The X-Factor: an unstoppable beast

The X-Factor is an unstoppable beast that barges its way into every nook and cranny come the end of the year. Even if you are a hater and try to avoid the beast, work colleagues, friends, even people walking down the street, will invade your mind space with X-Factor news and views.

I watch The X-Factor, and I am not sure exactly why. The music on the show is not to my taste and I wouldn’t buy and album sung by an X-Factor contestant – not even as a guilty pleasure. Yet, I have a favourite, I know who I don’t want to win and I get pissed off when Wagner manages to stay in every week. On that note, I think that Wagner’s fan club are the same people who voted Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” into last year’s Christmas number one position in a brilliant boycott of Simon Cowell’s X-Factor empire. But I am probably giving people too much credit – boycotting this year’s contest by keeping the worst possible candidate in the show is too clever a protest… most likely, Wagner has a fan base who quite enjoy the bastardisation of fairly decent music. There is also the obvious idea that the public is not voting Wagner in but the producers are keeping him in for entertainment’s sake. Why I am wasting thought on Wagner, again, I do not know. I guess the point I am trying to make is that I have a damn opinion.

My husband, who works in Covent Garden where all the X-Factor contestants gym, told me that he walked past Matt Cardle the other day – and I got quite excited. Oh the lameness. I have subjected my honey to the incessant waffling and endless time wasting that characterises an X-Factor episode, and although his eyes role and his shoulders slump I know that he has great fun berating the show! We went to some friends the other night for our yearly Halloween pumpkin carving ritual and the ladies convinced the dudes that having The X-Factor on in the background would inspire some brilliant pumpkin art. They put up a half-arsed protest because secretly, I think they knew that they could get some good X-Factor bitch time in… and boy were they good. The mob mentality provoked some brilliant one liners that Halloween night.

And isn’t that part of the X-Factor attraction? Sitting down on a Saturday night to berate the hopers and dreamers of the world. The public love to hate the show because hating it fuels hilarity – I know that I am getting double entertainment during The X-Factor, the best of which comes from my husband’s irate rants against the show’s gimmicky money-making formula. Loving the show for its own sake, unless you are 16 years old, is pretty boring.

Then again, perhaps we pretend to hate it because it is the cool thing to do – when in actual fact we love watching contestants sing for their supper on Saturday nights. Whatever you think about The X-Factor and its penchant for mind-numbing commercialism, the show is an unstoppable juggernaut – for the moment at least.

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