WARNING: Before I start this blog I should say that as the title of this blog suggests, this post will be heavily about the X Factor. If you don’t like it, then perhaps you had better not read this. If you don’t like the show yet still want to read this, then that’s cool. Just don’t troll me ok?
Right then, I’ll start…
I’ve always watched the X Factor, right from the very first series. Say what you will about the show, its contribution to the music industry, and Simon Cowell (and a lot of people do), I enjoy it as it is a fantastic piece of entertainment. The sort of programme that you tune into and forget about the hectic week you’ve had. The type that brings websites like twitter to life. Indeed, I enjoy tweeting about it – and reading other people’s – as much as I enjoy watching the show. This weekend sees the final of the X Factor, after what seems like a year’s worth of shows. Normally, I would be looking forward to watching it, getting excited (to a degree) about it even. This year, however, I am in the position where I’m not too fussed about it. Usually I have a good idea of who I would like to win or at least, who should win in my opinion. This year, I neither know or even care who does.
It’s not like this year’s series has been a bad one. I did wonder what the show would be like without Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue on the judging panel, but Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa have all done quite a decent job. Louis Walsh, meanwhile, has been his usual self (if there’s one judge I hope doesn’t come back next year it is him). There have been some good contestants and some great moments. The banter between Johnny Robinson and Gary Barlow was one of my highlights of the series. Johnny himself was one of my favourites, camp as, lovely and harmless who could sing despite Louis’ attempts to turn him into this year’s joke act. Kitty Brucknell was annoying, outrageous and desperate, yet you can’t say she didn’t have some vocal talent. As for Misha B, well I liked her at first and felt like I should support her because she is from Manchester. As time went on, however, I went off her and it wasn’t because of the “bullying” claims made against her. When Louis was going off on one saying that everyone in her hometown should pick up the phone and vote for her, I was thinking “F*** YOU I WON’T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!” The Risk should never have left the competition so early, Janet should never have stayed in as long as she did (as much as I liked her). Frankie was just a silly little boy, who let himself down. Craig was let down by his song choices. I still don’t like the name Little Mix, but the group has grown on me the last few weeks. Marcus is the only one of the final three who I thought would definitely get in the final. And while people still give Amelia Lily stick over the way she came back into the competition, I believe that she deserves her place as much as the others do. Indeed if the first live show had the public voting and not the judges, she would never have been sent home in the first place.
(I realise that I have missed some contestants out. I haven’t forgotten about them. Well, not all of them…)
Truth is, this series has not grabbed me in the way that previous years have. It is certainly not a patch on last year’s series, which for me was the first one that had at least one contestant that I genuinely cared about. None of this year’s crop of contestants stand out for me as much as Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson, Aiden Grimshaw, One Direction, Mary Byrne et al did last year. From what I see when I look through X-Factor tagged posts on Tumblr, I’m not the only one who holds this view. Some people I know online stopped watching the programme because of how poor this year’s show is, others have switched to the US version instead. If there’s one thing that has really ruined the show for me is the number of ad breaks that ITV have slotted into the show. We all know that the channel relies on advertising revenue to fund its programming, but going to a break practically every five minutes is annoying to even the most loyal viewer, and actually ruins people’s enjoyment of a show. The same thing has been done to ITV’s other major shows, like Downton Abbey which was stretched out to an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to multiple ad breaks (ITV have since been reported to be cutting Downton’s running time to one hour next series, thus fewer ad breaks). The only good thing to come out of so many breaks, (other than the chance to go to the loo or put the kettle on), is the chance to see the yeo valley advert (by the way, has anyone else seen an ad for Yeo Valley at any other time of the year?!)
I will still tune into the final this weekend, even if it is only just to see Coldplay perform on it. Seriously though, I will be watching hoping that the series finishes on a high of some note, especially seeing as the final is being held at Wembley Arena (no pressure for anyone there, then).
In the meantime, I’m going to end this blog by posting a video of last year’s winner Matt Cardle, performing All For Nothing from his debut album, Letters, which happens to be a pretty good album imho. And this is coming from someone who has never bought any music by an X Factor contestant or any artist that has links to Simon Cowell for that matter (I realise some may think me a bit hypocritical after reading parts of this, but meh).