World of Chig   

X Factor - the great unspoken

So it's farewell to Austin Drage and my potential cash cow. Yes, he's the X Factor contestant who I've photographed on two occasions in 2004, when he was with a boyband called either 5 Boyz or 5 Guyz. (Either way, it was a terrible name.) I took the picture of him above at Cardiff Mardi Gras 2004. I also have photos of him performing with the band at Route, a gay pub in Birmingham. Our paths nearly crossed a third time, at 2005's Oxford Pride, but one of the 5 Boyz was missing that day. (If they'd had a different name, it wouldn't have been so obvious that one was absent.) As you can see from my photo on the left, the missing one was Austin, unfortunately.

I've watched all four X Factor and Xtra Factor programmes tonight and no one has mentioned that the bottom two acts, both this week and last week, were the first two acts to perform. This leads me to conclude that, although the evicted acts had been justified for the first three weeks, Rachel and Austin were just unlucky tonight. Neither of them should have gone, but people who vote don't seem to be watching the start of the show. The X Factor's vocal coach said tonight that Austin is one of the best singers that the show has ever had. I think it's obvious that she's right and it's a real shame he's gone. Still, it's the Nightingale's gain. All the evicted acts this year are appearing at Birmingham's Nightingale club the week after. I haven't rushed out to see Scott Bruton tonight, or Girlband and Bad Lashes on the previous two Saturdays, but I think I may be there next week for Austin.

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