After returning for what seems like the 3000th (ok, 10th) series this years X Factor is fast becoming a shadow of its former self. While the new series’ may be enough to keep the younger viewing generation happy, a longtime X Factor fan like myself is rapidly picking fault and losing patience with every judges war and subsequent line up change.
The reasoning? It’s too polished and it’s too predictable.
The aesthetics and performances of the newer seasons seem to have undergone some Hollywood style makeover where instead of standing on stage with nothing but their voice and their ambition (#deep) acts have full on Lady Gaga or Beyonce style performance productions, are styled within an inch of their lives and stripped of the originality they entered the show with and there’s always some kind of “dramatic twist” (I use the ” ” ironically, they’re not dramatic at all).
“Shock factors” such as acts leaving the show for “medical reasons” or being kicked off because of some controversy or another have begun to wear thin and by this point in time the whole premise of the show seems to be badly written by a The Only Way is Essex scriptwriter. Each series it seems more and more as though the contestants are typecast and all press, VT’s and performances are edited to lend a character role.
Want some examples?
The Sob Story: someones dad died, their grandad died, they live in care, they live in a council house, they’re a bin ban, their fish died – I’m not completely heartless – I feel for them, I really do, but sobbing on my TV is only going to put a dampener on my Saturday night and knock the shine off my Chinese takeaway. If I wanted tears I’d be watching The Green Mile or Pearl Harbour. We all have a story, just bloody sing already.
Andy Abraham, Daniel Evans, Rachel Hylton, Misha B, Jahmene Douglas
The Come Back Kid: Abi Alton…. the one who’s a shoe in to win, they show so much promise and over a couple of weeks they have a few iffy performances and the panel turn against the. It looks like its all over for our promising little popstrel. AND THEN, the following week there’s a VT where their mentor shows concern that they’ve “lost who they are” and we “need to go back to basics”. There’s sobbing, some hugging, a playback of their original audition and then in their performance they “pull it out the bag” and there’s a standing ovation. Yawn.
Diana Vickers, Amelia Lily, Sophie Habibis
The Villain: Tamera Foster….. On paper, she’s the perfect popstrel, young, beautiful, “current”. She has the voice and seemingly everything to follow in the likes of Alexandra and Leona’s footsteps…. but she forgets the lyrics and thus causes uproar when other acts are going home when she can’t even seem to master the basics of being a singer (y’know, being able to sing an entire song without messing up.) Yes, Tamera is 16 and she’s talented and I’ve no doubt she’s a lovely girl, but the british public need a bad guy to boo and lay the blame with when their favourite act is going home. & they sell papers.
Wagner, Jedward, Christopher Maloney, Rylan, Kitty Brucknell
The Girl/Boy Next Door: Sam Bailey…. the British public seem to think when it comes to voting they should vote for is the contestant they “can relate to” most. For the British public that person is usually someone they imagine seeing downthe local shop or at the bingo. The only problem with this is that 9 times out of 10 the woman from the local shop isn’t really going to the je ne sais quoi it takes to be a popstar. It’s called the X Factor, not the Zzzz Factor – After all, you could never imagine bumping into Kanye or Lady Gaga buying Jaffa Cakes in the Co Op.
Steve Brookstein, Joe McElderry, Leon Jackson, Mary Byrne
The SHOCK ELIMINATION: Hannah Barrett…. we saw Nicole on Sunday night’s result show gritting her teeth and getting pissed/disappointed at the British public for voting out “her girl” Hannah Barrett (“even though she didn’t forget her lyrics” – GOOD CALL LOUIS). Every year there’s a travesty case, where one of the “favourites” gets eliminated and my Facebook feed fills with “ITS A FARSE I’M NOT WATCHING IT ANYMORE” type posts. By the following week the same people completely forget about said travesty and are mostly likely pointing the finger at the villain again. The only exception of a “gone in 60 seconds X Factor travesty” is Gamu. Nuff said.
Laura White, Ella Henderson, Aiden Grimshaw
….Yet here I am writing about it, talking about it, Googling and Wikipedia-ing contestant names and in turn YouTubing some classic (and not so classic) performances. I’ll hate myself for it, but on Saturday and Sunday I’ll be watching, declaring my love for Sharon, wanting to gag Nicole, tutting at my TV, rolling my eyes and uttering “I told you that would happen!” at my dog whilst he licks his balls and subsequently coughs up a hair ball. All whilst Simon Cowell lines his pockets.
That’s entertainment folks.