Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Open Letter To Katy Perry Re: American Idol Guest Judge Spot

Dear Katy Perry,

I know that not too long ago I made fun of your work with Timbaland. Because I found your appearance in the video hilarious as you mugged you way through the whole enterprise like a true fool. "What a fool" I said to myself as you jigged around with Timbo and then sat around with ridiculous sunglasses on. I may find your Betty Boo/30s film star look a tad cliched, am convinced you will have your heart broken by Russell "I'm a sex addict 4eva" Brand and am not sure how good your voice actually is BUT you have won my respect.

Because when you guest judged on American Idol you did something nobody else has done on these shows. You reminded us that it is about talent not sob stories. Below watch Katy remind a rather earnest Kara Dioguardi that the show "isn't a lifetime movie". Thank you Katy. If I had to sit through another "my dog died pllleeeaasseee let me in" moments I was going to scream.

Also I like that you aren't afraid to talk back and not worry about being seen as bitchy. Given that Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole are put down as fierce rivals just because they are women sitting at the same table at least you aren't afraid to talk Kara out of her ridiculous moments.

Nicely played. If they could have you and Paula Abdul as judges on The X Factor USA I'd be quite happy. If you could sort that out it could be great.

lots of love and growing admiration,


Album Review: Ke$ha unleashes her inner "Animal"

From building internet buzz to a guest appearance with Flo Rida, Ke$ha has ridden the crest of a wave all through the still huge Tik Tok right up to the release of her debut album Animal. Already a number one hit in the US and available on iTunes here, the CD is released tomorrow on our fair shores and begins what sets to be a big year the Californian crazy girl.

With production mainly coming from Dr Luke and a gaggle of other hot producers "Animal" is undeniably slick pop, bursting with hooks and swagger. There is enough rough charm from Ke$ha to keep things afloat. Her shtick is half rap, half singing, all hot mess. This is a girl who parties hard, uses and abuses boys at the drop of a hat but has a soft side that "can't take rejection" (as she laments on the downbeat but sweet standout "Stephen").

If it sounds like the stuff of cliche that it's because it kind of is. But it's also charged through with enough electro sheen and ridiculously catchy hooks to lure you in. Blah Blah Blah with duo of the moment 30H!3, the 2nd single, will lodge in your brain for days (a worthy successor to the big fun and even bigger chorus of Tik Tok). The gleefully hedonistic sheen of Take It Off and Party At A Rich Dude's House will do much the same. And some of the initial internet leaks that gave Ke$ha buzz with the bloggers and such reappear here such as Boots and Boys and Backstabber. The slower moments aren't quite engaging apart from the aforementioned Stephen and the brooding title track.

It might become a bit one note and drowning in layers of production at times but overall "Animal" is brash, enjoyable and great fun. Great, trashy pop is hard to find but on this release Ke$ha delivers it in spades. Well worth a look.

Better Off As Blair? Leighton Meester Attempts Pop Stardom

Leighton Meester is generally quite amazing. Everybody knows she is the real star of Gossip Girl (so sick of hearing about Blake "American Sienna" Lively) and she has the laidback charm many a starlet lack these days (her co-star Taylor "Little J" Momsen springs to mind with her faux Courtney Love carry on.). She has brought one of the most enjoyable bee-otches on TV to life, has a pleasingly barmy sense of style and generally seems not to give a shit. These are all good things.

