Oh, X Factor…


Sometimes I wonder whether my peers like The X Factor in the way that I do — namely, ironically. I watch it in the same way I imagine people might stand and gape at an horrific car crash. Unfortunately, it would seem they do not. People genuinely believe that these glorified, odd karaoke stars will make it in the world of music.

This is what upsets me about The X Factor. Year after year they harp on about wanting something different, but they really don’t. Anyone with a bit of individuality is commercialised, then miraculously doesn’t fit into the forced genre; then those that the judges believe to be individualistic and creative are really just plain weird. In a way I understand why they put that pretend rocker through — he was the edgy one they were looking for. Unfortunately, even if dreadlocked, frail-legged Frankie was the next Keith Richards, he would never have fitted into X Factor stereotypes. The formula for every year is as follows: a racially stereotypical quota of a black man or woman with an amazing voice; a comedy goose in the form of Jedward, or the man this year with the high voice; a man band the teenage ladies ululate over; a girl band who think they can harmonise; an extremely soppy guy who can sing moderately okay; and a middle-aged woman who can sing like Christina Aguilera. This becomes even more frustrating when you visit Southampton University’s music department and see what musical talent really is.

The X Factor simply is not a music talent show — it is an entertainment show dressed up as a music talent show. While everyone sits there admiring its invisible robes, sometimes I feel I am the only one to see how naked it really is.


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2nd year Music student.


  1. avatar

    Well done you. You’ve stripped away the illusion for me. There I was thinking the X Factor was showcasing the very best of Britain’s singers and then this article came along and set me straight. Thanks very much.

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