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Gallery: The 10 possible career outcomes of X Factor winner James Arthur

Imagine for a moment that, at the exact moment on Sunday night that James Arthur won The X Factor, the timeline all we know and love suddenly splintered into ten. Each of these strands of destiny hold different outcomes for young singer-songwriter James Arthur: In some, he finds success. In others, he finds great success. In another he keeps Louis Walsh on a chain like a dog. Here we take a little peek into the ten possible futures that await James Arthur, and wonder which timeline it turns out we are all on.

Gallery

The ‘Success’ Path
The ‘Success’ Path
The ‘Success’ Path
 
The ‘Success’ Path

James Arthur has the exact kind of career you would expect: he releases Impossible to universal acclaim and record sales, securing Christmas number one before waiting a year and releasing his debut album. Unlike previous winners, James carves out a side niche as a writer producing songs for other artists including Pink, One Direction and a hologram version of Tupac, and his future cover of Crocodile Shoes wins an Oscar, somehow. He gets married to Caroline Flack and Olly Murs is really sad about it. “I had a pretty good career, all told,” he admits, in an interview with Vogue held when he is in his 60s. “Not Elton John good, but pretty good.”

The ‘Great Success’ Path
The ‘Great Success’ Path
The ‘Great Success’ Path
 
The ‘Great Success’ Path

James Arthur’s version of Impossible slams into the charts at Number One, where it stays for a record 18 weeks. It’s soon joined by more singles, before James fully pads out the Top Ten. Then he releases an album and starts dating every member of Girls Aloud all at once, even Cheryl. “We’re all very much in love,” Cheryl later admits. “The queue for the bathroom can be a bit of a nightmare in the mornings, but otherwise it works out okay.” He gets all his teeth replaced by diamonds before playing a worldwide sell-out tour in every country in the world. “I am so, so, so, so rich,” he tells The Big Issue. “So so rich and happy.” He dies aged 205, and the world goes into mourning. A superstar has passed.

The ‘Dancing on Ice’ route
The ‘Dancing on Ice’ route
The ‘Dancing on Ice’ route
 
The ‘Dancing on Ice’ route

After one single and two wilderness years, James Arthur has one final roll of the career dice and enters into Dancing on Ice 2015. Despite being a very serious singer-songwriter he actually gets totally into it and wins, even wearing those glittery sequin and latex outfits on nights out to Whisky Mist. “I just feel at home in Lycra,” he tells The Mirror. “I finally feel comfortable in my own skin.” James then bounces onto Popstar to Superstar, winning again, before being declared King of the Jungle on I’m a Celeb. “I’m addicted to winning reality TV shows,” he says, days before checking in to The Priory. “I cannot stop.” James is last seen desperately trying to win Celebrity Come Dine With Me with a pasta bake.

The ‘Jedward tribute act’ route
The ‘Jedward tribute act’ route
The ‘Jedward tribute act’ route
 
The ‘Jedward tribute act’ route

Turns out James Arthur didn’t want to win The X Factor at all, he just wanted to come fifth and then drop down into Eurovision contention. “It has always been my dream to appear on a big stage in front of an even larger crowd in like Macedonia or something,” he will tell heat. “Or Lithuania or whatever. I’m just a normal lad from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, I don’t know geography.” Also he will clone himself, and form a Jedward tribute act. We didn’t mention that bit because we thought it was obvious.

The ‘Aliens Invade’ situation
The ‘Aliens Invade’ situation
The ‘Aliens Invade’ situation
 
The ‘Aliens Invade’ situation

Inevitably, aliens invade. They loom over cities and destroy iconic buildings just to show us what’s up. “When will the terror end,” asks the Prime Minister, while sweating. “How do we end the terror?” After firing fruitless rockets and missiles at the alien blockades, Earth has one final hope: shoot sweet, sweet music at the alien mothership. James Arthur bravely steps forward with his guitar and plays a flawless acoustic set. “Play that one where you do a dubstep drop in the middle of an Adele song again,” boom the aliens. He does. They clap their super-evolved hands. “Thanks,” they say. “That was lovely. We’ll go home now.” They take Christopher Maloney with them, and Earth rejoices. Everybody alive buys James’ album as thanks.

The ‘Dictator’
The ‘Dictator’
The ‘Dictator’
 
The ‘Dictator’

With the momentum of winning 54 per cent of the public vote in The X Factor final behind him, James goes from strength-to-strength, eventually achieving power over the UK and then also parts of France through his iconic brand of acoustic guitar music with the occasional dubstep drop. “I can’t believe it,” he later tells heat. “I’m just a normal lad from Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Now I have a big beard and occasionally commit large-scale whoopsies. It’s a dream come true.” Still, he sorts out the bankers, so. Can’t complain too much.

The Path of the Centaur
The Path of the Centaur
The Path of the Centaur
 
The Path of the Centaur

“Horses are beautiful, powerful beasts,” says James Arthur, in a future interview with Horse Magazine. “Proud, honest animals. I have always admired their lustre and majesty, even when I was just a normal lad growing up in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. And that’s why I’ve decided to transition into a centaur.” Yes: James Arthur, using all the riches gained from his Number One album (Songs for Horses by James Arthur, and the Songs to Ride Horses To EP) will undergo ground-breaking surgery to become a half-horse, half-man type of deal. A centaur, if you will. “It’s actually really bloody impractical when it comes to my stage outfits,” James will tell NME, later. “You can’t put harem pants on over these horse legs. I actually really, really regret this decision to become a centaur.”

The Apocalypse
The Apocalypse
The Apocalypse
 
The Apocalypse

Seeing as the end of the world as calculated by the Mayans is pencilled in for December 21st this year, poor old James Arthur won’t have long to revel in the fact that he is this year’s X Factor winner before the inevitable wave of flames and terror engulfs the planet. So when the dust has settled and the last remaining humans are left to repopulate the earth, James’ brand of turned-on-its-head pop music will lever him into a position of post-Apocalyptic power and respect. Acoustic guitar in one hand, a curiously child-like Louis Walsh in the other, he will lead a band of ragtag survivors to Zion, the long-rumoured city in the desert, where he will assume a leadership position and, in time, put out an album of acoustic Adele covers with the occasional dubstep drop in the middle of them.

The Superhero Route
The Superhero Route
The Superhero Route
 
The Superhero Route

Using the pure power of his 1.2 million-strong army of Twitter fans, James decides to pack in the pop game to instead don a Lycra jumpsuit, cape and copyright-infringing chest shield and walk around Saltburn-by-the-Sea stopping crimes. “I wanted to use the power of my fans for good,” he later tells the Daily Mail. “We go around getting cats out of trees and that.” When the earth faces a new menace in the form of a deranged Frankie Boyle, James utilises his Twitter army into action by having them all turn towards him and call him both “old” and “lame”. They also say his beard is “shit”. Boyle’s feelings are so hurt he fires himself into space while sobbing. The earth is saved. Hooray for James Arthur!

The Supervillain Route
The Supervillain Route
The Supervillain Route
 
The Supervillain Route

Yeah, like the other one, only evil. James decided he is sick of breathing through his nose and mouth like an idiot and instead puts a sinister mask on and starts speaking all mangled and Irish. Using the pure power of his 1.2 million-strong army of Twitter fans, James decides to pack in the pop game to instead hold the town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea hostage. “I wanted to use the power of my fans for evil,” he later tells the Daily Mail. “We go around puttting cats in trees and that.” They also say Frankie Boyle’s beard is “shit”. Boo for James Arthur!

 
 

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