X Factor is a show unlike any other, spawning from Pop Idol like a devilish bastard child, the programme has influenced the charts more than the ever dire Cliff Richard has throughout his entire career. When thinking of metaphors by which to compare, one might look to MacDonald’s shovelling factory processed beef into the ignorant mouths of thousands and just like junk food the shows lasting legacy is vacuous obesity. This year has been perhaps the worst in the X Factor's long history with criticisms, controversies and lack lustre performances battering the stuffing out of it from every angle. Ratings have fallen catastrophically as a result, raising the question of whether or not it might be time for the show to hang its head in shame and get back to its home in the seventh circle of auditory hell.
As per usual the programme kick started with its auditions held across the country, although calling them true auditions is a stretch considering the fact the punters are pre-screened by the producers before gracing the stage. What was once comedy value in its portrayal of the eccentricities of the deluded British public, seemingly lost its usual furore as it immediately became clear that the show was already scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Resultantly the line-up formulated was a rag-tag bunch devoid of any 'X Factor' that previous stars of the show have gone on to prove through their semi-extensive pop careers. Frankie Cocozza was a walking disaster, a wannabe joke of a rock-star without a shred of talent, Rythmix were an illegally named group of imitation Cher Lloyds, Nu Vibe were a poor man’s JLS and The Risk were "special" version of The Wanted. To be perfectly honest the acts that the new contestants have clearly been based around are already in their 15th minute of fame, albeit with a few exceptions. The sensation then would be one of piling crap on top of crap, which instead of captivating the public as in the past, has left a large majority extremely disinterested. This is because it's a predictable roster of "artists" reminiscent of stereotyped characters in a throw away sitcom: the quirky one, the sensitive one, the cute one, the token black one, they're all here and it's oh so disgustingly predictable.
Furthering this the new panel of judges have proved distinctly unsatisfactory in relation to recent years, the absence of Simon Cowell has dare we say it, been a factor that has left the show devoid of the venom that made it so watchable in the first place. Whilst Barlow, Tulisa, Rowland and Louis Walsh are clearly attempting to do their best, the lack of a detracting voice has caused a transference of the critical eye from the program itself to the audience. Subsequently the fall in ratings has clearly been unavoidable, a result of inherent flaws within the very formulation of the programmes foundations.
And then came the various scandals that have rocked the shows far from squeaky clean record of offending an audience clearly devoid of any modicum of taste. We've had Coccozza and his Henry the hoover routine thrust into our faces in what has quite frankly been the most embarrassing and vile moment of this year, yet the blame falls squarely upon the show for encouraging the womanising/"rock star" antics of Frankie in a desperate bid to claw back ratings. Then there was the Rhythmix scandal in which the charity of the same name is suing the show on very grounded allegations of violation of their intellectual property. Votes have reputably been fixed, violating a distinct contract with the viewer and exposing the thinly masked profit churning machine behind the show. Lastly we have seen racism from Kitten alongside bullying, rounding off a list that indicates the show truly is a cancer on the music industry, Britain's social standing and the television schedule.
Pile on top of this utter mess the various detractions from established and viable musicians and you have one hell of a PR nightmare. In January Jessie J said contestants on the show "skipped the queue to stardom", Primal Scream slammed the performance of 'Rocks', Tinie Tempah has made it a laughing stock on 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' and Chris Deburgh has said the show lacks any real talent. Even Sir Bruce Forsyth has jumped on the bandwagon saying it's no surprise that 'Strictly Come Dancing' has repeatedly schooled the X Factor in the rating stakes. When past contestants Janet Devlin, Matt Cardle and Amelia Lily have also slammed the show for its practices and for stifling creativity the sum of the situation is that the nation is fed up.
Dubbed as glorified "karaoke" by Devlin, X Factor has found its definition and subtext as in reality it truly is nothing but. It would be so much better to see real song-writing musicians make an appearance, maybe allow them to play their own songs? Lord knows, anything would be better than watching disgraceful groups of glory hunters being fed through the musical abattoir.
The show must change as this year it has been exposed for the unfulfilling tripe it really is. The rise of the contestants is meteoric and so is the fall - perhaps the fate of the programme is now reflecting that. In all the country needs to wake up and stop watching until Talkback Thames decides to clean up house in order to allow some real talent to shine; or failing that move away from producing a fraudelent contrivance decieving a nation.