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The X Factor

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Consumingfire39
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Out of all the singing TV competitions, X-Factor looks to be the most staged and scripted.

It's almost painful. Like the guy who worked on a duet with Britney Spears and came out of the

closet on X-Factor. That was just dumb and too melodramatic. No real need for anything like that.

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Out of all the singing TV competitions, X-Factors looks to be the most staged and scripted.

It's almost painful. Like the guy who worked on a duet with Britney Spears and came out of the

closet on X-Factor. That was just dumb and too melodramatic. No real need for anything like that.

Nobody that made it through was very talented and like you said, so much was scripted it was hard to watch.

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Whatever happened to shows like "It's Showtime at the Apollo" and "Star Search"?

Some future stars that appeared:

Beyonce sang with her group "Girls Tyme" on Star Search when she was 12 years old.

Justin Timberlake at 11 years old on Star Search singing country!.....lol...

Britney Spears at 10 years old on Star Search

Lauryn Hill was booed off stage at the Apollo Theater when she was 13...lmao....

Aaliyah at 10 years old on Star Search

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFJ2kblbChk

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Whatever happened to shows like "It's Showtime at the Apollo" and "Star Search"?

Well, what we have today is updated versions of these shows. The difference being, snarkiness, belittling, cynicism, shock value, and simply acting like trash in general is glorified and rewarded above all else.

I hope I live to see a 180 degree turn, because I feel it's nothing but a negative influence on society as a whole.

(steps off soapbox)

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As a young lad of 22, I wasn't around to see these original talent shows, but the similarities and differences between them are evident. Let me come at it from the other side because I think it's all to easy to wade in and bash things (the x factor, Justin Bieber, Susan Boyle etc) because that's what everybody thinks they should do if they don't want to be considered an idiot.

My first point would be to realise the fact that the show is a business. At the end of the day, the ultimate purpose of the show is to make money, not to find talent, promote credible artists etc. Obviously these are a means of making money, however, the fact that they also televise all the no hopers, tantrums and tears, show that they will use whatever tools they have at their disposal to gain viewers and make money. I think the fact that they don't hide this business agenda makes it obvious to anyone who scratches the surface of the show, that it is not a genuine talent show, but a business. It's a great example of Adorno's theories of standardisation within popular music; the show maintains it's core format whilst tweeting the formula every year e.g. new judges, placing auditions in front of a live audience. The very fact the some of the most successful acts to come out of the show are not the most talented/have not been winners of the show further demonstrates that talent is not a prerequisite for success.

The show appeals to a culture in which people crave the extreme, the ridiculous and the weird, be it good or bad. People don't want to sit and watch 100's of cute, talented little Justin Timberlakes singing songs, they want drama, excitement, controversy, good vs evil.. like a greek tragedy. The X Factor is the modern day version of the Greek theatre, the gladiator battles of Rome, the public hangings and torturing of medieval times.. so in that respect, it needs to have the same characters, the villains, the heroes, the underdogs etc and the shocking extreme behavior. It has a social value that goes beyond the talent show premise. If we add to that that in this day in age, you can go on the internet and find the most incredible singers who can sing their butts of whilst standing on their heads, there is no need for this process for talent finding. A label goes out and does exactly the same thing just without showing you the more "human" stages in between.

I think in defense of the X Factor and all the other previous versions like Pop Idol, it has actually produced some incredibly successful and talented (two very different things =P) acts like Girls Aloud, One Direction, Leona Lewis, JLS. It has been a genuine platform for those artists and for the general public who are not particularly into or knowledgeable about music, they are able to provide an emotional gratification. Heck, I'll even admit that when Matt Cardle sang "The first time ever i saw your face" I was incredibly moved.

My final point is one that I think is overlooked when talking about the X Factor, and is incredibly pertinent when talking about credible artists. The fact that the X Factor and label makes so much money from the show and it's winners means it can take more risks in developing and supporting more diverse artists that would otherwise be unable to gain label support due to their lack of mainstream appeal. In this respect, the X Factor directly funds new independent music, which i think is a very relevant point when people go on about the lack of credibility of the artists on the show.. it all comes full circle.

