The X Factor began its semi-final process last night, and amid all the trials, tribulations and high-energy performances there was also a guest appearance from a former winner – 2012 champion James Arthur, who was there to sing his brand-new single Naked.
— James Arthur (@JamesArthur23) November 26, 2017
But soon his appearance had many people asking one question – was he really there at all? Because while the X Factor live shows are, ahem, recorded live (phone votes would be a bit of a waste otherwise, eh?) some eagled-eyed viewers noticed that Arthur was also playing a gig that night somewhere else – the Genting Arena in Birmingham, where he was performing the latest leg of his nationwide tour at around the same time the X Factor was on TV.
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Given that the 105-mile journey between The X Factor studios and the Arena would take a good hour and 45 minutes by car, it was clear that Arthur couldn’t have pulled off the double appearance if everything was as it seemed, so viewers quickly began calling foul play.
— David Leatham (@davidleatham) November 25, 2017
How’s James Arthur on the X factor when I’m sat in Birmingham genting arena waiting for him to come on stage ???? #thexfactor
— Beth (@bethanlouux) November 25, 2017
Someone explain to me how X factor can be live and james Arthur is performing when his in Birmingham tonight
— Hayley (@Hayley_p25) November 25, 2017
How can James Arthur be on tour in Birmingham touring and also be preforming live on the xfactor?? ????
— Becca (@GrewcockRebecca) November 25, 2017
To whoever’s heading to James Arthur’s concert in Birmingham due on at 9pm…..he might be bit late sorry guys ? #XFactor
— Róisin (@roisinh_) November 25, 2017
How has James Arthur just performed on the "live X Factor but is also on stage at the LG ARENA in Birmingham!!
— Simon (@batchelorsa) November 25, 2017
James Arthur’s performance not completely live then? He has a tour date in Birmingham tonight? #XFactor
— Nick (@imnickbarnes) November 25, 2017
— Kimara (@kimavfc) November 25, 2017
— abbie (@abs_rufc) November 25, 2017
Confusing stuff – but when spelled out, the truth is actually fairly simple. While the majority of the X Factor studio shows are live, Arthur’s performance was actually recorded a little earlier to fit in with his schedule, then slotted in seamlessly with the main X Factor broadcast.
Still, we can understand all the hoo-ha; the whole thing did leave us scratching our collective RadioTimes.com heads for a while too. But for James Arthur, NOTHING is impossible.
The X Factor continues on ITV tonight (Sunday 26th November) at 7.30pm