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Steve Brookstein, X Factor blogger
Friday, October 19, 2012
In a few weeks I’ll be 44. Despite years of ridicule from mainstream comedians, press and current popular celebrities I continue to do the thing I love. Sing.
In the same way Michelle McManus got ridiculed for being fat, I’m getting it in the neck because I am old… either that or I really am not very good. I like to believe it’s because I’m old.
Many musicians around the UK do the same and we have just had the great news that there has been a relaxation of the licensing laws for live music. This means there will be even more live performances from bands and singers than ever before and many of these musicians will be considered “old”.
With so many musicians over 28 years old singing in theatres, concert halls, art centres, jazz clubs, at weddings, pubs, social clubs and holiday camps, why has it become such a joke category?
Just two weeks into the live finals of The X Factor and Gary Barlow has lost two of his ladies in the “overs” category.
On The Jonathan Ross Show last week, apart from pronouncing my name wrong in an obvious attempt to undermine my achievement as the only winner from that category, they discuss how it has become a joke and Gary Barlow had no chance. But Gary insisted that he is set to change all that.
Sorry Gary, but it’s over for the overs.
The price X Factor has paid for manipulating this potentially important addition to pop culture is that as producers pander to teenage girls and their whimsical ways they have lost the demographic of true music lovers.
Few outstanding artists over 28 will risk what I’ve endured just to make a bit extra on a Saturday night.
They can only dream of getting 6 million votes for a winner like they did in 2004. Those days are gone. And remember back then X Factor was just on Saturday night. They can’t even get that number of votes with an extra 24 hours. No wonder they’ve given up telling us how many votes the acts are getting on Sunday night.
Whoever the bright spark was at M&S who thought linking the brand last year with The X Factor was a good idea is looking at their decline questioning that decision. It’s a kids programme.
The show no longer disguises it’s promotion of pre-determined record label disposable pop fodder to kids, and let’s face it mum and dad are not part of pop.
And here lies the problem. Mainstream ITV television is aimed at the family, which includes mum and dad. It has a great history of family viewing and by X Factor allowing the overs to become a joke, the joke will inevitably be on them.