This year is the end of an era for me. Since 2004, I have religiously watched the UK version of The X Factor. For the second half of each year, my Saturday and Sunday nights have been reserved for making judgmental comments about my favourite and least favorite contestants. It is with great sadness and pain, then, that I announce that I have thrown in the towel and am no longer watching the show in question.
I have stuck with The X Factor through thick and thin. I was there when Louis chose to save The Conway Sisters over Maria. I was there when Louis made Dannii cry on live TV. I was there when everyone thought One Direction wouldn’t make it after the show. Through voting scandals and judging battles, I have watched with excitement and joy. Why, then, have I decided to give up this year?
There are many different answers to this question. The most prevalent of these is the obvious lack of talent on this year’s show. It has been evident since the beginning that this year’s batch of contestants doesn’t match up to the standards set by previous years. In fact, each contestant seems to be a shittier version of entrants from years gone by. Kye? Shitty Matt Cardle. Union J? Shitty One Direction. Rylan? Shitty Jedward.
There is one contestant with a special place in my heart. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this strongly about a finalist on a singing show, but that’s just a testament to how much of a filthy degenerate he is. That’s right, Im talking about Christopher Maloney. This Liverpudlian fake, who has somehow managed to make his way to the eighth week of the competition, is a disgusting person.
He’s a cheesy, Butlins-style performer, who pretended to have nerved during the early stages of the show, despite having worked on cruise ships for several years. More importantly, he just doesn’t look like a pop star. Every week, when the contestants gather on the stage, Christopher looks like he has wondered in off the street to see what all the fuss is about. I hate him.
Moving away from the show’s participants, it seems as if the format itself is growing stale. The buzz seems to be gone, and nobody seems to really care who stays and who goes on the Sunday evening. This seems to be justified by The X Factor’s ever-dwindling viewing figures.
This year the show has slipped behind its primetime rival Strictly Come Dancing, a show The X Factor used to bury in the ratings. I personally don’t get any of the hype around Strictly, and the fascination that old people seem to have with it. I suppose the show reminds them of their own lives; in that, as time passes, there are fewer and fewer people around them …
This apathy on the part of viewers has led to many of the shock departures on this year’s show. People reacted with genuine disgust earlier this week when Ella was booted out, while acts like Rylan and Christopher remain on the show. Honestly, you’d think they’d have slaughtered a litter of puppies on live television with the way people were reacting. Erm, if you really wanted her to stay, why didn’t you vote for her? That might’ve been a good idea.
Perhaps its the judges who have played a part in the series’ demise. Not Tulisa, though. Tulisa is a glorious creature who has never done, and will never do anything wrong. Let’s get that straight. I have previously made clear my thoughts on Nicole Scherzinger and her ‘interesting’ approach to being a reality TV judge. As much as I can’t stand her, I do find her entertaining from time to time.
I know people hate Louis Walsh, but I can’t help but find him funny. Every Sunday, when the bottom two is announced, I immediately assume that Louis will vote to eliminate the stronger of the two acts, just to create a bit of drama. He usually does, and instantly regrets it. Lou Lou even sheds a tear from time to time, it’s glorious.
That leaves us with one Mr Gary Barlow. Let’s just put it out there: Gary Barlow is a fucking prick. He is patronising and awful, and his choice of talent is extremely questionable. His obsession with making the show ‘credible’ has shown him to be entirely obnoxious and self-centered. Simon Cowell had an ego, but Barlow is another story entirely. His only saving grace is that he wears a cool suit once and a while. Other than that, his place on the show is unwarranted.
After looking back over this, I’m still not quite sure why I’ve stopped watching. It might be Barlow, it might be the lack of talent, or maybe I’m just tired of the format. I’m sure of one thing, though; it’s not that I have anything else to do on a Saturday night. I’m way too cool for that.