I appear to be watching a television programme called the “X Factor”. I’m not really sure what to make of this, and I’ve never really watched it before, but there appears to be a simple formula to the proceedings.
- Young woman with slightly-too-revealing outfit sings a song but wobbles her voice around so instead of just singing the song she sings all the notes ever invented.
- Judge who didn’t choose the song says it was rubbish. Judge who chose the song says it was brilliant.
- Man in shiny outfit sings a song with a bit too much rapping while women writhe around him in skimpy costumes like feminism never happened*.
- Judge who chose the song says it was a game changer. Judge who owns the programme and can do what he wants says something sardonic and cutting.
- Group of people who have no life experience and want only to be famous come on the stage and sing a soulful version of an 80s pop song with more wobbly Mariah Carey vocal stylings.
- Judge who appears to be dressed for bed says they didn’t think it would work but they’re so excited for how far you could all go.
- Presenter pulls the contestants aside and asks how it was. Contestants say it was great and they’re so happy to be here. Presenter says thank you and that was amazing, even though it was plain to everyone present that it barely even qualified as interesting.
- Voting happens and some of the entirely interchangeable contestants leave, though some are then allowed to sing again and might stay in, and others will be arbitrarily brought back later, comfortably removing any sense of jeopardy.
My main conclusion is that the titular “X Factor” appears to be ill-defined and plays at best a peripheral role in what is actually a singing competition. Most of the screen time is taken up by contestants, who are, to a man, detestable, singing other people’s songs to a panel of judges, none of whom would be worth saving from a house fire. Perhaps it would be better to rename the programme something more closely related to what happens on screen, such as “Twats Singing At Twats”.
* Feminism has yet to happen on ITV.