COUCH POTATO: X Factor scrapes the bottom of the barrel
2:39pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
So that’s it. Auditions done and dusted.
We've seen every act we're going to see this year (solo rejects thrown together at the last minute to pad out the groups category aside, of course), which leaves one miserable, life-sapping thought.
Somewhere among the overwhelmingly drab, desperate and talentless bunch through to Bootcamp this weekend is The X Factor winner.
And all ITV has to do now is drag out this baloney until Christmas, a prospect even less palatable with the fact this series is a write-off after just four weeks of pointless two-phase room/arena auditions.
They’ve sifted out all but one potential comedy act, in the time-honoured tradition of Wagner and Chico – a role so crucial to the success or failure of the live shows (for failure, see Rylan Clark) – reggae, reggae Souli Roots.
And she’s no Goldie Cheung, I can tell you.
Anyone else remotely mould-breaking, amusing or entertaining has been canned, apart from that yodelling goof.
The blame begins and ends with the judges who’ve been taking it all way too seriously.
They genuinely believe, bless them, that their mission is to find a new global superstar.
A fruitless task, obviously. The panel’s only job is to help make an enjoyable Saturday night television programme.
Instead, they’ve turned the show’s 10th anniversary into a wake.
Take the arena audience, for instance – 4,000 people encouraged to express themselves by booing, cheering, applauding or chanting: “Off! Off! Off! Off!” when the need arises.
But this is the hypocritical, schizophrenic X Factor, remember.
So last Sunday, as the crowd vocally disagreed with the judges, Sharon Osbourne turned round and rudely retorted: “Oh, how dare you. Hush now,” while Louis Walsh snapped: “Shut up.”
That pair aren’t even the worst offenders when it comes to sucking the joy out of the occasion.
Chief cheer-douser is Gary Barlow who opened his account on Saturday night, following the first useless act, by puffing out his cheeks and moaning: “It’s the same thing. It’s like a shortcut to fame.”
What the hell did he think X Factor was? A three-year work placement shadowing Chris Evans?
A quite extraordinary comment that demonstrates he simply doesn’t understand the show or share its sense of fun that has somehow got lost over the years.
He’d fit in far better on BBC1’s joyless energy vacuum The Voice.
Barlow was also at the centre of the latest case of vile trickery by the panel and producers of driving a wedge between best friends in the name of public entertainment.
The victims were girl trio the Daisy Chains, so-called because: “If one of the links is broken, we don’t work,” a stronger-than-oak bond that lasted right up until Gary Barlow told Hannah Sheares: “You have the potential to go far, but on your own.”
A tearful break-up ensued, with hilarious consequences.
Equally cynical and uncomfortable to watch was Nicole Scherzinger inviting Joseph Whelan’s five-year-old son into the room to watch his dad audition.
Whelan is actually part of the show’s biggest problem now, one that’s made it a sitting duck for the welcome return of Strictly Come Dancing – the bombardment of umpteen X Factor flops returning to haunt us.
Aside from building a bonfire of acoustic guitars, it’s the most urgent change required – a lifetime ban for any previous contestant.
Because the bottom of the talent barrel has long since been scraped.
It’s time to put two barrels to the X Factor’s head.
This show’s done and dusted.
lThe Two Ronnies Spectacle on Gold.
lRichard Osman out-funnying Sarah Millican on her BBC2 Television Programme.
lThis Morning wheeling out an embarrassing clip of Stuart Little for guest Hugh Laurie’s career highlights.
lThe One Show’s sight of 9,000 body silhouettes sketched out on Arromanches beach in Normandy, one for every D-Day Landings victim.
lEdie Falco choking back the tears in a tribute to James Gandolfini at the Emmy Awards, on 5USA
lAnd BBC2’s The Wrong Mans with James Corden and Mathew Baynton, who’s best known for Horrible Histories.
lGreat British Bake Off permitting crying.
lStaying In With Greg and Russell. (So I’m going out.)
lWatchdog wasting everyone’s time revealing M&S’s autumn collection is nearly sold out.
lBBC1 absolute stinker By Any Means. Avoid by any means.
lC5 asking Amanda Knox Trial: Five Key Questions but failing to provide a single satisfactory answer.
lDavid Coulthard’s muddled BBC1 commentary at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix: “This is one of the best over-pit taking slots.”
lThe Alan Titchmarsh Show giving airtime to a debate on ghosts.
lITV2’s Peter Andre: My Life spending 60 minutes plugging ITV1’s 60 Minute Makeover.
lAnd chef Tom Kerridge with quite the unusual ingredient for his fruit fool dessert on BBC2’s Proper Pub Food: “I’m going to stick my plums into the butter mix.”
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