Saturday, May 31, 2008

Britain's Got X-Factor

I'm going to a show tonight. It's going to be three hours of fast-paced music, gags and low-brow fun from an almost unknown cast of musicians singers and comics. It'll take me an hour to get there and park the car, half an hour of hanging around and cost me 20 quid to get in. Then I'll sit craning my neck round the heads of the folks in front from a side-aisle seat. I've seen it before but, man, I'm going to love it. Live entertainment at its best from experienced pros who've honed their talent in fire and make their living from repeat business.

It means, of course, that I'll miss the finals of I'd Do Anything and Britain's Got Talent - those two most supreme examples of style over substance, where millions of hype-prone TV viewers buy into the tawdry dreams of haplessly untalented amateurs hoping for a break.

I saw some of BGT last night. The show lasts an hour and a half - with eight acts doing less than a couple of minutes each. So take away the packaging, the ads, the previews, audience reaction, fireworks, gibberish from Ant and Dec and the feigned angst and anger from the 'judges' and that leaves about a quarter of an hour of actual performance from people who, mostly, you wouldn't give tuppence to watch in person.

The final turn, a string quartet, summed up the whole event. In short tight frocks and stilettos, they somehow 'played' a James Bond theme in an implausible full orchestral arrangement. Maybe they were miming, maybe they weren't - you couldn't tell and nobody seemed to notice or care. Cowell was ecstatic. He stood up to ovate and told them they were fantastic. What he meant was marketable - four glamourous birds strutting and pouting. You could see the £££ signs lighting up in his eyes. Who cares whether they can play when clearly they can sell.

Everybody's a winner. Advertisers know that people who are vulnerable to watching drivel like this will be equally vulnerable to buying the crap advertised to them while it's on. Cowell knows that they'll buy the albums of any artist he can sign up from it, as they did with last year's winner, Paul Potts. ITV makes some much-needed profit by shoving pap from its bloated silicon tit down the gaping gizzards of a gullible public.

And at the end of the show, you can vote for your favourite (no-hoper). You could hardly find a better metaphor for (elections in) Britain.


Glamourpuss said...

Ouch. Such cynicism. I agree it's a load of crap, but I think it's only a metaphor for a sad sector of Britain.

How was your show?

And thanks so much for sponsoring me - I do very much appreciate it.

Puss xx

All Shook Up said...

Hiya Puss. Yah, with hindsight, my last para could do with another sentence to make it more valid.

Show had me walking on air on the way out, thanks. Brrrrrilliant.

You're most welcome.. good luck with it!