Tag: Louisa Johnson


Reggie N Bollie: The ‘X Factor’ of X Factor 2015

As the X Factor Live Finals of 2015 kicked off on ITV1, fellow finalists Che Chesterman and Louisa Johnson came out individually in turn, flanked by a parade of fighters carrying placards emblazoned with their names as they brilliantly sung their own battle cries. But the X Factor production team knew what they were doing when they left the best till last. Reggie N Bollie thundered through the crowd with a powerful and vibrant rendition of ‘Jump!’ This was their time to shine and they were going to enjoy their time in the sun.

 

craigdavid2_2602095a

Reggie N Bollie performing with Fuse ODG (far right) and Craig David (second left)

Reggie N Bollie’s duet piece was kicked off by a special appearance by our very own Fuse ODG. The stars had finally aligned as this was the joint performance that many had expected and desired the most: the premier flagbearer of the Ghanaian music scene in the UK allied with the newest Black Stars on the block, on the biggest televised musical platform in the country, live to millions nationwide. The epitome of ‘Ghana Stand Up!’

 

Craig David then appeared as the bass of ‘Million Pound Girl’ faded into the familiar strains of ‘Re-wind’ – and the capacity crowd of 10000 plus in the Wembley Arena lost their collective minds. Reggie N Bollie bounced off this legend of the music scene effortlessly, with Fuse gallivanting across the stage and drumming up support. It was at this moment that you knew something special was in the offing.The boys’ couldn’t actually do it – could they? What was once fanciful fantasy, now seemed like a legitimate possibility – a sentiment echoed by a certain Mr Cowell himself.

And so the votes were frozen and the finalists returned to the stage at the end of Day One of the finals. Louisa was first called, before Reggie N Bollie’s names were announced as the act to complete the final set-up for Sunday. Incredible scenes, the boys had now secured at least second place in the X Factor 2015!

 

The gap between the Saturday & Sunday evenings crackled with various views and opinions. It would be amazing if the boys couldmedium_aCyQfY0Hb9xhtbnd6Xn0LCbINobhrYaTtI_llHG0PyU win it, Ghanaians from grass to grace. But would a win benefit their careers in the long-run? X Factor has a long history of handing the winner a poisoned chalice, with many examples of acts who didn’t win becoming bigger successes revelling in greater freedom. But then it would be painful to lose at the final hurdle right? But can second place at the X Factor Final be considered a ‘loss?’ Debate here, debate there, debate everywhere.

 

Reggie N Bollie at the end of the day just couldn’t overcome Louisa Johnson, who throughout the finals showed a finesse and an embarrassment of riches when it came to vocal ability – with final vote data showing they had 38% of the vote compared to Louisa’s 53%. A ballad winners’ single did not help their chances, exposing the discrepancy in vocals. It was unfair that in previous years, three options for a Winners’ single were available for acts to choose from, recognising that one man’s meat is another’s poison – and yet this year, Reggie N Bollie struggled as they were shoehorned into an area out of the comfort zone they had consistently remained in from day one. Their poorest performances came with a drop in tempo – ‘Locked Away’ in the semis, which could have proved fatal even then; and the critical Winners’ single performance.

 

But as the confetti settles, the horizon becomes clearer. Firstly, second place may be nowhere when it comes to football, but when it comes to the X Factor, even third place can be king. As people such as Olly Murs, JLS, Fleur East and pop behemoths One Direction have shown, a place in the live finals alone can be a platform to success.

 

Reggie N Bollie for the past seven weeks have performed live on Saturday Night Primetime TV in front of MILLIONS of people cheryl-reggie-bollie-x-factorin the UK and worldwide. There are so many out there who would kill for that opportunity. They got to the final two not on the basis of judges votes (having never been in the bottom three), but on the power of the public! They got there because there are so many out there who fell in love with their humility, their vibrancy, their energy. That’s a massive accreditation of their act, and very encouraging for their future – they are boys in massive demand.

 

Whether you loved them with all your heart, or despised them because you considered them a ‘novelty act’, Reggie N Bollie were THE act you wanted to see! And that is what will define them in the annals of X Factor history. To re-iterate what I said in a previous post, among a cohort where we saw 12 shades of the same grey we’ve seen time and again every X Factor season since the beginning, Reggie N Bollie plastered our screens with explosive red gold and green! In dark times as these, they presented us humility and joy, bringing a smile to many faces and providing a brief escape from the vagaries of real life. They were the energy. They were the show-stoppers, the party. And most importantly for the big bosses, they were the entertainment.

 

xfactor_land73_2602761aNOBODY expected ‘Menn On Point’ to be performing on the same stage as One Direction, Rod Stewart, Coldplay and Adele at a world-renowned venue that is the Wembley Arena, packed to the rafters with 10000 people, streamed live into the homes of millions. Nobody expected them to win millions of votes over the series, and take at least 20% of the vote share from Week Four onwards and be second in the overall voting from Week Five right to the very end when Louisa was all that stood between them and winning the whole thing. Nobody expected them to be legitimately, honestly and seriously be considered winners. Not even Reggie himself, who had battled his own demons and doubts just a year ago and had grown so tired of the struggle that he flirted with the idea of pulling the plug on their whole act. And yet here they were. On a pedestal nobody expected them to climb, with the world as their oyster.

