THE BLOG

Is 'Strictly' the Only Talent Show With the 'X Factor'?

17/12/2014 13:11 GMT | Updated 16/02/2015 10:59 GMT

'Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house, not a person was stirring ... because they had talent show fatigue. Yes, it seems that television executives think that all we want for Christmas is a healthy dose of reality shows that give us the opportunity to reach for the phone and make sure someone's dream can be shattered in time for the festivities to begin.

The programme that has made the most noise is obviously the X Factor. It has made it a tradition to launch a new pop star up the charts to grapple for the prestigious Christmas number one spot but it seems that the viewers have thought that ten years of this process is quite enough.

Viewing figures have been in steady decline for the singing show and the final saw it's lowest peak for a decade as the only contestant to claim to have the 'X Factor' in Fleur East, managed to lose out on the top prize to former van driver Ben Haenow.

A good singer without doubt but there is only so much of watching someone standing there in a leather jacket whilst crooning in a gruff faux-rock voice that any viewer can take.

Even ITV's annual visit to the jungle in 'I'm a Celebrity' proved to be a bit of a damp squib as we were bought rather too much of the mundanities of being bored in the company of fellow 'celebrities'.

There were obviously moments that tried to break the shackles of everyone getting on too well, especially when Kendra Wilkinson and Edwina Currie came in to close proximity but now, a couple of weeks after it finished, can you honestly name more than five highlights from the programme?

So this has left BBC to carry the flag for reality shows as Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice bring us our weekly fix of blood, sweat and turmoil.

The Apprentice has left Lord Sugar in a cold sweat as he tries to whittle down a group of candidates that has taken the phrase 'business acumen' to new lows. The fact that these are all entrepreneurs in their own right with 'successful' businesses is an amazement in itself, especially when they show a lack of common sense and a failure to navigate a Yellow Pages.

There must have been too many occasions when Sugar sat before them and thought, 'tell you what, just all go home, I'll keep my money for next year'.

It is with great relief then that Strictly Come Dancing has had one of its best series so far. The glitz and glamour of the ballroom has hit new heights of skill and presentation and as it reaches its conclusion, there are a number of celebrities that could be crowned Strictly Champion for 2014.

The differences between X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing couldn't be more polarised. From judges to the acts themselves, there has only been one show that has kept the bar high and the viewers tuning in week on week.

There were too many occasions during the X Factor that it seemed that everyone involved in the show had become tired of the process. It seemed that only Fleur East really grew as a performer with far too many plateauing but at a level which didn't bring a spark that would ignite something memorable or even worth critiquing.

Strictly Come Dancing on the other hand can bring a genuine journey to the viewers as the likes of Mark Wright and Simon Webbe have gone from fitting shoes to two left feet to being in the final as they show such a level of improvement, they give hope to all dad dancers across the nation.

It is no wonder that the judges have something to be excited about. Bruno Tonioli jumping around with thrusting hips as he enthuses with such genuine passion about what he just witnessed is such a contrast to hearing Louis Walsh give his seemingly typical, pre-prepared assessment that can be read across from act to act, series to series.

Being constantly told by Mel B that they'd 'smashed it' or being fed the fact that we have witnessed a star being born seems to pale in to insignificance to the judgements given by Len Goodman and his gang, as you feel that they've actually watched what was being performed.

What Strictly Come Dancing has proved is that week after week it can put on a show and that the contestants can improve and are not one trick ponies that are hoping a healthy Twitter following and good looks can project them to the title.

There will be glitz and glamour in the final of Strictly and for those that tune in will be left in no doubt which TV talent show can lay claim to having the 'X Factor'.