As Gogglebox has shown, us Brits love nothing more than watching the telly, and moaning about it as we go. We don’t watch most of our weekly shows because they’re good, oh no – we watch them purely to curl up in a blanket with a cup of tea and take the piss. Saturday night entertainment – particularly the X Factor – is a prime example of our enjoyment in watching televison without actually enjoying what we’re watching.
If you’ve got a nice big TV in your student house, you’re bound to stay in and watch the X Factor every Saturday, nursing your Phoenix hangover from the night before and telling yourself you’d much rather be here, watching this crap, than going to the Lemmy. Lying to yourself, of course.
The X Factor was originally formatted by Simon Cowell as a serious talent show; eager hopefuls would audition with dreams of becoming Britain’s next ‘big thing’, and viewers would vote for whose music they would actually buy. After years of the show infiltrating our winter evenings, we know all too well that that’s not really the case, is it? You don’t have to win to do well – on the contrary, you’re better off coming third (cough, One Direction) and it’s only really elderly who vote, therefore the winners are normally people who will never actually sell records to the hip, youthful masses (Steve Brookstein, we’re looking at you. Wait – is that even his name?) These days, the X Factor is only really about cheesy Saturday night entertainment; contrived, predictable and irritating, yet we still keep coming back for more.
So here are my top 10 reasons why the X Factor is absolute utter rubbish – but they are also the reasons why I tune in every week.
The dreadful singing
I’m not even talking about the people who are actually bad. No, when I say dreadful singing I mean the sounds coming from supposedly ‘good’ acts. Normally, they’re just screeching as loud as they can, and adding a ridiculous amount of vibrato to every note, to disguise the fact they can’t actually sing in tune. The judges fall for it every time.
Okay, I’m really sorry that your cat died, and you missed your big break because you had a baby, but I would really like to hear you sing before I find out all the deep dark secrets of your past. It’s really off-putting and I lose all sympathy. Also, all these parents saying they’re “doing it for their kids” – no you’re not, you’re doing it for you.
“It just means everything to me”
“It’s make or break now!” “This is my last chance!” Yeah, yeah, you and everyone else, kid. You’re not exactly going to hear them say “yeah, to be honest, I don’t really give a shit, I’m just on here for the banter really!” are you?
It really meant a lot to Rylan, that’s for sure.
The predictable music
Whenever someone gets through:
You Raise Me Up by Westlife (YOU RAISE ME UP SO I CAN STAND ON MOUNTAINS)
Roar by Katy Perry (I AM A CHAMPION AND YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ME ROAR)
Whenever someone doesn’t make it:
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri (AND WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, RUNNING ROUND LEAVING SCARS)
Whenever there’s a mildly attractive teenage boy:
Any One Direction Song (THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL-UH-UL) – cue swooning from the girls in the audience.
Whenever the audience are excited:
Any Little Mix Song (TAKE A SIP OF MY SECRET POTION)
And basically all of the music comes from ex-X Factor contestants or anyone signed on with Sony. If Simon Cowell can save a bit of dosh, he will! Good on him.
Nick Grimshaw being a judge
Like really, what authority does he have. May as well have employed the Exeter Campus Cat.
They think we’re idiots
Okay, so this pretty girl comes on milking the fact she is a farm girl and expects everyone to believe she has never been on stage when she opens her mouth and is clearly an amazing singer. No surprises that the next day, it all comes out that she was a BGT backing singer and has been in numerous shows, with a proper professional headshot and all that jazz. Come on X Factor, do you really think we’re stupid?!
Never left the farm? PAH!
So technically this one applies to every show on ITV ever, but it feels even MORE annoying when watching X Factor just because they fill the programme with so much audience cheering, mindless chatter and wide-angle shots, that you only ever get to hear one good person sing before another ad break comes on.
TOP TIP: If you have a TV that lets you pause or record, watch the show late and wind on all the rubbish – you’ll get through the whole thing, without missing any singing and judges’ comments, in about 20 minutes.
Rita Ora’s outfits
Come on, Rita! I have no idea why she thinks looking like a Rubiks Cube is a good idea, but hey, I love to hate it.
“It’s a no from me”
“I didn’t like it… I loved it!”
…and other similar phrases. At least now Louis Walsh has gone (RIP to the judge we used to see) they’ve reduced, but this is yet another way X Factor proves they think we’re all idiots. We’ve seen this trick a billion times before – we know you too well!
He’s a smug bastard but kinda fit for an old guy (am I right, ladies?)