>Confessions of an X-Factor Convert

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The title of this post is perhaps a bit misleading. I have never disliked the X-Factor particularly, or cited it as an example of  the death of tv or music. It has made a proper star in the case of Cheryl Cole, and, well, 14 odd million people can’t be wrong every week. Last night though, a friend of mine said he would only come to the cinema with me if we first watched X-Factor. 20 minutes in I was irritated by Jedward and Louis Walsh, intrigued by Stacey Solomon’s story and looking forward to seeing Olly. By the end of the show I had picked my winner (Jo, if you’re interested). In other words I was completely addicted.

What I found so compelling was not the musical development of the singers, or the interaction between the judges, but the way the program gives people a chance they never would have had. I know its become a circus, but most of the young people on that program would never have been heard, never have shared their talent. Jedward excluded. Music should be about genuine talent being discovered, and by allowing anyone to have an audition the X-Factor is a genuinely democratic way of giving people a chance to shine. Jedward excluded.

I don’t know why I feel such a compulsion to justify enjoying the X-Factor. It just highly watchable TV. Jedward excluded. But when people criticise Simon Cowell for being a money grabbing egoist, they should remember he is giving some people a chance to impress him whose CDs would normally end up in the bin. I’m off to watch the results show.

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