Having been predicting the fate of reality telly contestants for close to five years, Dean 'Midas' Maynard is said to have "the Midas touch", with his support of a contestant turning their luck around. We caught up with the man himself ahead of this year's show to chat about his work and his apparent physic abilities!
Last year Dean predicted it would be Liam Payne who would go on to win The X Factor, a prediction made just after the show's audition stages. While Liam didn't win, his group One Direction did make the final of the show and ended up in third place. Not a bad outcome for Dean's prediction which was made six months earlier before even the bootcamp had started! We had a quick Q&A with Dean about his work...
So Dean, how did you get into predicting the outcome of Reality TV shows?
After years of making correct predictions on various shows, I decided to make my first ever public Reality TV prediction back in 2006 on the X-Factor and I predicted Leona Lewis would win from her very first audition.
What do your friends and family think of your apparent psychic ability?
I am very lucky to have a very supportive family and a good bunch of friends who respect what I do and always get behind me and the act I have chosen to support.
Massive thanks at this point must go to Debs Moyce, my assistant, for invaluable help.
What do you feel it is that attracts you to a particular contestant – is it their talents, their personality, just a feeling or something more?
It's a combination of gut instinct and intuition. I just get drawn to certain act or band and once I get 'that feeling' they are the act I go with.
In 2008 I learnt a very valuable lesson... Stay with my first gut instinct. My original Midas choice for 2008's X-Factor was Alexandra Burke but I changed my mind, and at the end of the audition shows when my pick was due, I went for Laura White instead... the rest as they say is history.
Over the years spent predicting for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent you’ve met quite a varied bunch of acts, who has the been the most memorable and why?
I have been very lucky to work with some lovely, friendly and talented people (Chico, Journey South, Escala etc etc) and I am forever grateful when they let me support them on their journey but one sticks out more than any other.
I will never forget Niki Evans allowing me to support her during 2007's X-Factor, she was the first act to 'open the door' and let me officially back them and for that I will be eternally grateful to her.
Your predictions often garner a lot of press and your ‘Midas touch’ is said to help contestants, so do you ever feel under pressure when making your predictions?
It's very stressful at times, especially now my reputation and record has grown, I also think that It’s a two way street because I rely on my 'Midas' acts natural talent and they rely on my nonstop positive support, during & after the show they are on, has finished.
Do you think it will help a contestant if they find out you’re backing them?
During BBC's Over the Rainbow I backed Sophie Evans and early on in the live shows she found herself in the bottom 2, she survived and a member of her family said to me the next day that they knew she was not going to get voted off because I was supporting her. That for me is a huge compliment and something I will never forget.
It’s fair to say you’re not always right, how does it feel when an act you’ve backed gets knocked out early, such as Laura on The X Factor in 2008?
The Laura White prediction for me was more painful because I had originally picked the winner (see above) but one thing I have been lucky with is that even when my acts don't win they still go on and have a great career and achieve their dreams.
Last year you predicted Liam Payne would win way back at the auditions and you came pretty close, with One Direction finally finishing in third place. What do you think went wrong with One Direction for them to miss out in the final?
I thought the lads did very very well and with all due respect to the other acts from previous years X-Factor's, I think One Direction are going to be the biggest band in the history of the show. Their first number one of many is just around the corner.
With regards to One Direction I must thank Paul Bailey for allowing me to support the lads, Paul is Liam Payne's manager and he deserves a lot of praise for his work with Liam over the past few years.
Clearly you have a great knack for spotting stars, so what do you think it is that makes a good X Factor contestant? Any audition tips for this year’s wannabes?
Talent is the obvious one that the judges will be looking for but likeability is a major plus in my books, you can have all the talent in the World but if the voting public don't warm to you then you have no chance of winning.
It’s not only reality shows you’re good at predicting though Dean, tell us a bit about what else you have predicted over the past few years? What do you think has been your greatest prediction?
I have backed a lot of football teams over the years but apart from the reality TV stuff I am also well know for my predictions with the grand national. In fact I am still unbeaten in 4 years against a team of professional tipsters at the race.
Any other business Dean?
I have to give a massive thank you to Simon Cowell, without his shows I would not have had the career I have now. His brother Tony is also a top bloke.
You can find out more about Dean and his predictions on his official website at www.deanmidasmaynard.com