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Reality TV Interview

Caroline Flack interview: 'Christopher Maloney can win The X Factor'

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Caroline Flack and Christopher Maloney on This Morning

© Rex Features

The Xtra Factor has always been the naughty older sibling of the main show, and Caroline Flack and Olly Murs have made it essential viewing for the last two years.

As The X Factor gets to the business end, Digital Spy sat down with Caroline to ask all about Rylan, Chris, Ella and more.

We also wanted to find out just why she'll be fronting a choir in the centre of London and urging us to Text Santa via Vodafone's JustTextGiving. Here's what she had to say.

What's this Text Santa thing all about?
"I'm going to be carol singing with a choir and some of the kids from Notting Hill prep school - my niece's school. I asked my niece Willow to get all her friends together and come down and sing."

You must get asked to do loads of charity stuff - why pick this one?
"Because it's Christmas, and when it gets to Christmas you start thinking about how lucky you are to have all your family and friends. A lot of people don't have those things. Christmas is one of those times of year that you think about stuff like that - and I like carol singing!"

Is it your burning ambition to be a pop star?
"Olly Murs keeps telling me that I should be auditioning for The X Factor - that's what he keeps saying. No, I'm not a singer - but I like to do my bit, and my mum says I can hold a tune."

Olly told us that he won't be back for The Xtra Factor next year...
"Yeah... we don't know yet. I think we've had two really good years - and also it's so far away you can't really know yet, especially with Olly touring."

Caroline Flack, Olly Murs, The Xtra Factor

© ITV



He's doing stadiums now!
"He's doing stadiums all around Europe, so he's not going to have much time. But last year he was doing that, he was with One Direction."

If he doesn't come back - who would be your dream co-host?
"That's like saying, 'If you split up with your boyfriend, who would you go out with?' That would be cheating. I don't know, I don't know anything! I've got no plans as of yet."

What was Olly like when he heard he was number one in the charts again?
"All day we were waiting for it to get to 7pm when they announce the number one. He was like an excited puppy all day! Which he usually is - a puppy - but not an excited one. It was nice we were all there and then we obviously celebrated it throughout the day. Then we mentioned it a few times on the show - not too many times."

How did it feel on The Xtra Factor when Ella had been voted off?
"I've been doing this [series] since May, so you get very close to the contestants. I'm just an emotional person anyway, so I get quite attached to the contestants. I think with Ella, because she was the last girl, we got on really well. From that point of view it was sad. But I have to remove myself from a professional point of view.


"It's voted by the public. We have no control over it. No-one has any control over it. Especially us because we don't vote. It's controversial because she was very good, but it was the right decision because the public make the decision. So there's not much that can be said about it."

Our own polls usually mirror the public vote, but this year the opposite seems to be true - Ella and James in the bottom two when our readers voted them the best - why do you think that may be?
"I think it's the same every year. This always happens. There's always a contestant where it's like, 'I can't believe they've gone. Why didn't people vote for them?' The girl who went out... Laura White - do you remember that? That was bigger than when Ella went. That was massive. We forget it and we put it behind us, because every year this new batch of people come along and we start reliving it again. Ella has gone, but she's brilliant, and she's already proved herself."

We all loved Rylan here - what was he like to work alongside?
"Lovely from day one. From his first audition, I remember he walked in with his long blonde hair and I was like, 'Who is this', and he had this bubbly personality. I didn't know what to expect.

Caroline Flack - Text Santa


"Getting to know him through the whole process, everyone behind the scenes loved him, and we all loved him. When we saw how much stick he was getting it was very hard. When you look at someone who's a genuinely nice person take all that abuse - that's why I think a lot of people stood up for him."

Christopher Maloney gets a lot of grief - do you think he can win?
"Anyone can this year. I don't know who's going to win. Even though I said it's the same every year, actually for the first time ever in X Factor, there's not a clear winner. Last year at this point in my head I was thinking Little Mix are going to win. Before, you thought Leona's going to win or Alexandra Burke. But at the minute, I don't know who's going to win, and actually that makes it really exciting."

