Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Saturday 7 November 2009

I dreamt that an angel
Glad Tidings did bring.
God was sending down Elvis
and taking back Sting.

The X-Factor has caused something of a furore this year which began with Louis Walsh’s bizarre choice of freak show twins John and Edward (or Jedward, as they are now known in the popular press) as one of his finalists. I suspect, from the quality of groups that got through boot camp, and the fact that three individual entrants had to be virtually pressganged into forming a girl group, that groups of a certain calibre were in very short supply. However, this doesn’t excuse Louis’s choice. Even in a sixth form end of term show these Leprechauns of the Apocalypse would be hard put to have got through the audition.
Get through they did though, and seem to have taken the nation by storm, since people seem determined to keep them in the show, no doubt through some ghoulish sense of fascination at seeing two eighteen year olds with hairstyles that went out with Split Enz, jumping around the stage, singing out of time and out of tune and employing cringeworthy inappropriate dialogue between verses.
‘Oooh Edward, I’m so scared!’ whimpered John as they paused during their demolition of the Ghostbusters song this week.
Now, there have been differences in the format of X-Factor this year, which may explain something about the bizarre voting patterns we have experienced.
In previous years, the shows have been split into two over a Saturday night, and voters are given an hour or so to ring in, before there is a showdown of the least popular two in the second show.
This year, the showdown has been moved to Sunday evening, which gives ITV and Simon Cowell far more revenue from phone-ins, but also gives the opportunity to vote to those who previously would not have done so. I suspect there is a subversive element in Britain who are ringing in for Jedward just to buck the trend and demonstrate the size of the creative vacuum in which this show exists. Otherwise I can only blame the popularity of Jedward on backward children and special needs people with access to mobile phones.
Sting, of all people, has criticised the show this week. I don’t often hold with the opinions of Sting, and occasionally wish he would go off and play with his lute and leave the rest of us be, but this week he proclaimed (sometime after his dinner with Lucian Freud) that The X-Factor has put British music back by decades.
I tend to agree.

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