Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

This year The X Factor has allowed the contestants’ performances to appear in the iTunes chart. They have been available to download on iTunes for a few years, but now we know which performances are most popular with the music-buying public. That’s a different demographic to the X Factor voters, but I hope it will encourage the producers and judges to give the artists who prove they can sell records more support on the show. Two weeks in, Lauren Platt already has two iTunes top 20 hits under her belt, which must be enough to earn her some preferential treatment and, if her popularity continues, a record deal. It will be totally deserved too. She has only sung ballads so far, but effortlessly made them cool and current. She has a strong pop voice and always looks cute. With 12 contestants left, this post might seem a bit premature, but I think Lauren’s as sure to be a hit as anyone else I’d feature in Future Pop.