When the decision was made to bring back Mason Noise into the X Factor fold ahead of judges’ houses as a replacement for drop-out Tom Bleasby, the consensus was that this was merely to provide the show with some cheap headlines.
Mason had criticised the show earlier in the competition for favouring other acts, based on the amount of screentime they had been offered to build a fanbase with the voting public.
This led to him being sent home from the six-chair challenge stage, only to be recalled.
It was then no surprise that he was then selected as one of Nick Grimshaw’s three boys for the live shows alongside Seann Miley Moore and Che Chesterman.
The obvious thought now is that he will be kept in the show for a few weeks to drum up further controversy, with the fact that he was booed during the judges’ houses episode indicating that the voting public have already taken a dislike to him.
Katie Waissel is possibly the best act to compare Mason to from previous X Factor series in terms of audience appreciation and she never truly managed to swing things back in her favour.
However, Katie did make it to the eighth live show in 2010, although she did require the benefit of four sing-off saves.
Mason may need similar levels of support if he is to embark on his own road to redemption and he has more commercial appeal than the majority of the other 12 finalists, which also suggests that it’s in the interests of the show if he sticks around for a few weeks.
The theme for song choices for the first live show is “This Is Me”, which logically would suggest that the acts can perform the sort of track that they may look to release if getting a contract after the show.
The decision to give Che a Marvin Gaye track over something by the likes of Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith doesn’t make him appear very current and hints that the show aren’t that interested in having him in the latter stages.
Meanwhile, Seann’s divisive dress sense of baseball cap, kimono and high heels is not guaranteed to impress the typical voting public, while the fact he hails from overseas could work against him too.
Mason is the outsider to be the last boy standing at 4/1, but the song choice of “Sorry” by Justin Bieber is current, will appeal to the younger female voting demographic and has a message that starts his path to redemption.
The chorus of the song finishes with the line “I know that I let you down, is it too late to say that I’m sorry now?”
He has it all to do to turn around his negative first impression, but his task is not impossible if continually getting good song choices and a couple of sing-off saves.
Rather than a departure in the first few weeks, a run to the final five is arguably more likely and this may be enough to be crowned top boy in 2015.