Remember Gareth Gates? Sure you do – as well as being the runner-up in the first series of Pop Idol, Gareth Gates was also the subject of the joke about the boy who went to a shop for a Mars Bar and came out an hour later with 50 packs of M&Ms.
Most of us had happily filed Gareth Gates away with Bubble from Big Brother, the woman who had sex in a tree from Survivor and that constantly furious man from the first series of The Apprentice in a drawer marked 'reality show hasbeens'. But no! It takes more than not selling any copies of a ridiculously over-ambitious second (double) album, lurid stories about personal lives and generally being seen by everyone as a bit of a nobsack to kill Gareth Gates – as the new Gareth Gates documentary series is hoping to prove.
Gareth Gates shot to fame in 2002 thanks to Pop Idol and Simon Cowell. The image of the cherub-faced, spiky-haired boy only able to conquer his chronic stuttering by singing old Westlife songs at Dr Fox inspired deep love and deep nausea in equal measure. Such was the power of little stuttering Gareth Gates' appeal that he almost won the first series of Pop Idol, and only failed to because of an organised protest vote for his fellow Pop Idol finalist Will Young, even through he was a big-chinned drug-taking posho who wanted to be Jamiroquai more than anything else on earth. We've paid the price now – Will Young is properly famous – but imagine how bad things would be if Gareth Gates won.
As Pop Idol runner-up, Gareth Gates got to sing Unchained Melody – and sell 1.3 million copies of the single – before slipping away into obscurity thanks to a succession of dreadful cover versions, badly thought-out second albums and all sorts of tabloid headlines about sleeping with giganto-bazzered pikey model Jordan. Well, start forgetting that you ever forgot Gareth Gates – this time his comeback is real, and horribly ubiquitous-sounding. According to BBC News:
Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates is to feature in an ITV1 documentary about his short-lived spell in the spotlight as he prepares a comeback album… Gates said: "The past five years have been a rollercoaster. I hope this gives people a chance to see the real me… An ITV1 spokesman said: "This prime-time footage will show the impacts and consequences that fame thrusts upon artists hoping to survive successfully within the pressures of the music industry, and will also showcase some of Gareth's new music as he prepares to re-launch back into the spotlight to do what he loves most."
Can you see a pattern here? When Westlife were popular, Gareth Gates released a bunch of Westlife-sounding sounding, then his second album sounded like Justin Timberlake because it came out when Justin Timberlake was famous, then a McFly-style comeback was briefly discussed last year when everyone liked McFly, and now Gareth Gates is going to be a singer songwriter like James Blunt and Paulo Nutini and all those other dreadful wankers who are selling a lot of records at the moment.
Maybe, if we all group together and act quickly enough, we can send the constantly bandwagon-jumping Gareth Gates a bunch of memos telling him that the big sound of 2007 will be Sri Lankan bucketfart-hop and that he should push out an album as fast as he can. That way, at least this new Gareth Gates TV show will be vaguely interesting.
[story by Stuart Heritage]