)
Cardle, 28, tells Look magazine some of the things he wish he hadn’t done during his time on “The X Factor.” He also says that, contrary to popular belief, he has not gotten rich from being a winner on the show. It has been widely reported over the years that the winner of “The X Factor” U.K. gets a record deal worth £1 million. Cardle’s very first single (not counting a cover version of David Bowie’s “Heroes” that he recorded with 2010’s “X Factor” U.K. finalist acts) was “When We Collide,” and it became a No. 1 hit in the U.K. when it was released in 2010.
“I wore yellow trousers and sang Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ for f**** sake! Singing pop songs without my guitar and covered in make-up didn’t sit right. I hear people in the street saying: ‘There’s the guy that won “X Factor.”’ I can’t wait for that to just disappear. When I got the record deal I got an advance to keep me housed and fed while making my album. The million pound thing, that’s just for TV.”
Cardle has been dating “X Factor” U.K. backup dancer Sarah Robinson since the beginning of 2011. But before he had a romantic relationship with Robinson, Cardle reportedly had flings with multiple women who work for “The X Factor,” including stylist Grace Woodward. In his Look magazine interview, he says that he has changed since being on “The X Factor”:
“I think I’m a better person than I was back then. ‘The X Factor’ taught me a lot about myself. Now, when it comes to talking about feelings, I’m like: ‘Let’s just talk about it, why wait till next week?’”
In December 2010, Cardle’s his ex-girlfriend Lauren Cutmore gave a tabloid interview bitterly complaining about how she had worked 70-hour weeks to support aspiring singer Cardle, and she had even sent his audition video to “The X Factor,” only to have him dump her by text message while he was having success as a contestant on the show. Cutmore and Cardle had been dating for a little more than a year at the time of the breakup. Cardle comments to Look magazine about Cutmore going to the tabloids with her story:
“It was all true. Did she really need to tell the press that we used to have sex seven times a day? In a way it backfired on her and made me look good!”
Cardle did the interview with Look to promote his debut album, “Letters,” which is set for a U.K. release on October 17, 2011. The album’s first single, “Run for Your Life,” was released on October 10, 2011. Cardle is signed to Sony Music’s Syco Music/Columbia Records.
Whether Cardle made these provocative comments about “The X Factor” out of sincerity or as a cynical way to get publicity for his new music, unfortunately for him, he comes across as ungrateful for his success and more than a tad unrealisitic when he complains about being associated with “The X Factor.” What he fails to understand is that whatever fame and fortune he receives can be traced back to “The X Factor,” because that’s how he became famous in the first place. Griping about that “X Factor” fame will not endear him to the millions of people who supported him as an “X Factor” contestant.
It’s impossible to know if Cardle would have gotten a record deal without “The X Factor,” but it is fair to say that he got a record deal a lot faster than if he had not been on “The X Factor.” He needs many of the people who voted for him on “The X Factor” to buy his music, concert tickets and merchandise in order for him to remain a star. By saying he does not want to be associated with “The X Factor,” Cardle is essentially being dismissive of the people who voted for him to win a record deal.
Cardle saying he does not like being associated with “The X Factor” is also puzzling, considering that “Run for Your Life” is written by “X Factor” U.K. judge Gary Barlow, and Cardle performed the song on “The X Factor” U.K. on October 9, 2011, after he did the interview with Look. So if Cardle wants to distance himself from “The X Factor,” he has a funny way of showing it.
To be fair, Cardle is probably under contractual obligation to appear on “The X Factor” to promote his new music. But for someone who does not want to be associated with “The X Factor,” it seems odd that Cardle can’t seem to stop dating women who work for the show.
If Cardle is not careful and if he continues to disrespect how he became famous in the first place, then he could end up just like how half of the winners of “The X Factor” U.K. have ended up so far: without a record deal and fading into obscurity. And if that happens to Cardle, he may realize when he struggles to get the success he once had that it’s better to be recognized for “The X Factor” than to not be recognized at all.