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Derek McGovern: RACE FACTOR.

Byline: Derek McGovern

THERE'S a singer so superior in The X-Factor that he should be something like 1-2 favourite. He's 3-1. Wanna know why? He's black.

Racism thrives in Britain - you have only to study the results of TV talent/reality shows on which the public vote.

Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, Pop Idol, Fame Academy, I'm A Celebrity, The X-Factor - there has never been a single black winner.

The candidates have often been outstanding - like Lemar in Fame Academy and like Kwame in the celebrity version - but punters have learned that the surest way of losing money is to back a black contestant or housemate.

Bookies will never admit it but I'm told by a reliable source that a candidate's skin colour is heavily factored into the odds.

Andy is head and shoulders above the rest in the current series of The X-Factor, yet he's available at 3-1. The reason? Bookies want to take as much money as they can for him because they know he can't win.

Instead the hot favourite at 5-4 is Shayne, a (very) poor man's Justin Timberlake. He doesn't have the voice of Andy. Nor the charisma. Nor anywhere near the talent. But he has a huge advantage where these shows are concerned. He's white.

Look at Maria, evicted last week. A natural stunner with a voice not far behind, she was inexplicably voted into the bottom two by the public and then kicked off after a disgraceful show of partisanship towards Irish compatriots by judge Louis Walsh.

Do you think black Maria would have walked if she were white? I'll give you a clue - NO.

In a society in which we're told all races are equal - apart from the egg and spoon race, which is just silly - it seems any skin shade deeper than tan is a turn-off.

Remember Javine on Pop Stars a few years ago? Different class she was. At one stage bookies - before they cottoned on to the disturbing anti-black trend - made her a 40-1 ON chance to win a place in the then fledgling group Girls Aloud. But in a result far more controversial than even Maria's eviction last week, Javine was Girl Alone, with blonde minx Sarah Harding getting her place.

Lemar is now a top-selling artist yet he was beaten to first place in the first Fame Academy series by a bloke called David Sneddon (white, naturally).

That result was so ridiculous that the verb 'to sneddon' should now be in the thesaurus as an alternative to 'to discriminate'. Countless black Big Brother housemates have been sneddoned too. It's got to the stage where the new series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, which starts tomorrow, does not have a single black contestant.

Of course I might be wrong. It might be that none of the black contestants was good enough.

It might even be that David Sneddon sings better than Lemar. Or that Sarah Harding carries a tune better than Javine. Or that Shayne outshines Andy.

You might believe all of that. And if you do, I bet you've never imagined for one single moment that God might be a black man.

Betting (Hills): 11-10 Shayne, 3-1 Andy, 7-2 Journey South, 7-1 Brenda, 20-1 Nicholas, 20-1 Chico, 66-1 Conway Sisters.

Tonight's Eviction: 8-13 Conway Sisters, 5-2 Nicholas, 9-2 Chico, 14-1 Brenda, 33-1 Journey South, 40-1 Andy, 66-1 Shayne.

CAPTION(S):

ON SONG: Andy Abraham; UNLUCKY: Maria Lawson; CLASS ACT: Javine
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2005
Words:577
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