The Overdue Demise of the X- Factor



So the X- Factor-X- Crutiating and X-Crement would perhaps be more apt- final was on last night and a winner was announced. Did anyone watch it? Does anyone care who won? Does it feel like a juggernaut which feels as if it has not so much spiralled out of control but instead  run out of petrol and shuddered slowly to an overextended but anticipated uninspired halt? All these are questions which the shows producers should be asking themselves this morning as the show haemorrhaged viewers weekly and suffered the indignity of being overtaken in the ratings by, its arch nemesis and fellow blanded out variety show dominating another main channels weekend schedules, Strictly Come Dancing.

As it stands I never actually watched an episode of this years farce which supposedly attempts to find new musical talent. It really wasn’t necessary to watch it anyway as the media and my Facebook newsfeed told me everything I really didn’t want to know.

Not that I was alone in not tuning in however as it seems a large section of the public have also realised that finding talent has never been part of this shows objectives, Instead it has focussed on finding acts guaranteed to swell the already bulging bank accounts of its founder, Simon Cowell. Another thing which emerged even more aggressively this year was the various mentors’ fragile egos which were even more on display than previously. In fact it became more of a show about them and their ambitions than it ever was about the contestants.

And what an annoying bunch of despicable individuals the not so fab four made up.

There was the over exuberant, totally insincere whoopings and drunk mum dancing of ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger who appeared to be a plastic alien beamed down weekly to create a new language consisting of ridiculous hyperbole. Louis Walsh continued in his role of creepy, dirty old grandfather- a throwback to the seventies and look what happened there- with his bag of worn out clichés obviously garnered by his press team from the weeks media outpourings. Something called a Tulisa seemed to have stumbled in from the set of ‘What Not To Wear’ and emitted no sign of charisma or the much sought after X Factor. As for Gaaaary Baaaarlow- I still maintain it took him longer to say Kiliminjaaaaaro than it took him to climb it- he must surely rate as the most boring public figure in Britain as well as the most precious. His storming off stage when one of his acts was eliminated was pathetic as was his comment about fag ash breath to the thing that calls itself a Tulisa when she dared to critique one of his acts and showed a petulance and megalomania unable to take defeat or show dignity when up against it.

The whole thing was held together by the inane meanderings- and stupid dancing- of the tiresome Dermot O’Weary who is another one who needs to take a long vacation from our screens

Mind you the acts weren’t much cop either were they?

There was the usual novelty act which this year took the form of an orange thing from Essex I thought was called Nylon- I thought this was his name due to the allergic reaction I felt on the brief occasion I witnessed his ‘act’- but later found out was actually called Rylan, Unfortunately his murdering of a Spice Girls medley- yes things got that sophisticated this year- was one of the few moments I caught in this years shows and I was shocked at just how bad it was. I was almost as shocked by the reaction on my Facebook newsfeed when I checked it and saw some people – as a general rule not too many of my ‘friends’ comment on X Factor  which is more down to my being selective about the people I associate with than anything- referring to it as the highlight of their weekend. My finger hovered over the ‘unfriend’ and ‘block’ buttons before deciding everyone is entitled to a lapse in taste. Just the one though.

There was something else which seemed like the unfortunate and unlikely product of a secret mating ritual between Victoria Wood and Kate Nash- as if one of those is not bad enough-which went by the name of Lucy Spraggan. Now that sounds like a pop star doesn’t it? After going through auditions, boot-camp and several live shows she decided X Factor was not for her- hasn’t she seen the show before ?- and put us out of our misery and saved herself the humiliation of being voted out by leaving halfway through.

The big controversy of the year was a scouser Christopher Maloney- phoney baloney were the inevitable and uninspiring monikers- who was there for his ‘Nan’ and who despite all the odds hung in there until very near the end coming in third before throwing a tantrum and being barred from the final. Mind you as his mentor-Baaaarlooooww- was fond of throwing a diva like strop it is easy to see where he picked it up from. Why his success was so surprising is beyond me as he bore a close resemblance to a one man Robson and Jerome, the act which put Cowell on the radar in the first place, so instead it made perfect sense and showed what sort of audience the show now appeals to and in all probability always has.

In many ways the show has come full circle and that is a definite sign that it should bow out before it becomes any more embarrassing. Rumours abound that next year Cowell will return- Barlow having stropped off for one last time- and it will be the last series and those complacent TV executives will have to rethink their weekend schedules and hopefully come up with something which does not take up the bulk of the weekend for nearly a third of the year. We can only live in hope though.

In the end some miserabilist with tattoos looking as if he suffers from a yeast complaint called James Arthur won the show. We will all have forgotten this in about six months and he will be complaining about how X Factor ruined his career and life and he is a serious artist. By that point even the shows greatest supporters will be beyond caring.

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