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What I learned about X-Factor this year

Yeah, I'm blogging about X-Factor. Normal service will resume on Monday. Just had to get this out there.

For previous series' I sat on Twitter during X-Factor copying and pasting tweets for a series of posts for TweeteReviews. However, this year I didn't. The tweets weren't as funny as previous years, mainly because the contestants weren't as interesting. No Misha B, Cher Lloyd, devil woman, big chin chick, JEdward etc. I've been able to actually take in opinions now.

First off I think people take the show way too seriously. I stopped being outraged from the first week when judges kept joke act Rylan in. Louis chose to save the chick, before changing his mind to save Rylan, then when Dermot asked him to repeat his answer he said "I wanna take it to deadlock". The only reason I felt outraged is due to the flip-flop blatant fishy movements by Louis.

That was the last time I felt any outrage. Think that was the first week of live shows.

1. I think the perception of the show being a "singing show" is stupid. If real-life politics (Government and that) isn't about policies, how can X-Factor be about singing? The same people that say they have doubts about voting for Ed Milliband because "He doesn't seem like a leader" or liking Barack because he has swagger, aren't likely to vote for a singer because they can sing. Even in the real world of music, there are many singers we believe are great singer but don't make interesting songs. I'll come on to that in a second.

2. We don't judge X-Factor contestants the same way we do artists in the real world. Singing covers is never easy because we always compare to the original and they're restrictive in how you flex your own muscles. Even "proper singers" fail covers and they're pretty restrictive unlike original songs for obvious reasons. Imagine your favourite artist had to sing a different cover each week for like 9 weeks straight. Not everyone of the established and our favourite acts will succeed. Most top-sellers stay in a familiar lane, so it's cool when numerous similar singles roll out over a period of months. When it's 9/10 weeks straight under a microscope is boring or predictable.

3. And related to that, it's difficult to tell who has the X-Factor on X-Factor. It's a myth. If you can't tell that after 9 series', then boy...

One Direction were pretty well-rated on the show, but how many of us saw them conquering the world in such dominant fashion? They finished third remember. Runner-up Rebecca Ferguson from the same series was dubbed "boring" yet shifted 500k albums this year. "Annoying" Cher Lloyd, placed 4th, managed to score a top ten hit in America. Never saw that coming. Shaky-legged 2009 runner-up Olly Murs is still here 3 years later. In fact, he has number 1 single and album as I write this and performs in arenas. Never saw that on the show.

Leona Lewis is probably the most popular act ever on X-Factor and while she has done pretty well (two albums sold well, this one? Well...), it hasn't been future legend status as many of us anticipated. Alexandra Burke is another popular winner, yet runners up JLS had a much more successful career. In fact, who even likes Alex Burke anymore? Her second album flopped tremendously. I'm sure most reading thought they (Leona and Alexandra) had the X-Factor.

And I can categorically tell you that some of the best-selling artists in the UK and some of our favourite artists would not win the X-Factor. It really is just a TV show. Not a great deal can be determined from it. Songs made after the show are how you can tell. There are a lot of myths in the music business, mainly around image and PR stuff, but even in 2012, the song matching the image is the X-Factor. 

4. Lastly, the biggest lesson I've learned is people that consume American hip hop and r&b live in a warped world. Never, ever take their opinions on pop stars seriously. They'll comment on who hasn't got what it takes to be a pop star on a Saturday, then not know the material by the genuine pop star performing on the Sunday.. If you proudly admit not listening to top 40 radio or even knowing what's number 1 in the pop charts, how you meant to critique pop star potential in the same breath?

This is the reason everyone but me and a few were surprised at Ella's early departure. I predicted it three weeks in advance. And on that note, Jahmene mi seh!

(Bonus: the reason Tulisa's album failed is because she doesn't have the X-Factor. She did for the first song that reflected her rebellious youth. The other songs didn't match the feisty, rebellious image we have of her at all. She should have taken a leaf out of Pink and Kelly Clarkson's book instead of sticking with her "urban roots")


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