Leighton has also spent the last while trying her hand at being a popstar. I can't decide where I stand on this. In one sense why shouldn't she try her hand at new things? But then on the other it seems like a campaign that might never get off the ground. There was some initial leaks last year including a rather lovely cover of Bette Davis Eyes which lead to Miss Meester being signed to Universal. Soon after that she appeared on Cobra Starship's Good Girls Go Bad which was as far as I'm concerned a fantastic pop tune. The fact that it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 also gave her a proper hit. Kind of. (There was also another Leighton leak Body Control which I find quite enjoyable, see it here)

Leighton's own debut single with Robin Thicke debuted last October (I've already discussed it being rather lovely and the video here). It didn't make any impact, despite sounding pretty radio friendly. There was also a rather questionable cover of Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) which I'm going to gloss over. There were some cringe inducing live performaces too (of both the single and a new track which doesn't sound like much cop) including some horrifically cheesy back up dancers. At one point you expect them to high five Leighton. Awful:

There is talk of a new single with Lil' Wayne (who hasn't he a done a song with at this point?) but a new track leaked in the last week said to be the title track for her forthcoming album. "Your Love's A Drug" is straightforward, slightly grating synth pop but also incredibly catchy. 

The songs so far have been good but the time it is taking for anything to come together suggest a classic case of TV actress not being able to properly devote time to her music. Leighton may or may not become a great popstar but in the meantime we can rely on some enjoyable tunes to keep up busy. Your Love's A Drug is ridiculously catchy and the kind of straightforward radio ready stuff that might give her a chance at the top of the pop heap. With a number of big producers (Red One, Polow Da Don, Harvey Mason Jr.) on board it sounds like some big tunes are in the offing. If not at least we'll always have Blair Waldorf.

Heidi Montag: Yoga Disciple and Gift to Paparazzi Everywhere

At this stage I'm sure I've exhausted everybody's patience for talking about Hills related matters. And I honestly feel like I shouldn't be paying Heidi Montag any more attention then she is due. But holy balls.. this video of her doing yoga for staged paparazzi photos is unbelievable. The video and photos can be seen at The Superficial, a really great gossip blog here. And below is the video in question. Brace yourselves for this one:

I'm aware that there is room for some searing analysis here where you point out how years of playing pretend with her own life for a "reality TV show" have warped Heidi's own perception of herself and made her a mass media product. Spending her life tied to a constructed reality has meant in an attempt to construct her own she has become the embodiment of a media cliche that everyone feels they have to live up to but nobody really wants to be.

But all I can think as somebody who has just started doing yoga  that isn't a bit wierd that her instructor doesn't talk to her at all? And also point out that I'm quite glad I never had breast implants as it clearly doesn't help your downward dog (that's a yoga pose, you dirtbirds). In fact it probably throws off your balance. By the way I do my classes here, I would recommend it! Although I don't have photographers at my classes. Yet.

Also what would happen if Kelly Cutrone worked with Heidi Montag? Would Kelly have to go outside to cry? Or would she be able to given how immobile her face is? Did they just immobilise her tear ducts aswell?

So. Many. Questions.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Amazing Book Alert: Kelly Cutrone Becomes An Author

I'm quite delighted that I can write about Kelly Cutrone twice within the space of a week. While I was out the other night a rather excited Eimear (of The Miseducation, one of my favourite blogs) informed that she'd pre-ordered a copy of Kelly's book. This was news to me so today I had to dig around a bit more. It was actually announced in March of last year (see here and here) and sounds quite exciting. "A real girl's guide to the real fucking world" apparently. Brilliant.

To be honest I was sold on that much and then I saw the title and the front cover. Then... I was truly sold:

I love it all. That title! THAT TITLE! "If you have to cry, go outside" is my new catchphrase. And yes my mother never told me that. Thanks for nothing mom. I love the uber airbrushed cover picture that is equal parts sligthly scary headmistress, big sister and ball busting PR maven. Amazing times one billion.

I cannot wait to read this. Either by stealing Eimear's copy (I'm sorry, I meant borrow) or you know forking out for a copy myself.

You can order a copy here. And may this first post of a literary nature lead to many more insightful book posts on Pop Culture Platinum. You know, should Lindsay Lohan release a book or something. 

That's all readers.


Oh, I think that is definitely going to catch on.

