Friday, January 26, 2007


This is one very good reason why I stopped watching. Check this first, then come on back here.

Watched it?

Okay, so this girl's a little unhinged, she comes off as a complete loon. But let's pull back the rug on a few things here. Firstly, you're seeing edited footage. Gone are the 'dull' bits where she may well have explained herself better, gone are the bits where the judges might have said something really feckin dumb or inappropriate, mumbled or fluffed a reply. Secondly, the big thing that is kept from us viewers at home, is what a kid like this has experienced over the preceding 36 hours.

Yup...36 hours.

That girl, and a 10,000s of others assembled down at a football stadium up to two days before the auditions were being filmed, sleeping rough inside the stadium for one or two nights. She will have passed two auditions in front of minor members of the production team, who would have been drilled to pass only 'the very best and the very worst'. The first audition would have whittled down the 80-100,000 people who turned up, down to about 3,000. The second audition would have whittled that down to about 150.

And so finally....having survived to the last 150 (from approx 100,000), it's understandable that she might believe she has something to offer.

Having quite possibly slept rough for two nights, and having quite probably travelled a fair way for this audition, she's wheeled in at the last moment, only to be laughed at by three pompous assholes. Christ, I'd be a little pissed off too.

Now to the real point, the reason I felt moved to write about her....whoever she is. She came so close, so-o-o-o-o-o close to blowing the gig, to revealing American Idol (and X Factor) as the complete sham that it is.

Randy says to her, 'Idol is all about great singers.' It's not. It never has been about singing. It's about a lot of other things, the inter-judge rivalry, the in-yer-face raw emotional play-out of young kid's dreams being crushed...

...I mean where else, other than some seedy snuff movie, could you see in realtime, in studio-lit slow-motion, a child sliding from euphoria into borderline suicidal depression in the space of thirty seconds? That's TV-cocaine. That is what this show is all about.

They want tears, they want screaming, they want shouting...and as soon as a contestant starts doing any of those things, the camera man's right in there, shoving the lens into their face.

I used to watch X Factor. I stopped watching it during the audition phase last time round. I stopped when I read a revealing article, explaining how, even at this early audition stage, many of the future finalists had already been agreed, having privately negotiated with Simon Cowell and his production company, via their agent/manager to be on the show. The auditions, the boot camps...that's all, to not put too fine a point on it...staged.

I cringe whenever I hear one of the judges say 'it's all about your voice'.


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parmenion said...

i always have ans always will hate reality tv, this sort of thing just confirms my opinions

Anonymous said...

All I can say is read a book like Ben Elton's "Chart Idol" to get a good idea about how the show(s) really work. While I was always sceptical (to say the least) about the whole X-Factor thing, I never bothered to think through the numbers; 100,000 contestants? 3 minute auditions? Do the maths and think about if the judges are going to give up 300,00 minutes of their lives per season.... oh wait that would be around 3 years (without sleep) per year! Ooops....

The think about the revenue from the text and phone voting generated by each show. I suspect that by the fourth round the produciton company have broken even and from that point forward it's all money in the bank, no matter who eventually wins!