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X Factor on Twitter: the finalists, the judges and the ‘Tweel’

X Factor on Twitter: the finalists, the judges and the ‘Tweel’

ITV talent show X Factor and social network Twitter are becoming increasingly integrated. As with previous competitions, this series’ finalists all have a presence on Twitter – but how is each contestant’s use of the site linked to their standing on the show?

Altogether, the remaining finalists hold more than 607,000 followers between them and have tweeted around 87,000 times. Below, we’ve broken up each finalist’s tweet and follower stats (please note that all stats are approximate as of time of writing):


Sam Callahan (@samcallahan94) – 46k Tweets, 116.3k Followers
Nicolas McDonald (@nickymcdonald1) – 1.5k Tweets, 78k Followers
Luke Friend (@LukeFriendMusic) – 1.1k Tweets, 56.3k Followers


Tamera Foster (@OfficialTamera) – 1.2k Tweets, 58k Followers
Hannah Barrett (@HannahBMusic) – 11.6k Tweets, 29k Followers
Abi Alton (@abialton) – 1k Tweets, 45k Followers


Rough Copy (@RoughCopyUK) – 9.6k Tweets, 72.3k Followers
Miss Dynamix (@RealMissDynamix) – 380 Tweets, 15.5k Followers
Kingsland Road (@KingslandRd) – 12.3k Tweets, 75.4k Followers

Over 25s

Sam Bailey (@SamBaileyREAL) – 2.1k Tweets, 50k Followers
Shelley Smith (@TheShelleySmith) – 1.1k Tweets, 15.6k Followers

In the run up to tonight’s live show, it seems that Tamera Foster is the overall favourite to win – a fact that correlates more closely with her follower numbers than the frequency with which she tweets.

The same could be said for heartthrob Sam Callahan, who boasts both the highest number of tweets and the largest horde of followers – but is, at present, no longer expected to snatch up the number one spot. It must be said, however, that before his heavily criticised performance in last weekend’s live show, Sam Callahan’s name was trending on Twitter with the hashtag #GissaFollowSamCallahan. Several days ago, his vocal fans arose again in support with the hashtag #SamCallahanToWinXF.

Revealingly, Lorna Simpson, who was voted off the show last weekend, ranks bottom for both tweeting and follower gathering – with just a little over 200 tweets and fewer than 7,000 followers.

It’s interesting to note that, with the exception of Louis’ Boys, the finalist in each category with the highest number of followers is also the favourite of their category to win.

Tweel of fortune

This year, the longstanding staple of Saturday night television introduced the ‘Tweel’, a newsfeed tool appearing on a large screen before the live audience that compiles tweets about the show, its judges and the contestants.

The Tweel demonstrates the importance of Twitter in gauging the public’s opinion. Last weekend, X Factor host Dermot O’Leary used the Tweel to show that, according to stats, Sharon Osbourne appeared to be the most popular judge on the show, as she had garnered the most mentions on the social network. It was unclear whether those tweets pertained exclusively to Mrs O or were inclusive of tweets about the contestants in her group.

Judges tweet too

The contestants aren’t alone in their choice of social network. Three of the programme’s four judges – music mogul Sharon Osbourne, bristle-browed superstar Gary Barlow and pop diva Nicole Scherzinger – are advocates of Twitter. At present, Louis Walsh doesn’t have a Twitter account, although there are a number of parody handles and general fakes marked as ‘official’. Nicole is the most prolific user in terms of followers, but Gary leads when it comes to tweets.

One thing highlighted by these stats is the fact that tweet frequency isn’t always advantageous. An article published on e-commerce site Shopify listed the best ways for companies to get attention on Twitter, with its pointers including the use of simple hashtags, images and a focus on tweeting about external (the industry) rather than internal (company) affairs.

For companies using the site to interact with their customers and comment on industry topics, one thing is clear; it’s the quality and relevance of tweets that has the biggest impact on engagement.

Richard Bell

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