Entertainment & Arts

Matt Cardle shrugs off X Factor backlash

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Media captionX Factor winner Matt Cardle met fans in London on Thursday

He is on the verge of clinching this year's Christmas number one and has become one of the most famous people in the UK.

Five days on from being crowned this year's X Factor winner, however, Matt Cardle insists overnight fame has not changed him.

"I'm very humble, because I've been trying to make it in the music industry for ages," says the 27-year-old.

The former painter and decorator is busy promoting his debut single and will shortly be rushed off to choose an accountant who will supervise his finances.

Cardle's cover version of the Biffy Clyro track Many of Horror is well on course to top the singles chart on Sunday.

Yet some have criticised both his interpretation and the decision to rename it When We Collide.

"I've done a cover of a very credible song," he tells the BBC News website on Friday.

"I leapt at the chance to do it because it's not your average winner's song.

"It's not cheesy and I'm sorry if I've ruined it for people, but it's credible," he continues.

"I understand why there will be a backlash, but give me a break."

For most X Factor winners, bagging the Christmas number one is a given. Yet Cardle insists "there's still a way to go".

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed but I'm not counting my chickens," he says while admitting "it would be amazing".

'No guarantees'

Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke achieved huge success following their X Factor wins. But the likes of Steve Brookstein and Leon Jackson fared less well.

And the day Cardle was crowned X Factor winner, last year's victor Joe McElderry entered the singles chart with his new release - at number 68.

"I don't know what happened to those guys," Cardle says. "People obviously voted for them on the show, but then the support didn't go on afterwards.

"I'm just desperate for that not to happen to me.

Image caption Joe McElderry's latest single debuted at number 68 the day Cardle won The X Factor

"I'm going to work my arse off, write the best I can and promote the best I can, but there's no guarantees.

"This time next year I could be nowhere or I could be cracking America. You just don't know."

Yet the singer, who fronted his own band Seven Summers prior to taking part in the show, is adamant he is different to his X Factor predecessors.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of the winners have been trying in bands like I have for so long," he says.

"I've been writing songs for years. I've written about four or five albums in my time and I'm writing all the time.

"I don't think Joe's a songwriter, I don't think Leona's a songwriter. These people can sing, but I'm an artist already and this is my platform."

Cardle, who admits he turned to The X Factor after failing to land a record deal, also concedes he has been "trying for years and years and years".

"It didn't work for me, but the X Factor has worked," he continues. "It's a great platform.

"Some people hate it, some people love it, but I want to take this opportunity and run with it."

Bickering

Fans of The X Factor have become used to the press stories pumped out on a weekly basis during each run of the show.

Alleged judge fall-outs have dominated coverage of previous series. Yet this year's controversy centred more on reported bickering among the contestants.

Image caption Cardle was mentored by former pop star Dannii Minogue throughout the series

"So much of it was the papers stirring," Cardle insists. "Some things were said between people, yes, but the papers whip it up."

He is also quick to defend runner-up Cher Lloyd, who came fourth in the competition after becoming the target of a virulent hate campaign.

"I completely understand why she was misunderstood," he says of the 17-year-old. "She came across as really quite hard at times.

"But she's so young and she's trying to figure out who she is. She dealt with the pressure really well, and she's really sweet."

Cardle became firm friends with Aiden Grimshaw, knocked out in week six and boy band One Direction, who finished in third place.

However, there was little time for the star to celebrate with them after winning the show.

A brief reunion with friends and family had to suffice, followed by a feast of cold chicken nuggets back at the X Factor house in north London.

"I celebrated with belly ache," he laughs.

Matt Cardle's debut single When We Collide is out now.

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