I'm not going to lie to you. For a long time now, I've been thinking... I have a problem. There's no coming back from it. It's hereditary and I just have to try and get on with it as best I can. I was born with an unfortunate predisposition towards... crying. I think, like being scared of spiders, this is learned behaviour (thanks, mum) but unfortunately, it seems to be extremely difficult to unlearn it. The smallest thing will set me off. Obviously it depends on the sadness of the subject (and the level of my hangover - one particularly spectacular morning after, a six year old episode of Wife Swap USA yielded some serious tears), but honestly? Pretty much anything can set me a-weeping. I spent the best part of last Hallowe'en sobbing because at the end of Red Dragon, to get out of a pair of handcuffs, Hannibal cut off his own hand and spared Clarice's. I'm a wreck. It's disgusting.
Imagine, then, my complete and utter dismay when I heard Adele's honeyed, velvet voice singing the first line of 'Someone Like You' at the BRIT awards . Oh God, I thought, oh NO, not - too late. Like the fabled boy who provided the inspiration for the Fugees' 'Killing Me Softly', Adele spoke for every girl whose boyfriend ever dumped her, and I was a mess. The sight of her, so controlled, but for a break in her voice and one lone tear, glistening, at the very end of her performance, as glitter fell all around her, was incredible. I read Ian Wade's review of the album the next day on the BBC's website. 'Someone like you,' Wade wrote, 'is an actual thing of beauty.' Yes, I nodded. And then he continued, hitting the nail on its unfortunate head. 'You can imagine it being honked through by talent show contestants...' Oh no, I thought. I can. He's right.
There are some songs that, once sung by one person, should probably never be attempted by anyone else ever again. Adele's 'Someone Like You' slots effortlessly into this category. Upon hearing it, the first thing most people probably think is 'well. I bet he feels like a dick.' Which is exactly the point. Adele wrote that song, and although we can all identify with it, she sings it with the knowledge of what she felt when she went through her break up. No warbling sixteen year old who thinks they know what it's like to have their heart stamped on is ever going to match the bitter ache of desperation that she manages to convey with every beautiful syllable because they don't know. They weren't there. Unfortunately, a few glimpsed moments of this year's X Factor have proven Wade absolutely right, to the point that even I, Queen of Sobbing, have become desensitized to the whole thing.
So has Gary Barlow. Poor Adele is slated by Barlow because week after miserable week, hoardes of whinging children trot up to the X Factor stage, hoping for their great big break, flanked by a group of terminally ill relatives or bearing a story about their parents messy divorce, slurring their way through her masterpiece to a tearful standing ovation from the thousands-strong audience and Kelly Rowland. I think its disgusting. So disgusting, in fact, that I am no longer prone to crying when I hear this song. Rather, I'm completely immune to the whole affair. Maybe I've found a miraculous cure for my over-sensitivity. Big up Simon Cowell.
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