Eoghan Quigg - '28,000 Friends'
Oh James Bourne, James Bourne, what are you DOING? Maybe Son Of Dork didn't manage to take over the world in quite the same way Busted did. Maybe Charlie's departure to Fightstar was, in retrospect, not the act of deliberately contrary sabotage it appeared to be at the time, and maybe you just couldn't face eating what Matt Willis had to eat in order to become a TV presenter, but there is no excuse for this.
As regular ChartBloggerers may know, I don't watch the X Factor, for fear of losing my professional integrity and hard-won indie street credibility.* But I'm aware that this Eoghan fella has a controversial reputation.
Some people love his great big puppydog eyes and the fact that he can't control himself enough to stay backstage when his friend/girlfriend/friend Diana Vickers is being kicked off the show. Other people think he's a talent vacuum who gets by on sheer enthusiasm, a bit like Tigger.
I don't have strong feelings either way, except to say that if he really is a talented enough singer to have got to the X Factor final in the year that Alexandra - a girl who really can sing, let's not forget - won, this is not the song to showcase those talents. In fact, they've been actively hidden.
Which brings me back to James Bourne, former Busted songsmith and now one of Eoghan's tune supply team. Somewhere, in some cigar-smoked, foggy record company board room, a team of creatives has decided that Eoghan's fan base is very young, they've also realised that young people like to talk to their friends using social networking.
If only, the conversation goes, there was a way of showing the kids that Eoghan understands their world, if only there was a way for him to say "hey, The Kids, I am one of you, because I too enjoy social networking. But not too much, because that would make me a geek, and the jocks hate the geeks, right? Not that I hate the geeks! I love geeks! I love jocks! Go Wildcats! Be my demographic, puh-weez?", and then do that dog-eyes thing he does...
(Here's the video. Apparently you can breakdance to this song.)
James Bourne shuffles in his seat, coughs, and wipes a smoke-teared eye. He has an idea. What if, he thinks, what if we wrote a song about a girl who Eoghan likes, a funny sort of a song about a girl who's got so many friends using social networking - and here James pauses to jot down an idea for a hook which just lists the most popular web/networking areas of the moment: "YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, IM" - that she never has any time to go outside? What if SHE'S the geek? That could work.
And what if, he continues, what if we wrote this song up as a kind of pop-punk number, but toned down the guitars and energy so it sounds a bit weedy and anaemic. That way, Eoghan's powerful voice would be strong, manly backbone to the song (what? Who's laughing?), and no-one would ever say that an X Factor winner out-rocked the mighty Busted. The rockingest band in the ENTIRE WORLD!
At which point James pauses to rotate the drawing pin in his Charlie Simpson voodoo doll, safely tucked away in his pocket, as always. Then he clears his throat to speak...
Download: Out now
CD Released: April 6th
PS: Interesting that the lyrics don't mention Twitter, isn't it? The song hasn't even been released and it's already out of date. That's the price you pay for trying to keep up with them pesky kids!
* I'm kidding. I don't watch it because it's mean.
UPDATE: I have received an email, pointing out that Eoghan "also fails to mention Habbo and Bebo, the two biggest social sites for his core demographic".
And you have to admit, either one would be easier to sing than MySpace or YouTube.