There are people who love TV programmes such as X Factor and there are others who cannot stand them. I definitely cannot stand them.
I used to watch some of these programmes a few years ago but i now find that there are too many of them and given too much importance. Over the last ten years we have seen Pop Stars, Pop Idol, Britains Got Talent, X Factor and a few others spread across the world.
Initially, like a lot of other people i could watch these shows and see them for what they are- just a bit of light fun on TV for an hour or so. But over the last few years you cannot avoid these programmes even if you have no interest in them. Each series of programmes stretches on for months and isn't just on once a week but seems to be on several times where you can see the performances, the results, the interviews. Not to mention the times it is repeated. The newspapers, as well give these programmes and seemingly anyone who is on it, be it judges or performers blanket coverage. All these people are feted and treated like superstars even if they have very little talent.
Years ago if someone had won a TV talent show then it was seen as a good start and maybe help them on their way to a successful career, but now it seems to be that this is the only goal. You win a talent show, or do well in it and at the very least you are guaranteed a hit record, but this has very little to do with talent. As i have said these performers get blanket coverage for months which basically works out to be an awful lot of advertising. I imagine even somebody completely tone deaf reading names out of the phone book would still have a massive hit record with that amount of advertising.
People will say that the judges for these shows are well qualified for it and they may have a point. They are there for one thing and one thing only- to make money. They are certainly not interested in talent. Somebody talented might do well, but i certainly don't believe that this is what they are really looking for. Somebody reasonably good looking with an average voice who they can easily manipulate is, i think the criteria for them. People may say that the judges know what they are talking about when it comes to music, but again it's hard to find any evidence. Judges on X Factor, for instance- Simon Cowell, and Louis Walsh may have been involved in a few hit records down through the years, but again the constant thing is the lack of any talent. Dull, anaemic boy band songs or novelty hits seem to be the only thing they know.
It used to be a big music event, seeing what the number 1 song was at Christmas. But X factor has even turned that into a boring procession, where usually the winner of that show goes in at number 1 in Christmas week. So even that can get turned into the totally mundane.
From many years i can remember Christmas by what songs were fighting to be top and which eventually made number 1. Nowadays i couldn't tell the difference from all these X Factor Christmas songs because they all just seem to be clones of each other.
Over the last couple of years there has been more people from the music world coming out against these programmes, because despite calling themselves talent shows that is the last thing they are. They are looking for the easy option and not any unique talented singers or performers. They have far too much power and are bringing through more and more anaemic acts. Just think of the singers who wouldn't have survived on X Factor type shows if they were a bit different or had an unusual voice.- Elvis Presley, John Lennon, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan. I could think of a lot more but even that small group of singers would have been shown the door for looking a bit odd or singing a bit whiny or some other reason.
In my opinion these shows have brought music back 50 years. I remember reading that back then there were a lot of good looking singers who were given the songs to sing by their management and didn't have a say in it. These singers weren't particularly encouraged to have a long career but just to have two or three hits while they were popular. It was only in the early 1960's when The Beatles broke through and started writing their own songs that things started to change. They had great success with this which encouraged many record companies and bands themselves to write their own songs. Around this time a lot of great music was being made, and the bands had backing from their record companies for longer term rather than just for the quick hit or two of earlier years. For many years this seemed to be the way that music was made and would be continued to do for a lot more, but it is really only in the event of the talent shows having too much power and promoting their dull acts that things have went back to the ways of about 1960.
For these reasons i would like to see the back of these programmes. People who like these shows will soon enough find another programme to watch in this prime viewing time, and TV stations may be encouraged to make better programmes rather than relying on the endless supply of talent/reality shows. It wouls also be a good thing to end the appeal of the instant celebrity and have celebrities and idols having some talent. So as in the title of my Hub i would definitely applaud if X Factor was to become Axe Factor, and clear the way for some actual musical talent.