Avril Lavigne Returns With A Little Help From Tim Burton and "Alice"

Awhile back an e-mail came my way about the forthcoming Almost Alice soundtrack for Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland feature. It's your usual "music inspired the film" effort with a interesting if slightly crazy mix of bands. I never thought I'd see the day Franz Ferdinand, 30H!3, Wolfmother and Metro Station would share the same tracklisting but there you go. I've a have a feeling that the younger Burton fans are going to love this and will serve as a neat pop/rock companion piece to Danny Elfman's score. 

Also included on the soundtrack is Avril Lavigne, my reason for remembering this e-mail and posting here in the first place. You can laugh all you want but I've always had a soft spot for her music, always enjoyable pop with great choruses even if her perma-brat act has really started to wear thin. Avril's song for the film Alice (Groundbreaking title alert) is her first release since her last album The Best Damn Thing was released in 2007 (I know, it really only feels like yesterday since "Gilfriend" was everywhere doesn't it?). In much the same way as Keep Holding On for the movie Eragon teased new Avril material, this looks set to do the same. The album doesn't have a set release date (having being moved from the initial November one set last year) but will likely surface soon. Given that this album was written in more of an acoustic style, a contrast to the shamelesly upbeat tone of the last album and Lavigne divorced Sum 41 Deryck Whibley this sounds like it could be a more serious release. Billboard discuss it in their roundup of forthcoming albums for 2010 here

So what about the Alice track? Well it certainly sounds a bit different though I'm hard pushed to figure out if it's in fact any good. It sounds a bit moody in places but it's also marred by rather inane lyrics which is fast becoming Ms Lavigne's trademark. There is a nice lilt in her voice on the chorus but the whole thing falls a bit flat. This one might be a grower but feels more like your usual soundtrack effort. Pleasant but not earth shattering and with a strong air of "the album has the big songs, don't worry" about it.

Still don't be afraid to decide for yourself. Avril's website has the single up to stream right now and if you want to find out more about Almost Alice (I'm sure some of you want to indulge your inner teen emo.) then click here.

Personally I'm still waiting for her to top this:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Tina Fey as Clever as She Thinks She Is?

I really do love Tina Fey. She was always Queen of the Funny when she did SNL and the fact she has taken on starring in/producing/writing 30 Rock one of the most consistently funny sitcoms around gives her endless cred in my book. But I can't help but watch this video of her at the SAG awards this week and be a bit miffed: 

It's floating around online today, where I spotted it on Panti's Blog. It's the usual red carpet rubbish. "You look fabulous/who are you wearing" except Tina gets her strop on at the start and asks host Giuliana Rancic if she was one of the people who made fun of her previous outfits. It becomes an odd moment. Tina is obviously annoyed for the fact that she was made fun of and there is a whiff of "I'm above this nonsense" about Tina. Giuliana plays it cool, noting that she did make fun but only because it was because the previous dress didn't do anything for her unlike her current getup (I'd say that she's right but check out both looks here and here).

I don't for a second view the red carpet coverage at E! as particularly worthy journalism. And I certainly see nothing wrong with having a bit of fun with these rather tedious interviews. But am I the only one who think Tina comes off as a bit of a tool in this? If she is really that above this sort of thing then why do the interview? She clearly does it to plug her forthcoming film, but her attitude stinks if she honestly thinks she's above this kind of coverage. Don't bother doing this kind of press if it's above you. Because it makes you come across worse as a result.

The way Tina plays it as a joke makes it even more mean spirited. There's a whiff of the "I've achieved all this and you still make me feel like shit so I'm going to retaliate" about it all.Which is a shame. It'd be very easy to side with Tina. Who isn't super skinny, who doesn't conform to Hollywood stereotypes in alot of ways.

But at the same time if Tina is really worth her salt as a writer/performer and as above this carry on like she seems to think then she should either not do it or just be polite and get it over with. Also she is ten times funnier than barbed insults at people whose job it is to ask inane questions. And besides she still got all dolled up, turned up at the award show and wanted to plug her TV show and her movie. So she's as much as part of the system as anyone else.