Would Chris winning have any impact on the future of the show?
"I think if Chris wins it's down to the public. It's fair. It's down to the public to decide who they want to win. If Chris wins then fair play - he had the most votes."

How would you feel about Simon Cowell returning to the UK show?
"I'd love Simon to return. He'll be amazing. I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't want Simon to return. It's his show, he makes it what it is. Saying that, we've had a great two years, but him returning I think would still be brilliant."

What would it be like to have your boss there to interview?
"I interviewed him last year during the audition period and I did get slightly nervous around him! He's a very likeable guy. He's very personable and easy to speak to when you speak to him. It's only because he's the boss you get a bit nervous!"

Does the show still have the power to break new big artists like JLS?
"Absolutely. Massively!"

Caroline Flack arrives at the Corinthia Hotel for The X Factor press day.
London, England - 16.08.12
Mandatory Credit: Will Alexander/WENN.com

© WENN

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - launch partyFeaturing: James ArthurLondon, England - 22.11.12
Where: London, England
When: 22 Nov 2012
Credit: Daniel Deme/WENN.com

© WENN / Daniel Deme



Despite the ratings not being as big as maybe a couple of years ago?
"Well, I think there's a different kind of artist this year. I think James Arthur is going to do very well with a whole new audience. He opens X Factor up to a whole new audience. We haven't had that kind of music before. And it's the first year we've had people who already write their own original music. With every programme and like everything else, it's got to keep changing to keep up with what's going on. That's what X Factor's doing, it's changing."

James has been saying some very lovely things about you - how did you feel reading them?
"Incredibly flattered!"

Did you tell him off for talking about you?
"No, we just laughed about it, it's just banter."

Previous Xtra Factor hosts like Holly and Konnie have got varying receptions - did that make you nervous about the job?
"I think there's a lot of pressure when you take on a show like that, but I think when I started doing it, I'd been working on I'm a Celebrity which is a very similar show - it's a reactive show. I was excited. I don't think I was too nervous. I was very excited about doing it, especially because I'm a massive fan of the show."

Can The X Factor carry on and on?
"I think for now, yes, absolutely! It's still one of the highest-rated shows on TV. It's one of the most talked-about shows on TV. It's not only talked about when it's on, it's talked about when it's not on. Of course it can, it's brilliant - I love The X Factor! If I wasn't on it I'd still watch it."

What's been your favourite performance of the series?
"James Arthur - 'Let's Get It On'. It was just the best vocal performance I'd heard. When I heard he was doing it, I was like, 'Oh yeah, course he is'. I looked forward to it all week!"



There are some big notes in that song - were you nervous on James's behalf?
"No, because he sings like he breathes. It just comes so easily. It's very original. People keep saying he's like Ed Sheeran or other guitar-based artists, singer-songwriters, but I think he's slightly different. I think he's got something completely new, and I think this has been a great platform for him, and he's a really nice guy."

How has Nicole been as the newbie on the judging lineup?
"Good! She's brought a lot of fun into it. I was as surprised as everyone else was. I thought she was going to be quite serious - she was quite serious in auditions. She's really nice, she's fun to hang around with on The X Factor - she doesn't take anything too seriously. Though she is serious about her acts, so it's a good balance."

Every year the word 'fix' inevitably gets bandied about at some point - what's your reaction?
"It just shows how passionate everyone is about the show!"

Caroline Flack will lead a Christmas sing-along on Oxford Street, joined by local schoolchildren and members of the Vodafone choir. This year's appeal will culminate in an ITV show on Friday, December 21.

Passers-by will be able to donate by text message using Vodafone's JustTextGiving, the free text donation service which ensures that 100% of the money goes direct to charity. To donate, just text the word FLAK79 followed by an amount (£1, £3, £5) to 70070.

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