20 October 2008

X-Factor, bam bam bam, bam bam ba naaa naaa

I do love the X-Factor, despite it being the epitome of trash TV. I've gone off some things like Big Brother, but I still really get into X-Factor. I think it's the act of choosing your favourite from a selection that does it for me, a bit like Pokémon. The fact that they sometimes have a good looking boy or two doesn't hurt either (Austin and Scott are best this year).

Dannii Minogue never ceases to surprise, with her bizarre slitty nostrils and the insane way she squawks "hot hot hot, extra jalapeño, I want what she's having, etc" after her acts perform. I was quite shocked this week by how much she looked like a sex doll though - was that the look she was going for?

This week's episode carried the normal amount of disappointment that the really really poor acts still somehow managed to get through. I'm thinking particularly of Daniel "corpse for a wife" Evans. What is he still doing there? He has no sex appeal at all, his voice is mediocre, and no-one would buy his records other than post-menopausal old biddies who think he looks like "a nice boy". He only got through, and has only survived this far, on the basis of him milking his dead wife like a prize Fresian. The only way he could have drawn more attention to it in his audition would have been to skid into the room riding her decomposing carcass like a sled. He needs to go, and he needs to go soon; you can't get rid of perfectly good acts and retain his sweaty fat-cheeked pudginess in their place, it's just not fair.

I thought the coaching that Rachel has undergone was very obvious too. They know she's got a big mouth on her and that she didn't take criticism well in the auditions, and so she has clearly been drilled to respond to every comment by saying "thank you, it's been taken on board" incessantly like a parrot with an inferiority complex.

I'm also still quite surprised by the delusions that X-Factor contestants maintain. To be clear - winning the X-Factor is not going to make you a pop star. Not a proper one. It makes you an X-Factor winner who will have a Christmas number 1 and if they're lucky one or two more singles before the record label, and the public, lose interest. Leona Lewis has done reasonably well, but she's an unusually good winner. Do they not remember what happened to all the other winners? Steve Brookstein was appalling and got dropped really quickly. Shayne Ward seemed to have potential, but is still relatively obscure three years after he won. Leona is fine, if a little sickly, and might carry on for a while. And Leon has had what, two singles? I can't name them, even the X-Factor winning number 1 from last year. He'll disappear fairly soon too. And yet the contestants still believe this is going to propell them to world fame. No, it won't. You'll get to have a couple of hits, and be part of the X-Factor tour. That's fine, but don't expect much more. And then once you've been dropped you've got to go back to the real world and try to get a normal job, and feel embarrassed that you're working in an office again.

An additional odd delusion is the one touted by parents on the X-Factor that they want to "win for a better life for their children". Hmmm, apart from saying it for the obvious milking of the wee children, how exactly do they this is going happen? Being away from home, touring and performing, particularly for those that are single parents, is not in my opinion going to improve their children's lives. Yes they might have more money, but I think their children would rather have a parent than a weekly maintenance cheque.

This concludes my X-Factor rant. It wasn't meant to be a rant, I intended to write how much I like it. And despite the apparent evidence to the contrary, I do love it, I do watch religiously, and I'm sure I'll have voted more than once before the series is out. Shouting at the screen is just part of the fun.

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