But that's just me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Heidi Montag & Kelly Cutrone : Life on either side of "The Hills"

So at this stage we all know Miss Heidi Montag has had way too much plastic surgery. It was pretty hard to escape that rather scary People magazine cover and even creepier TV interviews last week. The Hills star seemed insistent that her work was done to make her happy and help her pop career and not because she was addicted. What was scary was as creepy as the overly airbrushed People cover was, the interviews on TV were even worse. Her face is still obviously slightly in shock from the procedures and she has managed to both age herself and remove the expression completely from her face. Frightening:

Getting less attention this week was Heidi's sometimes co-star on The Hills Kelly Cutrone. She may not have shared any screen time with Heidi but Kelly was as big a part of the show (when it wasn't AWFUL) when she happily tore lazy L.A. girls apart for their lack of work ethic. Having happily moved her antics to the far superior Hills spin off The City, Kelly has finally landed a show of her Kell On Earth. It'll air on US station Bravo next month. Already home of Kathy Griffin, various Real Housewives and the Rachel Zoe I think Miss Cutrone is in excellent company. Kelly was doing press for the show, and one of my favourite blogs Jezebel linked readers to the highlights of her press conference. It's interesting, funny and a great teaser for the show and a reminder of why Cutrone is such a breath of fresh air. A quick dig around Jezebel also pulls up this great profile which sketches in her background as publicist which is fascinating reading.

It's funny how someone like Heidi is convinced that being this plastic will benefit her career. But then you see someone like Kelly. Someone with a genuinely interesting backstory and a career on her own terms who didn't have to alter her face to an ridiculous extent to get there.

Admittedly these aren't totally accurate comparisons. Heidi was a famous girl's friend who aspired to be a popstar. And Kelly clearly stumbled into a career she was made for in a place where how blonde or big her boobs where didn't matter. But still, it's interesting how The Hills has thrown up such different women going on two different paths in the pop culture mainstream.

In a sense the level of outrage, shock and general sense that this does not look good on Heidi might spur people to move away from ever seeing this a look that suits somebody. Having said that, as Heidi points out, life in the permanently perfectly world of Hollywood is very different to anywhere else in the world.

And while we're here, Kell on Earth looks like an awful lot of fun:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Goldfrapp Rocket Themselves Back Down The Disco

I wasn't entirely surprised when Goldfrapp promised a more upbeat direction with their new album Head First, due for release in March. The last effort, the sublime Seventh Tree was a deep and rewarding release but one that seemed like a brief turn to something softer. On the basis of their new single Rocket they've return to a more upbeat place with their music. But this time it's one dressed up in new-disco shine.

Unlike the slinky synths and sexuality of Black Cherry and Supernature, Rocket suggests a more playful side to Goldfrapp. It doesn't have the immediate hit of Oooh La La but it has a shimmer-y, sunshine feel and a deceptively catchy chorus.

Why it really works too is how it sounds utterly Goldfrapp but still fresh. That knack for continued growth has served this group really well and you can't help but be just the teeny bit excited about what else Alison and Will have up their sleeve.

Charming, catchy and utterly likeable this has all the hallmarks of a sizeable hit. And you can't help but feel the remixes of this one are going to be killer.

Howl At The Moon: Universal Unveil The Wolfman

I was lucky enough to sneak my way to a bit of a shindig at the lovely Denzille Lane on Tuesday night. Universal Pictures in anticipation of the release of The Wolfman next month had lined up a screening of the original movie it was based on. 

The original version, released in 1941 is a classic of the monster movie genre that made Universal Pictures a household name for horror fans. Starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi the plot is relatively simple (and short, I forgot how old movies don't waste time!). Lead character Larry Talbot returns to his ancestral home in Wales (his American accent seems to be an issue for no-body) in an attempt to reconnect with his father. There is also a bit of a romantic carry on with a local shop girl and soon enough while trying to save her from a wolf ends up being bitten and becoming a werewolf himself. Throw in some gypsy action and a the "only silver can kill a werewolf" moments and there you have it. It all ends rather abruptly but the film manages to sketch in a brief running time a punchy sense of a werewolf myth and manages some nice special FX (considering how old it is).

