(Reposted here by request)
To answer the question “what’s it all for?”, I think it is too simplistic to denote one reason – the creators of the group had theirs, I have mine, and the other 174997 people have theirs.
I can only tell you why I support it; I resent Pop[ular] music being presented and covered as if that is the entire scope of musical talent.
Sure some contestants may have real talent, sure they may deserve a record contract – but the extent to which the market is manufactured, manipulated and subverted, and quite frankly hi-jacked (X-Factor will try to claim the xmas no1 prize every year it runs) sickens me. The result is that other talented artists in other genres and tastes can never get a look in. Even if Joe does overtake RATM to become no1 it has made an impact, and it has also been fun – so we all win!
As for X-Factor [et al] itself, I believe the entire format to be based around exploitation, misinformation and lies:
– the contestants with no talent are exploited; they are just there for us all to laugh at and feel superior.
– the real contestants are exploited; the sheer amount of overemotional clips and sound bites derived from their interim activities gives the show producers hours of footage to pack out an hour on tv for virtually nothing.
– the winner is exploited; £1m record contract? T&Cs apply I bet you! Not one finalist from these shows has gone on to have a truly transcended music career, most only last a year, why? Because their fame only lasts as long as the X-Factor machinery holds them in the spot light. Says a lot about their talent if thats all it takes for the public to lose interest.
– and finally, the audience and viewers are exploited; they are sucked in by cheap laughs at the talentless entries, hooked by the fake sugary compliments thrown at those who do have talent, kept engrossed by the “emotional” rollercoaster of their X-Factor experience, and so after weeks and weeks of this, are so convinced that this is the epitaph of quality music, they go and buy the single – especially as it makes a marvellously convenient and easy Christmas gift!
Phew! That was a biggie *rant over*