The favourite factor

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
October 22, 2010, 11:09 PM GMT+0

If the names ‘Wagner’ and ‘Matt Cardle’ mean anything to you, you’ve very likely been watching the latest series of the ITV phenomenon that is The X Factor, and have also likely picked a favourite who you root for as the results are announced, along with a most hated contestant who you wish would just get off your screen as soon as humanly possible. Indeed, our latest poll of X Factor viewers has found the nation’s current most rated (and most hated) star of this year’s show.

  • Crooner and sometime painter and decorator, Matt Cardle, 27, has come out top in the popularity stakes, with 26% of X Factor fans picking him as their favourite contestant.
  • However, the dubious honour of least popular goes to eccentric Brazilian and former PE teacher Wagner Carrilho, 54, with 21% of the least-favourite vote.

Controversial Katie

The results may come as a surprise to some, as controversial X Factor contestant Katie Waissel, 24, has been branded as the ‘”most hated” contestant of all time’ in several tabloids following the elimination of popular Gamu Nhengu in her stead. But Katie is not even the second most hated.

  • That sorry accolade goes to fellow Cheryl Cole protégé Cher Lloyd, 17, as 18% of the show’s fans picked her as their least favourite contestant.
  • Waissel is in fact the third least popular, having been chosen by 14% of the show’s viewers.
  • As for Tesco worker Mary Byrne, 50, it’s happier news, as the burgeoning diva has been voted ‘favourite contestant’ by the second largest majority with 17% of the votes.
  • Third favourite is shy but sultry single mum from Liverpool, Rebecca Ferguson, 26 (10%).

Phonecall furore

Wagner Carrilho, who was brought back onto the show as judge Louis Walsh’s wildcard in the Over 28 category, has so far avoided being in the bottom two after very theatrical performances of Love Shack/She Bangs and the Tom Jones classic Help Yourself, but our data suggests he may be in trouble this week.

The eccentric Brazilian has recently courted controversy after a phone call was leaked to the press in which he indicts the show as ‘rigged’ to suit Simon Cowell, and complains that the songs he has been given are ‘sh*t’.

However, Joe Twyman of YouGov emphasised that the race is far from run, saying, ‘At the moment Matt [Cardle] looks to be in a strong position, but there is a long time to go and we know from past years that a lot can still change. At YouGov we have a strong history of accurately predicting X Factor and Pop Idol outcomes, but right now the result is far from certain.’

See the survey details and full results here