The strangest thing has happened; the country has gone to war but only on a Saturday and Sunday evening from about 8pm, for an hour or two. Either that or the X Factor has taken over. Only during historic moments in TV history have I known such quiet on the streets. Royal weddings, big world cup matches and when someone shot JR (it wasn't me, my gun of choice then was essentially my thumb and forefinger). The streets are deserted, curtains are drawn and TVs blaze from living rooms but what's the big deal?
I watch bits of it but I don't get it, certainly not in the way some do. The audition stages always provide some comedy moments and a couple of genuine talents are discovered. However, I don’t agree with the idea of it being a singing competition to find a star with the X-Factor. The programme itself is a gold mine for ITV and SyCo so it’s a bonus when a real product, sorry star is found. The man who signed Zig and Zag can then show off his American Idol teeth as he laughs all the way to the bank he could probably buy out.
For me it’s just an entertainment show but the judges, acts and loyal fans take it so seriously and that’s what I don’t get. They have created a monster, scaring some in the industry into teaming up with the mischief-makers on social networks to challenge its power. Last year, an internet campaign was launched to prevent Geordie Joe from securing the coveted Christmas Number 1. This year, Louis tried to play a joke (I hope) with Wagner and it backfired as the non-lovers had the perfect act to back in the show. Creator Cowell was noticeably edgy as the Brazilian Russell Brand coasted through each week. Indeed, the hit-maker’s recent rant following Wagner’s exit, about bringing it back to being about talent was funny and a clear sign that he hated not being in full control. If Wagner had made it through to the final, the man who snubbed Take That would have needed the public to save him from another major embarrassment… A big call for the real judges.
The show itself could easily become Simon Says, as Mr Entertainment is clearly the star of the show and it's always his opinion that matters most. I reckon most of the contestants would sing standing on their head in their underwear, if they thought it would result in a positive response from the modern-day King of Pop. Watch the acts faces as the reviews come in from the judges/mentors/real winners. Yes they enjoy the support from their ‘helper’ but mostly they want to impress Mr Saturday Night, even some of the guests/previous contestants look like they expect a comment from him. He's the decision-maker; he's the dream-maker or breaker; he has the supreme control as Joker Louis might find out at his next contract renewal discussions.
Never mind records for massive album sales; it must be a record for the world’s biggest game of Simon Says.