All good things come to an end is what they say and at the weekend it seems that the X Factor may have found itself in the last chance saloon. The problem it is facing is that the competition has become a lighter shade of beige, with Fleur East the only entertainer left in the process. Has the X Factor lost its mojo?
The best starting point is the Oxford English Dictionary and the definition of the show's title. Here you will find that the 'X Factor' is "a noteworthy special talent or quality". It is without doubt that there are some talented singers left in the competition but are they 'special talents' that are 'noteworthy'.
You can trial the definition by adapting their example sentence of 'there are plenty of luxury cars around, but the S-Type has that special X factor'. If you were to make it 'there are plenty of great rock singers around but Ben Haenow has that special X factor', would you be readily agreeing with this statement?
It is probably unfair to single out Ben but there seems a malaise that has descended like a moor fog over the series as a whole. There is a sense of Déjà vu every Saturday night that could end up being terminal for the programme.
There are the legions of critics out there that knock the likes of X Factor from day one but I feel there should be the benefit of the doubt afforded before steaming in with the size nines. The problem is that sometimes the show doesn't do itself any favours.
Stevi Ritchie was pilloried for his performances but at least he brought a break from monotony. Now there is only Fleur East that looks to put on a show as the other singers are routed to the spot, which was exaggerated by the eight piece boy band Stereo Kicks as they stretched across the stage in a line that looked like a curtain call at the end of a theatre production.
Of course a variety of song would help but even here we are treated to ballads and tunes that require warbling of the highest order. One act is fine, two maybe bearable but does everyone have to go down the same road?
The judges are equally culpable for what we are witnessing. Critiques are becoming too staid, too easy to cut and paste week after week to each contestant's performance. It seems that Louis Walsh is disregarding what he has just watched to shout out a pre-prepared assessment of the singer before him whilst Mel B says "smashed it" so many times that you wonder if anything will be left of the set by the time she's finished.
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell are both looking like they are finding it difficult to keep their interest in the remainder of the competition and if there isn't enough magic and sparkle in the studio then how are the viewers meant to stay engaged as they sit on their sofas.
The show has definitely suffered from its own hype this time around. It arrives full of bluster and tragic auditions that provokes opinion and laughter in equal measures. The sing-offs for places in the live shows has drama that is then unmatched when they sing every Saturday night for our votes.
It feels that the show needed Stevi Ritchie as he brought the life that kept us tuned in but now its purely down to the voice, does anyone really care anymore?
What we know now is that one of the remaining four singers (or possibly all of them) will become a major pop superstar, so one must hope that they have had some time with a choreographer so that before we reach the grand final, there will be something worth watching as if they cannot entertain for four minutes then how will they enthral an audience over ninety minutes at Wembley Arena when they arrive there on a headline tour
We all have an opinion on reality TV shows and they are now a staple of our viewing diet but the show's producers have got to be careful that they don't starve us. If this singing competition loses its 'X Factor' then it will lose its audience and this series has played too fast and too loose with its programme title.