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Excellent post, MB.

I was struck by irony when Steven Tyler as an AI judge. He was never one to compete in talent shows. He got where he is the hard way.

And I agree, it is more about greek tragedy ("oh, the pathos") than it is about talent, or so it seems. Once in a while, a real winner comes along. Chances are, they usually already have some stage experience and built up some confidence and chops along the way. Or had a mentor.

Kelly Clarkson is friends, literally, with Reba McIntire. Kelly is from Burleson, Texas, south of Fort Worth and Reba is from the Oklahoma side of Lake Texoma.

Adam Lambert performed in musicals and had been singing and performing since a young age.

I think those things made a difference.

But, the talent shows continue because so many people watch them.

Then, again, "Macarena" was hit.

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For what it is - a bit of Saturday evening fun, its ok, and there is some genuine talent out there...these kids put themselves up for proper ridicule and lets face it thats a lot braver than a lot of us were like at that age.

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For what it is - a bit of Saturday evening fun, its ok, and there is some genuine talent out there...these kids put themselves up for proper ridicule and lets face it thats a lot braver than a lot of us were like at that age.

When I was that age, there was this thing called tact, and on-air ridiculing didn't really exist in televised competitions.

I'm not suggesting they be coddled or lied to in an effort to spare their feelings, but how do we as a society tell people to believe in themselves on one hand, but give a thumbs up to public bashing on the other?

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When I was that age, there was this thing called tact, and on-air ridiculing didn't really exist in televised competitions.

I'm not suggesting they be coddled or lied to in an effort to spare their feelings, but how do we as a society tell people to believe in themselves on one hand, but give a thumbs up to public bashing on the other?

And that is my viewpoint, as well. On these televised talent show auditions, the contestants that you see have already been through two, if not more, preliminary auditions. You're not seeing an actual stone cold, walk-in-off-the-street audition.

I've said it before and I will say it again, in each of these threads abot talent shows. Colby Calais was rejected in preliminary auditions. You never got to see a televised audition of her. Because the producers decided she didn't have enough drama in her "back story" or she was not willing to reveal enough greek trajedy, blood, whatever. She's just a lady who likes to sing and write songs. And she continued on her own and made a huge hit.

And yes, nowadays, it seems that we are witness to the spectacle of lambs being led to slaughter. Of inviting the christians into the arena, before releasing the lions from their cages. At least in times past, wherein the "tough love" of Simon Cowell was as much a part of the entertainment as was the actual singing and performance.

Other times, modernly, I think, they just check to see if a person can handle being on stage, on camera, even if it is to fail epically.

But the tactful thing to do would be to simply invite a person to more fully develop their singing, without the comparisons to dying cats, etc. But many consider that necessary tough love.

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Excellent post, MB.

I was struck by irony when Steven Tyler as an AI judge. He was never one to compete in talent shows. He got where he is the hard way.

Ron, he also got where he was in an entirely different era. The recording industry is a different business today. I think a lot of folks on American Idol and X Factor are trying to make it in any way possible, gigging at every possible opportunity. I think they see the shows as another opportunity to get noticed by a record company. Though that's certainly not the case for all, and it can be a path to success without really paying your dues.

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Ron, he also got where he was in an entirely different era. The recording industry is a different business today. I think a lot of folks on American Idol and X Factor are trying to make it in any way possible, gigging at every possible opportunity. I think they see the shows as another opportunity to get noticed by a record company. Though that's certainly not the case for all, and it can be a path to success without really paying your dues.

It could be that, as well. I know I wouldn't stand a chance. Maybe I am jealous. I'm old, I'm on the highway to Hell, and my style of music is way out of date. It's easy for me to sit in this chair and pontificate. At least Bob is getting out there to karaoke events. Me, I just wake up the dog, right now.

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