TV Blog: The theatrical drama that is X Factor

What is it about X Factor this year and the fascination with knowing who they are and what type of artist they’re aiming to be?

While the lovable loud-mouth judge Louis Walsh is obsessed with seeing various comedians and murdered soul singers in the exiting Paije Richardson, almost every ‘character’ on the talent show is fixated with “finally being who they wannabe.” Only to transform again the following week, of course, to express their shining versatility.

That last quote echoes the feisty, yet vulnerable Cher Lloyd – a sweet enough kid with a decent enough voice, who claims to have her own style and swagger going on, but persistently morphs into that “lucky girl from the council estate” as each week passes. Could it be that Cheryl Cole (clearly fuming with Wagner’s notion of who she is) has finally turned into one of those pushy mams, intent on living her career through her swayable offspring?

Cher might be ‘right up Cheryl’s street’ but neighbourhoods across the UK appeared less impressed as she found herself singing for survival in last Sunday’s sing-off. Perhaps the girl from the Midlands is not quite on the money with who she wants to be and what the public want her to be. And judging by Cheryl’s popularity in this series, being a copy-cat Cole may in fact be losing her votes. No doubt Shakespeare’s sisters will be back to spice things up again next week.

It’s all theatre darling, whether it’s five stars or one.

Funky eccentric Katie Waissel managed to endure another show, finally getting the viewers back onside. Her saving grace? The good old X Factor ploy – if all else fails, give the lassy a new hairdo! Hmm fingers crossed voters the country over are non-the-wiser eh? So off goes the wacky mop with a goodbye to one of Tim Burton’s caricatures, and the warmest greetings to.. well, erm… one of Charles Dickens’ Victorian paupers? See, we’re doing it again.

But surely that’s the point isn’t it? We all have our own vision for what we want our weekend’s entertainment to be. Whether it’s from an Abbey in Downton, or a studio in Wembley, it’s the diverse ‘characters’ that tell the story. It’s all theatre darling, whether it’s five stars or one. But The X Factor does it slightly brilliantly, continuing to be a show of entertainment long before being considered a legitimate talent contest. Cruel at times, yes. But that’s the nature of this business we call show.

An American friend commented on Facebook: “What the hell is this X Factor all about?” I couldn’t help but admire his Stateside innocence. Zack, my dear friend, the joy awaits you…

– Matthew Bannerman

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  1. I really loved Cher at bootcamp, but its all just gone a tiny weeny bit wrong somewhere during the live shows, and i dont know why.

    Katie waissel did ok on sat i thought… Matt Cardle to win though!!!!!

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