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    Coldplay on X Factor preview: will we see Charlie Brown and flashing wristbands in front of 17m viewers?

    xfactor2011.pngUPDATE: Coldplay performed Charlie Brown and Paradise on the X Factor towards the end of the show - and 'Chris Martin', #coldplay and 'Guy Berryman' all trended worldwide on Twitter! Let us know what you thought of the performance at the messageboard now! (42 pages of discussion so far and growing!)


    Coldplay were reportedly asked to duet with an X Factor contestant at this weekend's final, but turned the offer down, according to reports published in the lead up to this weekend's two final shows. The move is apparently what led to judges Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos being asked to sing with their acts instead. [You can join in the full discission on Coldplay's performance tonight on the X Factor at the Coldplay forum now - 11 pages already!]


    STV reports that, though the band had initially agreed to join forces with Janet Devlin, her elimination left them unwilling to perform with anyone else. Chris Martin spoke of his praise for the show last week, telling Absolute Radio: "We really feel grateful for it because they don't often have bands on, and we get to play what we want to play and play songs that we wrote, and no-one's asking us to change anything. It's amazing. There's no other TV show, really, except for Jools Holland, that gives you that."


    Now that we know Coldplay will be appearing on their own, we will be hoping for a performance of Charlie Brown complete with flashing wristbands for the entire audience at Wembley Arena. Coldplay are joined on the bill for the Wembley Arena finale by Michael Buble, One Direction, JLS, Leona Lewis and Westlife.

    Meanwhile, ITV bosses will be keeping their fingers crossed for a ratings boost with The X Factor final after audiences took a huge tumble this year, that is according to The Mirror this weekend. The change of judging panel and a line-up of performers which many critics thought was lacklustre have seemingly conspired to cause viewers to plummet.


    Last Saturday's semi-final saw the average audience more than three million down on 2010, while the peak audience was four million fewer. The higher stakes of a spectacular final - plus performances from stars such as Coldplay, Leona Lewis and One Direction - could go some way to bring the show on track at the weekend. But it will have to go some to beat last year's final ratings with an average 14 million watching the Saturday show and 17.2 million watching the Sunday finale (peaking at 19.4 million). In contrast, last weekend's two shows drew audiences of 10.6 million and 11.9 million. Although still respectable in terms of terrestrial ratings, those figures will be seen as a disappointment. For many years the show seemed unstoppable, getting bigger each year, and building throughout each series.


    But 2011 has seen the average audience barely budge on Saturday nights, hovering around the 10.5 million mark. Sundays have fared better with the added drama of a sing-off and a big name act. But the Saturday night woes have been exacerbated by a swell of support for BBC1 rival Strictly Come Dancing, which has had a resurgence this year. Strictly has beaten X Factor not only when they overlapped on occasion, but also outright in some weeks as the ITV1 show stalled.


    Even the show's spats and scandals, which included a bust-up between judges Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland, as well as the axing of contestant Frankie Cocozza for boasting about his drug use have not delivered extra viewers.


    the appearance of Coldplay will be a welcome relief for Record Labels at least, as it has been reported by Unreality TV that some labels have complained to Ofcom over the repetitive X Factor guest stars. According to the Guardian, music industry insiders have hit out at the continual appearance of former X Factor contestants and related acts on the show.


    This weekend’s final will see the return of former X Factor finalists Leona Lewis and JLS, as well as One Direction, who have appeared on this series FOUR times. Michael Buble, who has made appearances almost every year, will also be back again, together with Westlife once more. Only Coldplay have no previous connection to the show, making their debut on the programme this evening.


    A source moaned: "The X Factor final should feature the biggest acts in the world. Leona Lewis is already frankly on the way down. JLS and One Direction have already been on this series, and you have to question the choice of Westlife."


    However Syco hit back at the complaints, pointing out that three of the judges – Gary Barlow, Tulisa and Kelly Rowland – were all signed to Universal. They also revealed that the Universal label will have accounted for 13 of the performances, compared to Sony – who own the X Factor format and Syco label – accounting for 10. An X Factor spokesman said: "The X Factor ensures acts from a range of labels appear on the series so one label is not favoured over another."


    Read also: ITV: Coldplay confirmed to perform on X Factor Final on Sunday 11th December at Wembley Arena

    Read also: Coldplay's Chris Martin: 'X Factor is important for music industry'

    Read also: Coldplay Live Reviews, Photos and Setlist - O2 Arena, London, UK (9th December 2011)


    New photos of Coldplay at the MEN Arena, Manchester, UK (4th December 2011):


















    More photos courtesy of PGMorris @ Flickr (Click for more!)


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    Kit yourself up for the forthcoming MX tour and get spotted with Coldplaying's new range of merchandise! [click on the items for the full shop]


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    The new range of Coldplaying merchanise (unofficial of course to the official shop) has hit our stores, with our biggest range of goods so far. Prices are as low as they can be for a Cafepress shop so more people will be able to afford them. We don't take any profits for the sale of the merchandise as a result. Take a browse in one of the online stores nearest to you: UK | US | Canada | Australia | European (shipping is worldwide, but you can choose what currency to pay in) - simply alter the country dropdown menu at the top of the shop page. [thanks to TracieMorgan and zzz]


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