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Steve Brookstien, Grumpy guru of X Factor and London24 blogger
Monday, November 14, 2011
I was frantically thinking of what to write for this weekend’s blog that would prevent it from being consumed with X Factor tittle-tattle.
Everyone is talking about the power cut, Frankie and his drugs and a possible fix with the return of Amelia Lily. After the bullying drama, Kitty and Misha (who incidentally were the bottom two) apparently fell out over something. If you are not careful you find yourself caring about who sings what and when - like it matters.
People ask me who is going this week and that week and to be honest I really don't know or care.
Goldie Cheung pulling out was a real loss for the show, Johnny Robinson didn't do his drag act, Kitty didn't really go nuts and Frankie was booted before WE went nuts. We are now left with seven acts that are quite nice and we still have a few weeks left. Excited? Me neither. If the show can't attract real top quality talent you can understand why The X Factor thinks it needs a Chico, Jedward or Wagner.
Well, I can only imagine Cowell will pop by next week for a third big twist. They need some major story soon or the show is going to struggle again with the ratings. This weekend was poor and I suspect many people just watched to witness a break down.
The continuous search for headlines distracts from the obvious shortage of quality talent. It made me think of a nice analogy from an unlikely source, 80s comedy "Coming To America" starring Eddie Murphy.
Firstly, in Coming To America McDowell's had the Golden Arcs whereas McDonald's had the Golden Arches. American Idol had Simon, Paula and Randy whereas The X Factor now has Simon, Paula and a new Randy making it a totally different show. This was amusing but it wasn't the part of the film that first came to my attention.
It would have been nice to have a Soul Week where Frankie tried a Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate rendition of "The Greatest Love Of All." No doubt Gary would say, "God damn, that boy can sing. He good!" Again, that wasn't what I was thinking about when deciding on the main point of this blog.
The part that best summed up this year's X Factor was when Eddie Murphy, playing an old white Jewish guy tells a joke in the end credits about a man in a restaurant who asked the waiter to taste the soup. The waiter then asks the man, "Is it too hot? Too cold? Too spicy?" The man keeps saying, "Just taste the soup!" Finally the waiter agrees to taste the soup and says, "Where's the spoon?" The man waves his finger and says, " Uh-huh!"
There was no spoon. We don't get to know if the soup was any good but it doesn't matter. It wasn't the point of the man's question. That's the joke.
The X Factor PR has been relentlessly spinning stories to keep the press and public interested in the show and nobody is even concerned about the spoon let alone the soup.
Is Kelly going? Is Louis sacked? Does Gary have a clue? Is Simon coming back? Is it a fix? What about the ratings? These and many more pointless questions will continue to distract the viewer away from the most important questions that we should be asking the X Factor producers. Is the quality of talent really good enough to get prime time TV for 25% of the year? Where's the talent? Uh-huh!
Sadly that's not the punch line. With X Factor, come January we will forget all about the bad service and the SYCO waiter will just hand us another winning spoon and the soup will no doubt taste a bit like pop schlop. We will then moan to each other, smile at the waiter before leaving a tip and go back to the same crappy restaurant the following year and say, "Didn't we say we wouldn't come here again? - Oh, it's under new management? Ok then, I'll have soup. Where's the spoon?"