Over the years, The X Factor has quite deservedly come up against its fair share of criticism.
Being part of the music industry, it is with some pleasure I witness the stringent eye being cast upon viewing figures as each new crop of hopefuls await a media battering and the buzzing world of social media braces itself for a whole fresh batch of unflattering trends. But whilst the wheels of the reality TV machine may expect a few hashtagged hiccups, it's probably safe to say that it wasn't quite prepared for a much larger spanner hitting the works... as in a rather unexpected turn of events, with this series, the reality TV community even seems to be turning in on itself.
Like a climber having to gnaw away at their own gangrenous limb lying trapped beneath an immovable rock, even the people closest to the X Factor family wish to break free from the farce. The current season may appear the same on the surface- life-long dreams, car crash auditionees and 'rollercoaster rides' flowing in abundance... but there's just a little tension beneath the newly veneered smiles. Gary Barlow himself has brandished the show 'a soap opera' following the 'pantomime' antics of fellow judge Louis Walsh, which saw the series' statutory 'shock' act eliminate one of the contestants actually in possession of a voice. With the producers in a meltdown over how to shift ten tonnes of pyrotechnics, glitter puffs and fake tan should insufferable diva Rylan Clark take an early bow; the controversial rescue allowed them to breathe a sigh of relief for the future of their eye-watering notions of prime-time entertainment.
However, many others are most certainly siding with King Barlow. It would seem that most of the nation- or at least the bulk of the Twittersphere- have turned their backs on the once-celebrated power of 'novelty'. It would only take the country's telephone voters to remember the first time they realised how stupid an idea flavoured condoms really are, to come to terms with the fact that 'novelty' is not all it's cracked up to be. Like the bizarre taste of synthetic strawberry and spermicide tingling on the nation's tongue, Britain will soon wake up to the fact that allowing people like Rylan Clark to enter the mainstream consciousness is a terrible idea.
We all know the guy can't sing- from the judges to the poor cow stitching sequins to his next costume. Last week, even ex-Fame Academy vocal coach David Grant slammed the 23-year-old pout-aholic as being nothing but 'unbelievably fame hungry'. The implications of this are, of course, so paradoxical that the world almost fell in on itself... but that doesn't make what he says any less true. Did the offender himself care? Of course not. He was putting all of his efforts into proving just how serious he is about his place on the show by getting himself thrown out of a London hotel. "I was so drunk... the X Factor team warned me not to, but they love it really." Erm... yeah?
Even if we put aside our grumbles with the show itself, since when did it become okay to cheapen music by putting 'artists' like this within such easy reach? Here at Emerging Icons we're well aware of the breadth of true talent this country has to offer. We've discovered thousands of acts who dedicate their lives to writing new, original music. They do everything in their power to get their tunes out there- they tour the gig circuit, rally their fans, play to anyone who will listen... they do everything that all real musicians should do. Should their efforts really be ignored by the nation's media in favour of reality TV's quick-fix attitude and the 'entertaining characters' it produces? Ask any notable figure in the music industry what they think and wait for the venom to fly.
We recently approached Kinks legend Dave Davies with a number of Emerging Icons tracks in tow. It was having heard the talent of some of the artists on our latest release 'Emerging Icons In The Park' that he really let rip into the fraudulent promises of The X Factor. As well as feeling the whole debacle should be banned, he also branded the 'awful' programme as 'demonic' and negative to the natural creative process of young people. With the focus of the show being more on the egos of the judges and the need for good television, he quite rightly highlights the jeopardy of the organic growth that needs to happen in the development of an artist. You can see the full interview as well as some feedback on our talent right here:
It's with Dave's sentiments still resonating with us that we continue to fight for the cause of real music. In an ideal world, we wouldn't have to turn on our television to see tone-deaf individuals karaoke their way through 'Gangnam Style'- it's only a terrifying matter of time until they find an appropriate week for a 'Crazy Frog' cover. We also wouldn't have to witness a vocal talent be put through week after week of singing covers in order to be awarded a high-profile record contract and national recognition. But in lieu of this blissful fantasy, the Emerging Icons message can help guide the way. We celebrate unique artists and serious ambition. We support fresh talent and reward hard work. We offer exposure and promotion to the people that really matter... and all because we love new music.
'Emerging Icons In The Park' is a showcase of just some of the real talent out there to be discovered. A collective work of some of the best unsigned artists this country has to offer, it'll help you rediscover your own passion for new music. Support the musicians who deserve your attention by following this link and buying all 22 tracks for just £4.49. It's definitely a better way of manifesting someone's career than calling up a premium rate phone number. Let us know what you think of the album by commenting below...