Watching an old film like this in a cinema environment is a bit strange. In some ways it has aged quite well. It is skillfully shot and has strong performances. But the horror elements are played down. This is more like a supernatural thriller than a horror film and the Wolfman himself makes very few appearances. Still, it marks an interesting reference point for horror fans and particularly the werewolf as a figure in popular culture. As I said to the people with me at the screening are we expecting werewolves to be the new vampires in 2010? The mythology may not be seeped into the popular consciousness like vampire lore but watching this film reminds you of how many key elements of werewolf myth you already know.

Having watched the film, it made me view the sneak peek footage of the re-make in a different light. I was more interested because I could make comparisons. Set in the 19th Century, the new version repositions the story to a Victorian setting with Benicio Del Toro (who pins himself as a Wolfman fan in the interview we watched) as the titular character and a supporting cast from the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt.

Obviously it looks vastly different to the original. The transformation to the Wolfman is suitably gruesome and the setting looks and lush and genuinely spooky. There have been rumblings about this being a troubled production because of various pre-production problems and release date changes but I was pleasantly surprised by the footage I saw. Moving the story to a Victorian setting that I think could work really well and with director Joe Johnston set to helm the Captain America feature after this I'm curious to see how he handles re-inventing an iconic character here.

The Wolfman is released on the 12th of February. Check out the trailer below. It's well worth your time checking out the original too. It might seem a little dated but the concept is strong and interesting to contrast against the new version.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can Everyone Stop Watching Glee Please?

I STILL haven't got around to watching Glee for which I am obviously a disgrace.

I will say though that if I took the word Glee and the phrases "I'm watching" or "I love " or "is now on TV" from my Twitter feed I wouldn't have a Twitter feed at all. I'd have a picture of me and some inane rumblings.

It isn't that I don't want to watch Glee. I do. I'm a huge fan of Ryan Murphy's work, not least "Popular" the short-lived but brilliant teen series he co-created and produced ten years ago (ten years ago, christonabike). I just have a busy schedule of not doing anything constructive and procrastinating. So once I can fit Glee into that I'll be happy.

I will get round to Glee. I just have to get back around to Gossip Girl, Mad Men, Melrose Place (it feels wrong but oh so right to put those two together), 30 Rock, Cougar Town, Arrested Development, Damages, 90210 and finally start watching The Wire, The Sopranos and The West Wing and other shows with The in the title so I can name-check them at dinner parties. And Jersey Shore on MTV so I can really understand what the gossip blogs are talking about and so I can indulge my love of all things New Jersey.

Seriously, how do people find time to do anything more? All this telly to watch, all this music to listen to... I. CAN'T. COPE.

Just thinking about makes me do this face:

If someone would like to pay me to watch these shows in the name of research and upholding dinner party etiquette feel free to get in touch.

Disclaimer: I have never been to a dinner party. 

It would be nice if we could get rid of that awful cover of the already awful "Don't Stop Believing" though. It hurts my ears.

Until then if people could calm down with the watching of the Glee and all that I would really appreciate it. 


Until then I am :

Monday, January 18, 2010

Katy Perry and Timbaland Bring The Ridiculous

Remember when Timbaland was HER-UGE awhile back? You couldn't escape him, he was all over the radio like a bad rash. Between his production work and his own hugely successful album "Shock Value" he took his unique style and made it sound rather boring. Nice one Timbaland. (It didn't help that his protege Danja went and generally outshined him with gems like "Gimme More" for Britney. What a burn.)

Still Timbo managed a return to the charts last year with "Shock Value 2" and it hasn't quite reached the same heights chart wise as his previous efforts.That hasn't stopped him rolling on with the next single from the album featuring Miss Katy Perry.
That's right,




I don't know what I love more, the fact that Timbaland and Katy are literally playing out that "Do you come here often" bit through the medium of popular song or them acting all pally-wally throughout the video (what japes they seem to be having. what japes). Also the storyline is so ridiculous although not quite as bad as the last Timbaland video, which was in fact a short film about vampires.

