Monday, 20 August 2012
It's that time of year again - X Factor's back!
However, in order for me to get even a modicum of enjoyment out of this programme, I have to come at it from a different angle - and treat it as an entertainment programme, nothing more, nothing less. And Saturday night TV needs entertainment programmes. So, yes, despite my moaning and whinging, I'll be watching this series along with the millions of others who'll be watching it. However, I'm going to give myself a reason to watch it and use it as a vehicle to give me a specific Monday blog subject - from now until this series announces its winner, every Monday on my blog will be X Factor Monday! I'll be talking about that Saturday's programme; who I liked, who I didn't think was all that, who annoyed me on the judging panel, etc., etc. You get my drift? Of course, this will get a lot more interesting once we're past the audition rounds, but, there was still one or two things to talk about from Saturday's show.
Mind you, it was an interesting start for me. There I was, all settled on the sofa, resigned to the fact I'd just let myself get sucked in for another season, and yes, I'd done nothing but moan since the opening titles, so it was almost karma when a power cut hit half our town. Yep, ten minutes into X Factor 2012 and our electricity goes off. It was like someone up there was listening to me and saying "Okay, you're moaning about watching this again, so, tell you what, you don't have to watch it anymore!" It wouldn't have bothered me usually - we're used to it where we live here in Crook, a small market town in South West Durham. We've had loads of power cuts over the 5 years we've lived here. I swear the cables are stuck together with gaffer tape, it's that erratic. But Saturday night wasn't just X Factor night, it was also my birthday. And 'Casualty' was back too after its enforced absence from our screens due to the Olympics. So I wasn't all that happy, I can tell you, about the prospect of spending what was left of my birthday playing cards by candle light and listening to some debate on the battery-powered radio about the sugar content in cereal bars! But, after just an hour, and me managing to beat my husband at a couple of games of cards, the power came back on, and thanks to the fact we have an ITV1+1 channel, we managed to resume our viewing of the X Factor.
And, to be completely honest, there wasn't a lot that grabbed me in this first round of auditions. Although, an audition from a young lady who claimed to be a Pink impersonator threw up a few interesting points. First song she sang was 'So What?' by Pink, after she'd spent a good 5 minutes telling the judges that she was trying to shake the whole Pink thing and find her own identity. And I didn't think she was all that good, to be honest. And she didn't get that much better with the second song they let her sing - which wasn't a Pink song. But it was what happened afterwards that was interesting. Her audition wasn't successful, and to cut a long story short she kicked off - big time. The judges told her she shouldn't have come out and sang a Pink song and she should try and find her own identity, which is when this young lady said that they had asked her to sing a Pink song, she hadn't wanted to. Tulisa (don't get me started...) claimed none of the judges had asked her to sing a Pink song, which they hadn't, but I don't think that's what this girl meant. She meant the producers, or whoever decides these things, had asked her to sing a Pink song, probably because they knew there was a potential for a kick off and therefore some decent TV. I've heard rumours of this before, of people being told to sing certain songs even if they don't really want to and whilst it's never been proved, of course, I think the intelligent ones amongst us know that these type of TV programmes need some kind of confrontation or controversy in order to hike up the entertainment value. God forbid we should just get an hour and a bit of people who can actually sing trying to audition. That would never do, would it?
Anyway, there actually was a little bit of talent in this first show of the new series - and they left her until the very end. I can't remember the girl's name (but I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her) but she was only 16 years old and she sang a song she'd written herself - and she sang it beautifully. It wasn't my cup of tea, to be honest, but there was no denying that this girl has a talent for songwriting, and a voice that can also sing those songs she writes. But, as I watched her, I couldn't help but feel that this was the wrong show for her. After all, that was probably the last time she'd ever be allowed to sing any of her own songs because, should she progress further, she'll more than likely be given covers of mindless pap to sing whilst they slowly try to turn her into a pop-music puppet, stripping any of her own identity away piece by piece in the process. Yes, I'm still a touch cynical about this whole thing, and that's never going to go away. It just makes me sad that a talented young lady has to turn to programmes like the X Factor in order to get herself noticed because there just aren't really any other avenues to take.
Okay. Before I leave this Monday morning moan to go and crack on with this new book of mine (it's coming along, slowly!) let's talk about the judges we saw in this first programme, beginning with Louis Walsh. Not much to say about him really, he kind of blends into the background. Just hope he starts speaking his mind like he did last year - I started to find him quite amusing! Tulisa - like I said before, don't get me started. Not sure how this incredibly busy businesswoman/pop star/author/TV star manges to fit everything in, but I'd love to know how she's getting on with the first of her 3 upcoming novels because I'm finding it hard enough to write one when I've got bugger all else to do, never mind judge a TV show, perform, shoot videos, party every night. Then woman must be a multi-tasking superstar! (And I'm being incredibly sarcastic here, just incase you didn't know.) Nicole Scherzinger - quite like her, and I wish to God I looked like her! I think she's stunning! Gary Barlow - really hate saying anything bad about the poor bloke at this point in time, but I still don't like him as a judge. That's all. Oh, and the guest judge this week - Mel B, or Scary Spice. Couldn't bear the woman! Irritating to the hilt, and didn't really give out any constructive criticism, apart from telling one auditionee that she shouldn't be singing. Had to agree with her on that score.
So, once more I'm settling down for another few months of poor singing, choices I'm not going to agree with, and a hell of a lot of whinging about the state of the music industry, but, do you know what? I'm kind of looking forward to it. Just don't ask me why...