Belfast Telegraph

Why X Factor is enemy of music

By Jane Graham

Once again the country is in the grip of a frightening epidemic with unknown consequences, and while the World Health Organisation drags its feet considering how to rate the threat, I personally have no such qualms.

In terms of the health of the music industry, and the psychological balance of anyone whom it brings into the public eye, The X Factor has all the hallmarks of an all-consuming, virulent phase 6 virus - with no signs of abating.

It's not simply that the first few weeks of the show are an exercise in mocking the big dreams of silly innocents with questionable mental stability, a barbaric and cruel practice that's about as enlightened as dog-fighting.

It's not merely that the programme has been shown to encourage playground bullying, with Cowell's trademark taunting regarded by many kids as a mark of social superiority.

And it's not just that The X Factor has encouraged the naturally conservative cowardice of record companies and pushed innovation and creativity out into the margins of the music industry. It's all of those things and more.

The revelation that producers were auto-tuning contestants' voices to both improve and worsen performances - and Cowell's pathetic claim that he knew nothing about his own production company's actions - was final proof that The X Factor is the morally bankrupt enemy of music and truth. People please, turn the TV off when Cowell comes on, and in the words of rock 'n' roll great Angus Young, once again, let there be rock.

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