I really love pop music sometimes! You wouldn't see Kasabian doing this sorta shit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Six Pack: Six Internet Things Worth A Gander

Here we are, sliding through snow, battling rain and still looking for a healthy dose of escapism. So fear not here are six internet treats to while away all the "what the hell is the weather doing, I feel like this is some kind of attempt by Al Gore to convince us he was right" madness.

(1) Rihanna interviewed by W Magazine : Fashion bible W get their paws on Rihanna for an great chat that gets across rather succintly everything that makes RiRi so great at the moment. Catch up on it here. You can check out the photospread too which has a great 60s movie star meets high fashion vibe. Great stuff. Thanks for MuuMuse for bringing this to my attention!

(2) Panti is CRAZY: Dublin drag superstar Panti has a rather great deal on for Sundays at her drinking hole (get your minds out of the gutter!). This video has been all over the place this week and with good reason. It is HILARIOUS:

(3) Katherine Lynch Returns: Speaking of hilarious things, Katherine Lynch is back. She may not be everyone's cup of tea but I love her bawdy, rough and tumble humour. Her new series started this Tuesday on RTE and RTE Player their catch up service has it available for a week here, new episodes added weekly

(4) Heidi Montag makes the next "Thriller": Apparently. Her album is no doubt a trash pop masterpiece but this interview with Entertainment Weekly is really interesting. I love the idea that someone can spend that much money on making an album and still not be able to sing. Well worth a read. That album cover is a work of garish art all by itself too:

(5) Ridiculous Cast, Ridiculous Movie: Kristen Bell, Christina Aguilera and Cher in the same film? How can "Burlesque" be anything less than amazing? Sound Off With DJ Taj has loads of photos here. Excitement.

(6) Joss Whedon on where US TV is headed: Fascinating interview with Joss Whedon. There is much chat of his now cancelled series Dollhouse which wraps up soon in the US and also on how Whedon has changed his approach to his work and making content when TV is losing more money than ever. An essential read for anyone the slightest bit interested in US TV and what the internet means for watching TV in general. Spotted via Pink is The New Blog

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Olly Murs on Jedward, Touring and Fashion

Like many an X Factor fan this year, I had really hoped Olly Murs would walk away with the winning prize. An effortlessly charming performer and utterly likeable he seemed to combine the best of both worlds while being neither overhyped (Danyl) or twee (Joe). 

When he didn’t win I was disappointed. But as JLS have proven you don’t have to win a TV talent show to do big things after it. So should things go his way there is little to say Olly Murs can’t do the same.

But why are we talking about Olly you may ask? Well because I got to interview him! Vodafone brought Olly in yesterday to cheer us all up with some knitting. Yeah you heard me right. Vodafone have taken over 11 Grafton St for the next few days for a pop up boutique that will offer knitting lessons to encourage budding “ knitanistas”. 

This ties rather neatly with the new Vodafone top up deal with extra credit being given to those who top up throughout January. With 20% extra for 20euro top up, 30% for 30, 40% for 40 (you get the idea) this is one of the better post Xmas deals I’ve spotted.

Anyway with all that in mind what about Mr Murs? In our brief chat we got to discss a variety of topics. We started by exchanging our Stacey impressions. Honestly. This got me wondering if Olly missed the house and what it was like. I don’t know about you but I always thought it seemed like where all the really fun stuff was happening on the show.

“The house was good fun” Olly admits, “It was huge. And as everyone started leaving it got even worse. It was really eerie. It was like “who’s downstairs?” No-one!” You walk down the stairs, you expect the Jedward twins to be in there performing but they weren’t”

Now that was a mental image I couldn’t get enough of (I as have previously noted, love the rather unhinged energy of the Jedward boys!) so we got chatting about how the Lucan lads rehearsed themselves silly…

“Jedward had the main living room” Olly notes “They’d clear all the sofas to one side and do all their routines, their Ghostbuster routines, their Whams and they used to sit there and just drill it.”

