I hate X Factor. I make no secret of it. It infuriates, upsets and troubles me. It's like a manipulative ex who the rest of the family love but whom was actually inherently mad, bad and dangerous to know.
X Factor has wormed its way into the nations psyche, sat down next to them on the sofa, drank all of their tea, eaten all of their biscuits and is slowly melting their brains.
For me it doesn't represent the building of hopes and of dreams realised, it represents 'Broken Britain', imagined emotion and mass hysteria. I liken X Factor to the public executions of the Tudor age. A time when the working man and underclass stood out in the street and threw eggs and buckets of excrement at whomever was being hung drawn or quartered that day. It was an age when anyone was ripe for the block, be they commoner or queen, and it's the same game of public humiliation being played out on our television screens every weekend from now up until Christmas. We've got a front row view to the trail and vilification of any person we take a dislike to, the only difference being no one actually loses their head. Just their dignity, any trace of personality and ultimately their mind.
I watched last week's show under sufferance but also because I wanted to to see why so many people had decided Rylan Clark was the new joke in town. Old King Cowell had found himself another jester and the whole court had come to town to see if this one was going to get the hook or the ovation. Unfortunately Rylan Clark quickly proved that he was only 1/4 jester but 3/4 queen and the paying public couldn't decide if they wanted to turn off or get turned on by him. Once again X Factor gets a lightning rod to poke around in peoples disgust, fascination and insatiable appetite for camp, Rylan Clark gets his 15 minutes of fame and Simon Cowell gets another queen for the court... until he decides it's "off with her head" and poor Rylan goes back to being the male version of Katie Price.
X Factor has become staid and predictable, it's shock value isn't in any amount of talent it ultimately discovers, it's in its ability to vilify and create figures that the public can alternately love, hate or laugh at. Its contestants are no longer to be admired or looked up to, it's not about their struggle to sing or a wish to convey any message of hope, it's all about who can escape the drudgery of the kitchen sink or the council estate fastest. It's a roller coaster ride from pleb to personality and we're all sat watching and screaming with our hands in the air.
The judges themselves couldn't be a more insincere crew. There's Louis, a man so fixated on boy bands that he should have a job in the catholic church, Tulisa, a girl who actually manages to make Cheryl Cole look classy, Nicole with a voice and a manner so "little girl lost" she could be Michael Jackson and Gary Barlow, a man for whom the colour grey was invented.
These are the people we trust in delivering to us our stars and heroes? I read an article that stated in Detroit in the 1960s the only way for a youth from an under privileged background to succeed was to either become a singer and make for Motown or become a boxer and head for the boxing ring. Well, this isn't the 1960s and we're not living in Detroit and Simon Cowell is certainly no Berry Gordy.
I like my stars and voices served up the old fashioned way, with integrity and talent and with career longevity. I don't need to vote by phone for my next musical icon or the newest demanding diva and I don't need to show my dislike for someone by not bothering to dial their number. Stars make themselves and when the public try to do it, it never works. If X Factor has shown us anything, it proves we mostly go for whatever personality the press has told us to.
I think the death knell for the TV talent show will soon be rung and I'll be the first in line with my eggs and my bucket of excrement, and finally, I'll get to put the 'ex' in X Factor.
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