Go! Smell the X-(fear) factor

Posted on September 28th, 2008 by Purple13

Here in the UK (and USA too I believe) we have a little show called The X-Factor. 100′s of 1,000′s turn up for open auditions to be the next big pop music find. They perform without instruments before a celeb panel of Simon Cowell, Danni Minogue, Louis Walsh and Cheryl ? from Girls Aloud? (She’s new this year – Sorry Cheryl if you’re reading this – we love you really)

After getting a yes, they go onto boot camp where they perform in rows of 5, some get thru to day 2, others do not and go home.

Second day, the same process pretty much.

Yesterdays boot camp day 1 was extra stressful…..

After ‘getting through’, they were all called on stage and told that in 1 hour, a third of them would be going home! After the hour their names were called out and they were sent to one of 3 rooms – basically one room would be going home.

The TV cameras rove around the tearful and pretty stressed out bunch – this is good television after all – the hopes of single mums wanting a better life for themselves and their child, the chap whose wife died a year ago after their daughter was born, the ex drug addict whose put their life back together, the girl who lost 20 stone in 2 years and wants this chance so much…. the list goes on.

Recently I blogged about the Antidote to life but what these guys are going through doesn’t even begin to compare i fear. Talk about cutting atmosphere’s with knifes.

This is only the second stage – they do this again tomorrow – singing for survival those luvvies in TV voiceover land call it before they whittle them down yet again and take a selected few off to their private houses. Even then, only a few will get through to the live tv shows where the public decide by phone vote who gets through, who goes.

We all watch it of course – this is good TV after all. We want tears and heartbreaking stories don’t we?

Am I the only one who thinks this is just all a bit much?

I still watch it – we like to see a winner after all.

My point rather belatedly is a health one really. Rather than debate the TV spectacle versus an individuals rights ( I know they’ve signed up for it so must expect it), what is this amount of stress doing to these poor people? How do you go back to normal life after getting so close? Some give up their jobs, their college etc to pursue the chance of fame and fortune. But surely their must be some professional help on offer – especially for those that get to the live shows?

The judges are looking for faultless performance every time but how can you relax enough to achieve that when so so much is riding on your 3 minutes on the stage? What do you reckon and if you were there, how would you cope with the stress?

12 Responses to “Go! Smell the X-(fear) factor”

  1. mike says:

    I think it’s good – these people know what they are getting into. Only 1 person will not be disappointed at the end of it. Plus – and this is a massive plus – the UK music industry is getting the benefit – with X factor mopping up the easy listening pop market, the diversity of talent that is thriving in the “real” music world is getting more exposure, more time than they would normally get. :-)

    And I love the programme – have to get my weekly dose of trash TV – helps me keep a balance! And watching Holly on Xtra factor on ITV2 is reason enough to watch anyway – she’s pretty yum !

  2. That is part of being successful in the elite levels of entertainment and sports is how to handle the stress and still shine through. If they can handle it, the more likely it is that they will succeed. How would I handle it. I have to use the stretch of my imagination because I do not have that type of talent. I think, I would try to tune everything out…use an ipod to listen to something. And, mentally really focus at my task at hand and/or focus on relaxing. That is really a tough question because I can’t imagine myself in a similar circumstance.

  3. Jim says:

    Sometimes it’s a ‘ be careful what you wish for’ from off the street to elite……

    That 15 minutes of fame – there’s INDIAN idol signs all over the place in Mumbai so I guess this is a real global success. Caught a bit of it in the UK and the pattern at the auditions was always:

    Hoards of people.
    A few OK.
    Some cringingly bad.
    A well scripted disagreement with the judges.
    1 star with a social issue that plucks your heart strings.
    Cringey bad ones again who think they really have a chance.

    Repeat for 3 years all over the world*

    *shrinks optional in the Glasgow edition

  4. aussiecynic says:

    Sorry to tell you this Purple but I have never watch it..
    Yes it has been on the TV in OZ but I choose not view it…
    that being said.. I must be the only person in the western world who has never watch more then 5 minutes of the following…

    BIG BROTHER.. any country
    Ameriacn IDOL..
    Australian IDOL..
    UK IDOL..
    X Factor…
    Make me a super model … nope
    The Weakest Link
    Dancing with the Stars
    It takes Two..
    and any in between….

    Just cant bring myself to watch
    But hey HOME AND AWAY and NEIGHBOURS is banned from the TV here as well….

  5. Lib says:

    I watch it and think its absolutely cracking! Its got a bit of everything!

    The sad, heart wrenching ‘I’ve been raised by pigeons’ stories

    The last chancers in life, more last chancers on here than any AA meeting, it would be interesting to see if the suicide rate actually does go up after the knock out stages.

    And finally, Simon Cowells by now classicly scripted (perhaps trademarked) :-

    **wink** ‘You’ve got your fourth yes’.

    God, I love it.

  6. Purple13 says:

    Hi Lib and other folks – I do wonder if a lot of the contestants realise that they are actually being laughed at instead of laughed with?…

  7. Lib says:

    Probably not but they’ve all seen the footage and know what they’re letting themselves in for though.

    • Purple13 says:

      yesss – it never ceases to amaze me. Actually I think its quite rude of the judges to laugh while the contestant is singing… as funny as it may be.

      • Jim says:

        How about a xmas special where the panel have to sing?

        Kind of like a kids versus teachers soccer game – the thought of that still excites me for some reason…

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