Belfast Telegraph

X Factor is back and search is on for the next pop superstar

By Maureen Coleman

The heartbreak, the tantrums, the talented and the tone-deaf — it can only mean one thing.

The X Factor is back and over the next few months millions of viewers will be tuning in every weekend to watch Simon Cowell and his cohorts as they battle it out to find the next pop superstar.

And I, for one, will be joining them on the sofa every Saturday night, glass of wine in hand, cheering on the winners and laughing at the losers.

Call me cruel, but the weird and wacky hopefuls who are ritually humiliated in the live auditions are part of the show’s attraction over five months.

The X Factor has received its fair share of flak for parading these poor no-hopers in front of the baying crowds, but let’s be honest here — they love having their five minutes of fame.

Why else would they go through it all again in the grand final? Don’t spoil their fun, I say.

Like it or loathe it, The X Factor is a highly entertaining show that has provided us with moments of television gold. Who could forget Calvin Harris’ stage invasion, Jedward’s hilarious rendition of Britney Spears’ Oops I Did It Again, or Danni Minogue’s tears following her spat with Louis Walsh?

Serious musicians hate the show. Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, Sharon Corr and Sting have all criticised the programme for misleading young singers about how the music industry works and for encouraging what they dismiss as “appalling” pop.

While they have a point — stand up Jedward, Same Difference and Shayne Ward — there have been one or two exceptions. You may not like Leona Lewis, but the girl can certainly belt out a number.

Noel Gallagher attacked the show for having “absolutely nothing to do with music and everything to do with television”.

He has a point. But maybe Noel needs to shake off his preconceptions and just sit back and enjoy it for what it is — a good, prime time, family entertainment show.

Understandably, Cowell’s monopoly of the charts, particularly at Christmas, has provoked anger within the music industry and led to last year’s Facebook campaign to get Rage Against The Machine to number one with their less-than-festive track Killing In The Name.

But there’s just too much snobbery surrounding shows like The X Factor and those who are quick to judge should get a sense of perspective — and a sense of humour. It’s all about the fun factor. Bring it on.

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