 

So people may speak about their lack of vocal talent all they want (and to be honest, a lot of that comes from people who have never listened to Afrobeat before, so we will allow them). However, the X Factor has always been billed as more than a singing competition. It’s been a competition to find people who have ‘it’ – that rare essence which captivates the masses,electrifies the public, wins hearts and captures minds. They may not have been crowned winners, but as talk of record deals and live appearances start to gather serious momentum, something tells me that in the long haul we will find that Reggie N Bollie do indeed have the ‘X Factor’.


By Dr. Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Men On Point!: The X Factor Phenomenon of Reggie N Bollie

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘Phenomenon’ as something that can be observed…that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully; someone or something that is very impressive or popular especially because of an unusual ability or quality.

Reggie N Bollie are a phenomenon, in every sense of the word.

medium_x_WYim5Nb0LTzcC9r-dNcV8Lzfti4tJiHeaQALf6L4UThey first came to our screens as ‘Menn On Point’. The eagle-eyed among us caught on to the fact that the smaller of the duo was Bollie, the man who brought us the classic tune ‘You May Kiss The Bride’. Others will have known that the taller and more vocal Reggie released three singles in Ghana in 2006: ‘Virgin’, ‘For Sale’ & ‘Adoma’. Their thick Ghanaian accents caught our ears as they entered the stage to stand before the judges. We all didn’t know what to expect. Some of us probably even reached for cushions, pillows, or whatever else we could find to hide behind. Their VT didn’t offer much encouragement. It looked like these guys were set-up to be disasters. I still remember the Twitter timeline was full of people from other African nations calling Ghanaians to watch as we were about to disgrace ourselves and the entire continent on live primetime TV.

Oh how those haters went quiet!

Since then, Reggie N Bollie’s progress through the competition has been relentless. At every stage where one felt they x_factor_7th_november_01h38.jpgwould lose steam, they pulled another strong performance out of the bag, winning over more and more fans along the way. From the entire judging panel, to guest stars like Louis Tomlinson – who is a member of arguably the biggest music group in the world One Direction – the humble duo of Reggie N Bollie have been winning hearts, winning acclaim, and most importantly of all, winning the public vote. Support which has culminated in them winning a place in the X Factor 2015 Live Finals on Sunday 6th December 2015.

 

While their vocal performances aren’t the best, their sheer exuberance is infectious. Every week, they have been the ones to watch. The Afrobeat feel that they have brought to the competition is fresh, new and unusual for a competition like the X Factor which favours the Mariah’s and Whitney’s of this world. This season he has jigged about the presenters, the format and even at one point the announcer, but Reggie N Bollie’s sound and energy have been the fresh air that Simon Cowell has so desperately sought for his show.

reggie-bollie-maiSocial media snapped, crackled and popped with celebration and exclaim from Ghanaians both in the UK and those following in Ghana itself. Funnily enough, with a place in the final, a different set of dissenters have decided to rear their ugly heads.

‘Jokes over’ some have said. ‘They’re a novelty act’ claim others. To call Reggie N Bollie a ‘novelty act’, as a certain red-top tabloid publication trumpeted in their pages the day after the boys secured their place in the 2015 finals, does them the greatest disservice. Novelty acts include those from ages past such as Wagner, acts with no talent who prance about the stage playing the clown. Reggie N Bollie are simply bringing a brand of music to X Factor platform which it’s never seen before and there are many out there who don’t understand what to make of it! In a season where among the other competitors we have seen the twelve shades of the grey we see year in year out on the X Factor, Reggie N Bollie have splashed vibrant multicolour all over the set on a weekly basis.

And that’s why they’re in the Finals. If you wanted to see a barnstorming wild and energetic performance in this year’s live Cheryl_just_danced_with_Reggie_N_Bollie_on_X_Factorshows, they were the ones who were going to bring it. Every Saturday was Ghana Independence Parade live on ITV1. Who would have thought that we would ever see Cheryl Fernandez-Versini displaying her finest Azonto on the X Factor stage? But they made it happen! It’s no surprise that the performance that was called their worst, the semi-final rendition of ‘Locked Away’ was their most laidback performance of the whole series!

Reggie N Bolie have been the great performers, the show-stoppers – black stars colouring the X Factor landscape with a red, gold and green hue. And much of the British public gets them – they get the flair, they love the flavour, they’re enjoying the ride! Reggie N Bollie have injected adrenaline into a format which had been striving for a new lease of life, and brought a new vibe amongst a cohort which doesn’t really bring anything different to what has been seen before. While the others are fighting for a chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the pop acts of today, Reggie N Bollie have been running their own race, in their own lane, with their own inimitable style.

maxresdefaultFor the second year running, after the exploits of Fleur East last year, Ghana stands proud once again at the finals of the X Factor. Reggie N Bollie have taken the baton and continued to run fast with it, right to the summit. Will this be second time lucky? Louisa Johnson may the strong favourite, but you never know. After all, phenomena are unusual and difficult to explain…

By Dr. Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)