If you were one of a few million people who watched the X Factor last night, and started to wonder if the show was a scripted soap opera, or the reality talent show that it purports to be, you might well have made up your mind either way yesterday. With what is being toted as the ‘Worst Audition Ever’, a young Pink impersonator called Zoe Alexander rocked up, full of confidence, which of course no one likes unless it is tempered with a little humility, and blasted out a Pink song, after telling the judges she wanted to get away from her day job of impersonating Pink. Hmm, something a bit off here me thinks. Why sing a Pink song then I thought? The judges seemed to be of the same mind but ‘allowed’ her a second chance, after berating her song choice, and said she could sing another song, but advised her not to sing a Pink song. She opted for an Emeli Sande song ‘Next To Me’, which, to be fair to the judges, was again a little shouty. I think they had already made up their minds about poor Zoe however, and did not like her attitude, she was obviously not star struck enough by them so they voted her off with four ‘NO’s.
What happened next is a matter of your opinion; it was either great telly or it was a manipulation of a girl who had been set up by the producers of a failing show. Zoe told the judges she had been made to sing a Pink song and the judges hotly refuted this, and here is where it all kicked off. Zoe got upset and shouted and swore at them, Tulisa got all streetwise and pointed her pen at Zoe, Zoe walked off, chucking her microphone at the judges.
Unfortunately, her dad was having none of it and wanted to prolong her humiliation, dragged her back on stage but did not say anything in her defence. Zoe then stomped off again, this time pushing cameras and producers, technicians, you name it, anyone that got in her way, out of the way. Poor Dermott looked positively bereft. The judges, especially Nicole, looked completely aghast, she probably did not realise however that this was really good telly. Louis whined, “But I was trying to help her!”
Now there have been a lot of comments made on social media websites about this incident, and although some are saying it was the girl’s fault, as she was clearly deluded as to what talent she had, and it was her that decided to audition for the show, the majority are seeing this as a staged take down or set up for ratings. As we now know, thanks to previous contestants who have been on the show, you have to get through at least three auditions to get in front of the judges and not everyone who gets to perform are good singers, so why are they being allowed through in the first place? Also, we do not know what is being said to these contestants; are they being encouraged if they clearly do not have any talent, so that by the time they reach the judges they have an over inflated sense of ego and will take any criticism badly?
This has all been debated before but this series of the X Factor was supposed to be really looking for singing talent, and the programme did show some early promise, with the likes of Jahmene Douglas, the cute as a button ‘mark down prices’ guy from Asda, who practically did a ‘Susan Boyle’ on us as he arrived with his mother, gave a nervous laugh after every sentence, and you just knew he had no friends back at home and this was going to be the best thing that could ever happen to him, if he could control his crippling nerves. And boy did he! The rest of the show however, was the same old same old format. Novelty bad acts for entertainment purposes, with a few good singers thrown in, a couple of geeks who you knew, although they got four ‘YES’s’, would not get past the next stage because they were not pretty/handsome/good looking enough, and that was the show.
Is this the type of programme we really want to watch? The Voice proved that we do not necessarily want to see great singers week in, week out, but in the same vein, are we not getting a little tired of having ‘staged’ bad singers put in front of us purely for entertainment value? Is there not a programme out there that could deal with finding new talent honestly? Or it is time to call time on The X Factor? Simon Cowell, time for a rethink I think.