He has the world at his feet after winning the biggest talent search on television, a million-pound record deal and is on course for the Christmas number one.
But as Matt Cardle basks in the glory of his X Factor triumph, critics of the show are already sounding a cautionary note based on the experiences of previous male winners.
While Cardle was enjoying his moment in the spotlight after being crowned the winner of this year’s show, 2004 victor Steve Brookstein was playing a gig at a coffee shop in Birmingham, attended by a handful of people.
Last year cute Geordie Joe McElderry pipped Olly Murs to the post to walk away with the top prize — yet this weekend his |latest single flopped, charting at a paltry number 68.
And this Saturday, as Cardle’s promotional rounds continue amid much hype and excitement, McElderry is bound for Belfast to play the Kremlin nightclub.
So what does the future hold for the Essex painter? Will he be hung out to dry like McElderry, Brookstein and 2007 winner Leon Jackson, or will it be a smooth finish like Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke? According to industry insiders, Cardle is likely to break the mould and become the first male superstar to emerge from the show.
Back in 2005 Shayne Ward was declared the winner and enjoyed a successful, but short-lived career. After disappearing off the radar for a while, he attempted a comeback this year, performing on the show that had made him a star, |albeit temporarily.
However, it is understood Simon Cowell’s record label Syco is planning to drop him after poor sales.
But HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo doesn’t believe Cardle, who previously sang with indie rock band Seven Summers, will go the same way as Ward.
“With his distinctive voice and down-to-earth blokeiness, the key to his success is that he appeals to fans of all ages and backgrounds,” Gennaro said.
“Most importantly, he’s not seen as some kind of saccharine, manufactured pop star, but a credible performer who’s likely to go down just as well on a festival stage as he is on a television variety show.
“With good guidance and the right material, recording a Biffy Clyro track for the Christmas number one is an inspired choice, for example, Matt has every chance of becoming a really huge and established star, particularly as there’s a gap in the market for a successful male solo artist.”
Cardle’s popularity with the public was unquestionable. On the Xtra Factor on Sunday night it was revealed that the 27-year-old Essex man had topped the polls every week bar one, when Dubliner Mary Byrne was out in front.
Music publicist Jeff Robinson said he believed Cardle would enjoy longevity.
“The thing with Matt is that he fronted a band and wrote his own material, which will go in his favour,” said Jeff.
So confident are the bookmakers that Cardle will grab the coveted number one spot with his cover of the Biffy Clyro track Many Of Horror (When We Collide), that some have already paid out.
Ladbrokes reported their busiest-ever day of business on the traditional chart-topper market, while Paddy Power slashed the odds of a Cardle Christmas number one to just 1/3.