Format Review: The X Factor

The X Factor is a reality talent show created by Simon Cowell that started in 2004 and is now in its 8th series. It is a singing talent show which is based on the format of a panel of judges on a mission to find the next big singer in the country. Every series they start by travelling around Britain for the audition stages which then moves on to each judge having there own group (typically, under 25 boys. under 25 girls, over 25s and groups) to whittle down to the finalists who would feature on the live shows. When the show gets to the live finals it becomes up to public votes as to who leaves the competition and who stays.

The show has been massively successful around the world, especially in america. The show is widely seen as the biggest talent competition in Europe because of its universal appeal, overall around the world there has been a total of 57 winners in 35 countries. The hook of the show is in the humiliation of the bad contestants in the audition stages and the sometimes brutal honesty of the judges. The audience relishes in not only the humiliation but the success of the contestants. People become avid fans and supporters  (some would say fanatical) of the contestants resulting in them becoming the subject of a lot of public scrutiny.

The show brands itself with dramatic music, the colour red as a prominent colour and blue as a secondary. It has been so successful over so many years because although the format of the show doesn’t really change the variation of the contestants keeps the show fresh and interesting. The show also relies on the key personalities the judges and presenter which have changed over the years multiple times although now Dermot O’Leary has established himself as the fixed presenter over the past few years.

Some would say that the show isn’t about the talent of the acts any more but simply their personality and their ability to be a personality, meaning the show is not a talent competition but a popularity contest. However this has not hindered the viewing figures of the show due to the public’s thirst for celebrity, this is also one of the main reasons for the success of the show, the public need celebrities constantly to admire, hate and aspire to.

Personally I have started to dislike this program over the last couple of years due to this format of celebrity production rather than talent contest. It has almost headed the way of Big Brother in the way that it is making celebrities out of people with little or no talent. Despite this it has still produced some of the best pop singers of the last few years including Olly Murs, JLS, Leona Lewis to name a few, proving that the show, despite its celebrity hungry nature, can allow real talent to shine through.

Unfortunately it also produced these two despicable creatures


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