Problems With: The X-Factor

Wow another journalist who dislikes the X-Factor, get to the back of the queue! Well, I still feel that the show deserves a real dressing down from a different perspective; my perspective. X-Factor has been running for 13 seasons now with various spin offs around the world and has remained relevant in the public eye despite controversy and exploitation. For every Leona Lewis there is a Wagner, for every Olly Murs there is a ‘Honey G’ and for every JLS there is a Jedward; the shows standards bounce from utter insanity to moments of musical bliss. Now I’m not going to rag about the corniness, the drama, the talent (or lack there of it) or even the recent controversy, I’m going to rag about the audience, the listeners at home and the ones that watch the show.

Now is it a bad thing to watch a singing contest? No, not at all. Is it a bad thing to feel sad when your act doesn’t get through? No, music is subjective you can vote for who you want. Is it a bad thing however, to shame the TV show and its contestants yet, ripping apart the judges and their choices, yet still continue to tune in  every week? Yes, obviously it is. When I read the comments on ‘X-Factor’ posts stating, “I’m never going to watch this tripe again” or “this has gone too far, I’m not watching from this moment and onward” I just shake my head and smile. What did you expect differently this time around? Each year there has been a Rylan or an Ottavio and a Bradley but still you expect something different? If 13 times weren’t going to change your mind, then what makes this time different?

I see everyone calling out the judges too, banging on about how clueless Louis is and how Sharon has made the show a mockery, but again, what do you expect! The singing contest is judged by one singer, two music managers and a record label tycoon, that means one quarter actually has the physical right to judge someone on their vocal ability professionally ,as they are the only one who can match or better that talent (heck they are the only one who understands truly how difficult biographically or easy the song is to sing). If you wanted a more accurate singing contest, then have vocal coaches judge the show as they are ones who can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a voice from one audition. But no, you wouldn’t like that either because you won’t of heard of these vocal coaches on your local news tabloids and no they wouldn’t want to do it either because they are professionals who support and not judge. Managers specialise in turning an act into a professional money-making product, musicians have managers, sports teams have managers, actors have managers, the manager is there not to make the artist better, but to make the artist worth more. With Sharon’s choice of sending ‘Honey G’ through and giving her more airtime, she has already made that act three times more commercial. Commercial hence equals money, money means a new series, money means the judges will of done their job and money means the show won’t change. Record label founders specialise in garnering multiple managers and acts, and making money off of the managers limitations and the acts image. They publish and adapt, they don’t state why a certain singers voice has a cleaner falsetto than another because they don’t care. So there you are, the hierarchy on the panel.

The show is also listed as an entertainment broadcast too, not a music documentary or a sporting contest, so expect decisions based on entertainment. Drama is entertaining, controversy is entertaining, the weird and unusual is entertaining, music is entertaining, heck anything done right can be entertaining. But if you can harness drama, music, the weird, the wonderful, the big moments and the endearing ones, into one show, of course it is going to be a gold mine, so why would you change that! Simon Cowell makes 95,000,000 a year and the X-Factor is a big chunk of it, would you care what people think with that guaranteed amount of cash? You can state “Oh but he won’t make that when we all stop watching”, well the last decade has proven you don’t have the balls.

And so the cycle continues, of people showing their upset that the X-Factor is making money by watching the program and talking about the program hence earning the show money.

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