It’s about Entertainment NOT Singing

The X Factor started off as THE utmost singing competition on TV but it has now become a hot mess. All the judges have their claws out as they set their eyes on the final prize and producers know from the start who they want to win and any voting is pointless. They want to achieve maximum ratings and give the most commercial act a record deal. How do they do this? The inclusion of controversial acts, judges voting to save themselves and win the competition, meaningless bickering, the sham called a “sing-off” and producers telling judges how to vote – it’s a winning formula or at least it used to be. Ratings are going down on a weekly basis. It’s become a joke! But I’m still watching, why? It’s entertaining.

Since the airing of the live shows, it has been thrashed on a weekly basis by rival show Strictly Come Dancing. X Factor needs to do something to save itself but what? Controversial act NOT singer, Rylan Clark, represents everything that’s wrong with the show, he is like marmite. Talented acts are eliminated at the expense of joke acts like Rylan but at least he is living his dream. He even admitted “I don’t reckon I can win in the slightest. If I were to win this society would sink under water – but weirder things have happened.”

Although he has been entertaining 3 of the four judges on the panel, Gary Barlow is not impressed. He has been pushing for Rylan to go ever since the first elimination show where his act was sent packing and Rylan was saved after the judges decided to take the vote to deadlock (with a little help from the producers whispering in Louis Walsh’s ear). Gary called the outcome an ‘absolute joke’, telling his act that she had “lost out to joke acts.”

The last thing Simon would want is for Rylan to be thrown out. The show thrives on controversial publicity, and why not? It is only entertainment right? It’s traditional for X Factor judges to save “the entertainer” over “the voice.” You’ll probably find that Nicole was instructed to take Rylan through to the live shows. These novelty acts are the ones that get people watching because it gets people talking about the show. There is always outrage after a talented act is sent packing instead of the less talented act, however how many of these outraged viewers actually voted for these acts? Many people assume that the worst acts will be eliminated first, but every year there are examples that show not enough people voted for the act that they think will be “safe” because they assume enough people will be voting for them.

The outrage over Rylan comes from the fact that many people think that he shouldn’t have made it to the live shows in the first place. Nicole Scherzinger, his mentor, eliminated more talented contestants in order to keep Rylan in the competition, and she is getting a lot of the blame. But Nicole obviously didn’t learn her lesson after she was fired from “The X Factor” U.S. that if too much of the public turns against her, Cowell and company will dump her from “The X Factor.”

Ironically, she stated in an interview “I must be making Simon Cowell proud because controversy is his favourite word. I chose Rylan because the show is about having the X Factor and he has the X Factor. It is not just a singing show. Rylan has already said he is not trying to be Whitney Houston or a big ballad singer — he wants to be a dance artist.”

Let’s talk about the controversial “sing-off”. Some judges base their decisions on factors other than the sing-off, so what’s the point of having it if judges aren’t going to base their decision on it?  It’s no longer an opportunity for the acts to remind the judges of what they can do as ultimately their decision will be somewhat tactical so that their own acts can advance further in the competition by eliminating a threat or an act who takes a share of the votes from their act.

This is where music and media collide. Viewers may think they are watching a singing competition but they’re not. They’re watching an entertainment show were producers have already got songs lined up for the act that they know will win. The music industry is somewhat forced to accept these talent show manufactured acts and attempt to turn them into global superstars. The X Factor has lost the little credibility it used to have over the past 2 years. More than ever it looks as though the show is tired and ready to throw in the towel. I guess at some point everything becomes old.

Since this blog has mostly been about Rylan, watch him murder 3 songs in just over 2 minutes!

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