Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

X Factor and Obama

Unprecedented, history in the making, a night that shook the world. No, I’m not talking about the US presidential election in which Barack Obama became the first black leader of America but, of course, the X Factor. Let’s face it, Barack’s victory was always on the cards but no one, and I mean no one, could surely have predicted what unfolded on Saturday. I have to say it has all left rather a nasty taste in my mouth – and not because of that home-made curry I had either. First of all, Diana was ill. I have to admit that this in itself was not so shocking, seeing as the week before she was flashing her undercrackers on stage and wearing next to nothing. No wonder the poor mite caught her death and had to pull out. I think the others should take heed, especially Ruth. If she flashes any more flesh surely she will be the next flu casualty. I didn’t take too kindly to Simon’s comment to Ruth either – “I like two things about you and the singing isn’t bad either.” A tad sexist for this day and age? Of course, all the hoo-ha has been over whether singing sensation Laura White should have been booted out.
One of the strongest singers, her performance in week one blew me away. But the judges want their own acts to win and Simon in particular has been grinding down her confidence by going on endlessly about her “image”.
I seem to remember a young Leona Lewis being told by Sharon that she had no confidence too and needed to liven up, and last year’s winner Leon Jackson is about as riveting as mushroom soup. But it didn’t do them any harm, so why was it such a life-and-death issue for Laura?
Fatal The Bolton lass, like the rest of the nation, was completely shell-shocked to find she was in the bottom two and made a fatal error with her survival song. Ruth, who has experience of singing for her life, goes into meltdown and belts out a big number complete with head-throwing, arm-flailing, skirt-hitching and high notes – a bit like me when I’ve accidentally taken too much Codeine. Laura went for the sob story – “Over The Rainbow for my grandad”. But her efforts paled into insignificance. She should have blown the roof off, not gone for understated reverence. And then the judges stuck the knife in – and by judges, I mean Louis. Yes, maybe he should have taken it to deadlock, but in reality I don’t blame him for the result. It is natural that they want to protect their own acts and voting her off just shows what a threat she was. Blaming the viewers is also pointless – why is it their fault? In these credit-crunch times who can afford to keep ringing in to “save” their favourite when we all know it is TV companies making money out of us? As in our elections, we need to change the voting rules. Either the judges should not be mentors and be impartial, or the celebrity singer such as Mariah Carey should give their verdict along with the singing coaches, or it should just be an audience vote. It’s too tactical otherwise. And they call it light entertainment – even though yesterday Culture Secretary Andy Burnham lent his unexpected support to reject Laura in Parliament. He told the House she was wonderful and talented” and the decision to vote her out was “very harsh”. I’m sure there will even be an Act of Parliament passed soon and Gordon Brown and co will discuss it at even greater length in the House. Until then, I’m afraid I’m switching off. I’ve always loved X Factor but now I’m an ex-lover.


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