Saturday, 1 December 2012

Is The X Factor really that bad?


There's one question music reviewers are scared of answering: Is The X Factor Really that bad? Well this won't be the first time I've mentioned The X Factor on Music Review Database, and I’m sure it won't be the last. Thousands of Britain’s audition for a part on The X Factor every year. There's a standout five/six that are more popular than others and go on to the final battle. I watch one episode and end up hating myself till I listen to Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica. We've had Leona Lewis, JLS, Olly Murs and One Direction as just some of the singers that have found a fan base and fame through Simon Cowell's money making creation. 

Third place, finalist or winner, it doesn’t matter, the public will make you famous. It's the fame that will get you through boot camp, stages and live performances. I don't think grassroots raw talent plays a part in The X Factor, The Voice or any 'talent' show counterpart. Oh, and talent is highlighted because most of the contestants (cause that's what they are) show little to no talent. It's also worth mentioning that on the current edition of The X Factor, some finalists actually sing better than the judges. It becomes a competition of who can persuade the public more, like Jedward.

The spectacle of the live performance is more important than the actual singing. Judges are more focussed on the actual performances than the vocal, and it's the vocal that is the real talent we're looking at here. We (not me, but other members of low IQ British society) should be supporting or voting for the best vocalist, not the best looking or best actor. As a keen supporter of local grassroots talent, and nationwide independent artists that have built up from the ground; I feel rather frustrated that reality TV like The X Factor makes its performers a hefty sum of money and exposure. Millions of Britons watch The X Factor week in and week out. The audience is exposed to mediocre vocalists and average pop songs that the mediocre vocalists attempt to cover, to impress the judges and more importantly the millions of people watching. How odd would it be if one of these mediocre vocalists covered Deerhunter's Revival or Animal Collective's Chores? I tell you what, it would be awful.

Reality TV isn't for independent music. I wouldn’t want my favourite artists being exploited live on national TV at Simon Cowell's expense. Have Kylie Minogue, Take That and Lady Gaga's songs being covered, well they already are and these are the ones that are popular and topping the charts in the UK. So is The X Factor really that bad? Yes, it's horrifically bad... But it fills a Saturday night for a sixth of Britain. Not many acts on The X Factor actually get famous; the majority end up on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Not as guests, but as part of the identity parade.

We all know that popularity makes money... And we all know that The X Factor is one of the most popular shows on TV. We've had Rage Against The Machine and as a result seen The X Factor winning single release move from the Christmas Sunday to the week before. Simon Cowell gave his seat to Gary Barlow, which destroyed viewing figures and comedy alike. Nobody is taking The X Factor that seriously anymore, so we should be happy. Yeah, I hate it, but we can ignore it. I've been trying to ignore The X Factor for about four years now, successfully. I’ve got to say fair play to the singers that actually make money from The X Factor, unlucky to the many contestants that are exposed to ridicule. People can sit at home over the weekend and talk about how 'shit' The X Factor is, and it is shit... But it's on TV and that's the end of it.
~Eddie

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