The X Factor is the most brilliant thing on television. That’s not to say that it’s well-made or credible. Who cares about the latter anyway? Idiots, that’s who. But it is the most dazzling polarising show on the box. People react to it like it’s a football team. X Factor is the Chelsea FC of TV land that clearly has too much money and ruthless with it. Of course, it’s prone to turkeys, but it’s also likely to throw out the gold.
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One person I know has a weekly outpouring of rage around the 7pm mark. It’s not the kind of anger that is normally saved up for a TV show. With alarming regularity, he accuses the viewers of the show of being stupid and inbred. Bearing in mind his girlfriend is an avid viewer, you can see just how far this show can push someone.
However, I’m both thrilling at these outcries, as well as becoming weary of them. The fact is, people look at X Factor like it is something important. The naysayers seem to be the ones who value it most, with screams of “IT HAS RUINED THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE BATTLE!” and “THIS IS SIGNIFYING THE END OF MUSIC AS WE KNOW IT!” Amusingly, most people who bemoan the state of music in relation to X Factor are the biggest illegal downloaders I’ve ever met, unlike The Kids who tune in for Cowell’s musical equivalent of Monster Truck racing.
As such, people tune in with their ears already stung and reddened with the cries of ‘you should be ashamed of yourself’. Why? For watching a television programme? It’s ridiculous.
I know that this may seem a little hypocritical coming from someone who has asked for public floggings of writers in the past… however… generally speaking, I say thing like that just to get a laugh. The crushing reality of it is that rubbish TV shows irritate me and I continue to watch them so I can (hopefully) say something funny about it the day after (in the face of Don’t Like It? Then Switch Off You Idiot).
Weirdly, like a sporting team, what happens with X Factor is that for every mind numbingly obvious attack on it, it sees people dig their heels in and like it even more. Paul Morley wrote in the OMM that the show is ‘hideous’ and ‘bloated’ before adding: “I immediately listen to some great singers – Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin, Etta James, Neil Young, Baaba Mal – just to rinse away the agony of listening to the latest bunch of sanitised, job-hunting recruits”
What a crock of shit comment that is. Comparing the mind melting and baffling thrill of Jedward to effectively, a dream Later… With Jools Holland line-up is sneery and pointless. If I had to choose sides with the dazzling foam fingered glee of X Factor in 2009 with the pious, sycophantic pea-shelling record collector squibbery of Jools Holland, I know I’m going straight for the show that actively welcomes you in, as opposed to putting up yet another barricade of supposed cool in the way of those who didn’t spend their entire teens blubbing over dog-eared NME back issues and re-pressed John Coltrane LPs.
The fact is, kicking the X Factor only makes it stronger. I tried it for years and, to be perfectly honest, I enjoyed it. Series after series churned out anti-pop like Michele McManus. However, the crappy montage videos and sob-stories have been replaced with unashamedly glitzy pop-numbers and WWE faux-tension. Self-aware, sure, but that’s better than self-serving.
The only thing X Factor proves is that we as Brits love a good moan. I’ll moan about those crashing bores who vent against it, whilst they’ll feel they’ve got some credible purpose in their criticisms against it. Together, all these words give air and energy to a show that is simply without peer.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip