Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Just ask Van price of fame

I was lucky enough to catch the bit on Sunday night's X Factor were Rylan Clark was informed by Nicole Scherzinger that he was through to the finals of this year's series of this well-worn format.

Excruciating. Rylan ended up writhing on the floor, yelping, howling, wiping his snot with a cushion and pleading to camera was this really for real. You'd hate to have seen the state of the boy if she'd told him he hadn't got through.

Rylan is obviously this year's comic turn. But he's so sickeningly OTT he may already have blown it with the viewing public. True, there is a wearying familiarity about the whole X Factor shebang but you do get a sense that show bosses are belatedly starting to grasp that the weeping and gurning is putting people off. Hackneyed and predictable it may be, but there is no doubt tens of thousands of wannabes still see the series as their springboard to fame, fortune and potential global domination of the charts. And who can blame them?

Take X Factor "losers" One Direction who are said to have raked in somewhere in the region of £100m in the couple of years since they had their tilt at the crown. No wonder Rylan was writhing with joy. But do those hopefuls know there is a price to pay for such riches and exposure? In an interview in this paper, that genuine legend Van Morrison talked to John Bennet about his new album, his music, his musical influences, his writing. Very, very little though, from this most private of stars about his private life.

But there was one intensely revealing comment. Anonymity, maintains Morrison, is a gift from God. It is a moving, heartfelt message from the man. I doubt the Rylans of this world are paying any attention.

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