Sunday, 18 October 2009

X factor

The winter I was pregnant with Sproglet I cried the night X Factor ended. What would become of my Saturday evenings, without my reason d'etre - the trashy, addictive and utterly contrived tear fest?

Each year gets crazier than the last where poor misguided fools throw themselves at the mercy of the public and Simon Cowell's mood swings and convince themselves that they will be living the dream forever. It never ceases to amaze me that the contestants don't grasp the fact that there is only one winner and even when they get through to the finals - they have a 1 in 12 chance of it being them. Odds are not good - from the off. The producers should win awards for their ability to manipulate the viewers: a few well chosen baby photos, an ill relative, a hard luck story and you can be sure of surviving until week 5 or 6 at least. Until your mediocre talent runs out and you have to high tail it back to singing Beyonce hits to three men and a dog in your local for the rest of your life.

For those few precious weeks when they all bunk down in some glam house in Hampstead, those fame hungry freaks believe that they have got the golden ticket. Until reality bites and they sing for survival only to bucked off the show and then be shipped back to nowhere-by-sea and back to their Dad's courier business or Uncle's chip shop or whatever. I'd feel sorry for them, but years in the cynical world of telly has made me immune - I just wish they'd smell the coffee before the greasepaint is plastered on them.

Take this year. There are a pair of twins with one arrogant brain cell between them that somehow - god only knows how - have survived the phone vote to 'entertain' us again and again. I've seen more talent in a morgue. The only thing vaguely interesting about them is how blissfully ignorant they are to the fact they are without any vocal ability whatsoever. They genuinely think they could win and then 'date Britney Spears.' Both of them at once. Yes.

There is a 16 year old who looks like a scarecrow and dared to sing a Justin Timberlake song... standing still. A girl from Dagenham whose teeth threaten to crush the microphone every time she sings - and when she speaks, well you wish she wouldn't. The winner has already been picked. If that Daniel or is it Dan'y'l (that bit funkier) the sweet teacher who cries if you even look at him - doesn't win, I'll eat my... TV. Clearly he is Cowell's favourite - and that is really what is going to win the X factor - his patronising seal of approval. Although I have to admit, most of what he says - his favouritism for his own acts aside - is actually true.

I have a secret wish this year: that those two Irish numpties win it. Cowell's face would be priceless. No Vogue covers and cosy chats with Oprah for them methinks. Leona they are not. Louis would jump around - his eyes wide - oh hold on, post surgery they look like he popped 5 Es anyway - with glee like a garden gnome brought to life. Watching them plug their Michael Jackson cover (surely?) in a bid to hit that Xmas no 1 slot, would make great viewing.

So vote for the Irish ejits - make a mockery of the whole show and flummox the big wigs who are sure that their carefully edited sob stories will guarantee their preferred winner. John and Edward to win! Sing it!!!

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