Stateside, the whole X Factor thing just didn't pan out. Like crash and burn didn't pan out. With the exception, I suppose, of regular Bo$ses in Fifth Harmony (who placed third in the second season), our version of the British sensation series wasn't offering up much of anything and was cancelled earlier this year.
However, across the pond, the UK's original version of the X Factor is a veritable factory for great pop. Amongst their finalists: Leona Lewis, Same Difference, Alexandra Burke, now defunt JLS, Olly Murs, Rebecca Ferguson, the juggernaut that is One Direction, my beloved Little Mix, and James Arthur. Now well into their eleventh(!) season, the show needs to find a fresh way to kick up excitement in a country where good pop is quite literally demanded. (An obvious choice -- the inclusion of Lizzy Pattinson, the elder sister of sparkly vamp Rob, in the 'Over 25's' category.)
Currently in contention in the groups category is boy-girl band Only The Young, who recently covered the ace tune "Ghost" by Ella Henderson (another alum from 2012).
They have a great sound and harmony so the potential is there. Maybe they are the second coming of A*Teens we all are secretly craving (AM I RITE, FELLOW MILLENNIALS?).
However, the buzz is on the "new boy band" concept being pushed into contention. A troupe of eight boys, who all auditioned as solo artists but apparently didn't make the grade, was waffled together into a group of doe-eyed teenage adorableness. This is a commonly-done practice on the X Factor and in the case of my beloved Super Junior, the situation was also quite similar. These boys don't have a group name yet and it's still quite early to tell if this will have legs, but the group offered up a cover of Leona's "Run" and I had to admit they weren't quite bad. And you have to admit -- "Run" is not any easy song to sing.
In terms of the UK market (and indeed, pretty much anywhere outside of Asia), the "mega boy band" concept is a new and scary prospect. (In the US, we currently have Girl Radical as I've spoken of before. ) However -- as a teen idol act, as long as the teenage girls dig it (and from what you can tell in the video clip of the jaw-dropped, starstruck, near to tears gals in the audience, I'm guessing they do), it might just work. I mean, what's a few extra faces in a lineup? If anything, it increases their chances of a random teenage fan (or you know...a blogger in her twenties) falling for someone in the group.
Now, if these dudes can whip up and execute well some great choreography, my boys in Super Junior could (eventually) have some competition.
PS - The name suggestions offered by Pop Justice are utter gold. My vote is for Love Octually.