Monday, 24 October 2011

The X Factor - so, where is it then?

I'm going to have to stop watching The X Factor for the good of  my health.  You see, I start Saturday evening all calm and relaxed, smiling my way through 'Strictly Come Dancing', wishing I could wear those gorgeous dresses and be swept around the dance floor like a princess, then I switch over and the stress starts!  Gone is the relaxed atmosphere, and so begins 2 hours of me ranting while me blood pressure goes through the roof!

I'm not even sure why I'm watching X Factor in the first place, but it's probably a first class example of me being sucked in by the hype. It happens, I'm quite gullible sometimes, infact, I'd probably be an ideal candidate for a Derren Brown show.
I mean, as far as I'm concerned X Factor stands for everything I hate about music, but then I struggle sometimes with the slight hypocrisy I may be displaying regarding manufactured bands/artists seeing as I'm a bit of a Take That fan and, after all, who else is to blame for the (not altogether welcome) explosion of manufactured boy bands if not those 5 guys from Manchester?  Yeah, it's their fault, as my husband keeps reminding me.  And I can't deny he's maybe just a little bit right.

Take That - to blame for decades of boy band madness?
Anyway, back to the X Factor.  And actually, while we're on the subject of Take That, can I just say that although I'm a Take That fan (a bit of a Take That fan, and not half as bad as I was back in the 90's, ie: my dream of running off with Howard Donald to have his babies and live happily ever after in a semi in Cheshire has long gone, believe me!) Gary Barlow is seriously annoying me since he became Simon Cowell's replacement as head judge on X Factor.  Does he have to look so smug?  And considering the majority of his acts in the boys category are as weak as last night's dishwater he has, in my opinion, got absolutely no right to sit there and look like he's got the next recording superstar within his grasp!  Quite honestly, I reckon I've got more chance of bumping into Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal down the cereal aisle in Sainsbury's checking out the low sugar muesli than Barlow has of having the winner in his category.  The girls have got it sewn up, let's face it.  Although, to be quite honest, and just because I'd love this show to be shown up for exactly what it is, I think Johnnny Robinson should win.  And, if you have no idea who Johnny Robinson is, check out his 'Rock Week' performance here.  All I can say is, are they putting up with this kind of thing on X Factor USA?

I mean, I know this is an entertainment show, and you have to try and take it for what it is (as my husband keeps reminding me) but I can't help feeling that it's helping - and by no means is it managing to do this single-handedly - to change the entire face of the music industry, and not for the better.  Gone are the days of real bands and musicians, and hello to a world of manufactured pap (no, that wasn't a spellling mistake) and a barrage of boy bands we could all do without.  Because they all sound the same to me. Not that I listen to many, you understand.  My musical tastes are very much rooted in rock and blues, with the likes of Foo Fighters and Genesis rather than The Wanted or JLS being my preferred choice of listening.

Joe Bonamassa - proving real talent is still out there.
Not to mention the absolutely incredible Joe Bonamassa, somebody I am so grateful for because he is showing, year after year, that you can make it without it being off the back of a TV talent show, hyped to within an inch of your life.  He is an amazing and credible artisit through sheer hard work and talent alone, nothing else.  He's no hearthrob, he isn't seen out with celebrities in order to heighten his profile, and he isn't even all that well known, but he has an army of fans out there who know how talented he is.  And I'm not sure that we'll ever get anyone of his calibre coming off the back of X Factor.  Ever!  Infact, if they do mange to find someone like him in any future shows then I shall cartwheel down our street singing the entire BackStreet Boys back catalogue...

So, why am I still watching X Factor then?  Absolutely no idea is the honest answer.  I keep promising myself that next week I will ignore it completely and watch something far more interesting that doesn't make me agitated but I'm always there, week after week, tuning in, if only to shout at the TV and swear blind that this is the last time!  And maybe this time it is, because 'Rock Week' just about finished it for me.  A sing off between 2 of the contestants with the best voices in the competition resulting in somebody who can hit every note going home whilst others who would struggle to recite a nursery rhyme in tune are still there to fight another day!  That didn't sit right with me.

But I guess, like it or loathe it, X Factor is probably here to stay, especially now Simon Cowell has taken it over to the US, although whether it will overtake American Idol in terms of success has yet to be seen, but one thing's for sure, it ain't going to go away.  Music has changed, it's evolved, and whilst X Factor may have turned out the odd one or two acts who have been extremely successful in terms of hit singles and a huge fan base (mainly of screaming girls, and yes, I've been there...) all us lovers of "real" music can do is keep our fingers crossed that maybe, one day, it will give us somebody we can actually call a true artisit.  Because I'm still waiting...


  1. Totally with you (no surprise there!) It makes me feel sick and I've given up on it - been an addict since it started but there's only one word for it now - CRAP! We all need to turning off our TV's in protest, I reckon. Great blog, great rant! x

  2. Agree with you, It is awful, Standard seems to get worse every year, And Frankie Cocozza a bad advert for youngsters far too up himself, cocky what a fool he was, What was your opinion of him.

    I agree with you on the Music too, I love Foo fighters too.

  3. Frankie Cocozza, in my opinion, should never have been in the live finals. He can't sing, end of story.

    And you can't beat Foo Fighters for some great rock! Listening to them right now, as it happens - the Wasting Light album. :)