At this point Olly launches into a scarily good Jedward impression:  “John was like “Edward come on, come on, its like seven o clock at night we’re going to rehearse until, like, one in the morning. We’re going to eat cereal with water all the time!” I know. I know. Cereal. With. Water. That is the source of their energy. Imagine.

Olly reckons it paid off for the lads though: “That’s why their performances were so good, they were the hardest working. Me and Jedward were the hardest working in terms of routines.  We worked our arses off every week. It was a shame when they went because the house wasn’t the same. They were just great to be around and just really good kids.”

But enough about Jedward. Olly talks about fondly about coming over here, his second time in a crazy post show schedule that has seen him do
“20 gigs over 21 days”, sell out shows in Wales that saw him playing to 4,000 people and watching “girls faint at some of the gigs” ( “Its like Beatlemania, its ridiculous!” He exclaims).

You can’t help but think Olly’s distinct and sharp look of tailored suits, neat fits and spot on fashion choices has helped a little bit. During our chat I get a real sense of his fashion know how. He name checks a number of labels and knows what works for him. 

“I’m very much a mod indie kind of person” he says “so I like wearing stuff that’s very modern at the moment and that’s my look”.  Olly cites vintage fashion wonder Farah and high street darling All Saints as among his favourites. And Fred Perry unsurprisingly, given how he rocked it during the live shows, crops up as a favourite. In fact he rather excitedly mentions a visit to the  Fred Perry showrooms when he leaves Dublin that he has clearly been looking forward to.

Olly may have kept his cool in the style stakes but I couldn’t help but wonder if the parade of big names that passed through the show this year (we’re talking Whitney, Mariah, Robbie Williams to name a few) phased him at all. It seems not even being the same room as Whitney Houston was enough to stop him in his tracks. “I just done it” he says “and got on with it. For me it was like “The X Factor is the The X Factor, you have to sing in front of all of these people, this is it.”

He does point out that “meeting Whitney Houston, she was different to other people, I didn’t feel the closeness there was with the other mentors but she was still nice, she still said hello, she still listened to what I had to sing. She respected me and I respected her.” And as for his new celeb bestie Robbie Williams, he says that he now has his phone number and that he “text him over Christmas to wish him a good new year and Christmas”. Talk about living the life.

But even Mr Cool couldn’t stop himself being impressed with bumping into Sir Paul McCartney. When he told Olly he was a fan of his performance of  the Beatles classic “Come Together” Olly found himself saying “Paul, you’re talking to me?” It’s a moment like this that makes Olly even more likeable. Throughout the interview I’m taken aback by how slick Olly is. He brings up Vodafone with ease and no point feels like a guy who this time last month had never spent a day doing press. But his obvious delight at getting a compliment from such a big star is palpable and endearing.

Still there is the small matter of the forthcoming X Factor tour, a now traditional event for the finalists, that will see them all take to the stage at arenas across the UK and Ireland next month. Olly is clearly excited about this when it comes up “We do our rehearsals at the start of February” he says and is eager to include songs he did on the show, including his favourite “A Fool For Love” which he thinks is “a brilliant song” that “kick started my X Factor journey.”

He promises “lots of dancers” for the show which can only mean a return to the big numbers that saw him do so well during his run. His obvious excitement about getting to do a show which  he “might not ever get the opportunity” to do again is written all over his face and you just know that when he takes to stage for each night that the fans will get what they came for. 

You can never quite predict how a reality TV contestant will do after a show like this but you can’t help but hope for the best for Olly. After hanging out with him briefly his charm and drive are obvious and if ever there was a guy who could make it as a popstar post X-Factor on their own terms its this guy. Until then at least he can content himself with some Fred Perry swag and a crash course in knitting courtesy of Vodafone.