Sunday, 30 August 2009

The X Factor

I've always professed to watching and enjoying the initial stages of the programme where those who clearly have no talent, though have the unshakable belief that they do, attempt to argue against insurmountable odds that they know better than the likes of Simon Cowell.

This is supposedly a case of mass schadenfreude on the part of us, the viewing public, but if you don't think about it too much it helps to ease your conscience! Also, I always considered that those that put themselves forward are fair game for public ridicule since they obviously have a choice and no-one has had a chance to persuade them otherwise.

However, someone I spoke to last night had a friend who went through the process, apparently even getting as far as boot-camp, and what actually happens seems far less fair and equitable than I thought and in fact appears to be very cruel in the extreme.

First of all the initial thousands of auditionees are seen by producers for the show, not the judges, which makes sense when I think about it now, obviously, this person said to me, the judges don't have time to see every single person face-to-face. So this pre-screening is done by nameless others and there are several stages before anyone gets as far as the judges.

After all of the hullabaloo of the judging and selection for boot-camp we are led to believe that further work, effort, and performance can get you into the next stage. However, it seems that the selection has already been made, this person's friend accidentally saw a copy of the list with names already circled.

I guess this bit isn't too surprising and in some ways it is slightly excusable; by this point there will be obvious favorites or particularly saleable, I'm sorry, I mean worthy, contestants so very little is likely to change.

After hearing what really happens I have to say I've gone off watching the show and now view it as unfairly cruel and exploitative. I think a better way would be to empower people to make and sell their own music, online obviously, as this at least gives an even playing field with no greedy TV or music executives to profit from others humiliation - alot of those deluded enough to think they can sing when they can't need to learn this lesson and not be publicly ridiculed.

1 comment:

GirlWhoShould said...

I've grown so cynical about the show, it wouldn't surprise me. And yet it will still get massive audiences for years to come.