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The X Factor 2018

(June 2018)

PC
p_c_u_k
Everyone knows it's not a fair fight. The Lucie Jones vs. Jedward singoff was the moment the manipulation for me really jumped the shark. Weeks of slating the twins then Cowell goes and votes to save them convinitlently engineering a deadlock that sent Lucie home? Come on.


The irony is - and I say this as someone who stormed off in a huff at the time it happened - this was the most real moment the show had. Because who would audiences actually want to watch on a Saturday night: a talented but generic singer or two mad brothers who, for the most part, were genuinely entertaining or at least gave you something to talk about.

The problem was twofold:
a) As you point out, Simon had slated them week after week to build his character of Mr Nasty. Then he had to vote to save them and there was a glaring inconsistency.
b) The average punter thinks the show is about finding a new music star and doesn't generally notice the sleight of hand involved in maintaining an entertaining Saturday night show (nudging the viewers towards certain acts, getting rid of boring ones, keeping the mad ones in). This pulled the wool from their eyes, and it's fair to say a lot of people lost their reality TV innocence that night.
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AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)


I completely agree with the earlier post - viewers just want the old format, a bit of the pantomime and some characters. The problem is they try to engineer the drama a little too much. I’ve long thought that their goal was to recreate the magic of the 2010 series, hence you seem to see them cast the same characters whereas that just happened organically.

I’m not sure viewers do just want the old format.

For example it is no longer correct to laugh at bad singers like we used to, so they don’t really have many bad acts anymore.

Also as mentioned viewers are much more cynical now, everything is a fix or an outrage, whereas before they were allowed to manuipulate things to make overall good TV.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
I do wonder how well an "All Star" series would do - inviting back the acts that didn't make it for a second shot and perhaps giving those shock exit acts a genuine second chance, plus using it as an excuse to have the likes of Jedward or Wagner back. At the very least it might be worth adding some old acts as wildcards - indeed I thought that might have been the plan this year with Sharon taking on the category at the live shows.
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JM
JamesM0984
(The Lucie v Jedward singoff) pulled the wool from their eyes, and it's fair to say a lot of people lost their reality TV innocence that night.


This.

Someone on DigitalSpy said at the time that it was like the moment you find out that Santa isn't real, in that you have your suspicions that it's all a load of cobblers, but there's that tiny part of you that wants to keep believing the myth and illusion. I think that's a fair point. That's the point you knew the show wasn't a fair fight. Similarly, you can go to 2011 and the desperate attempts to keep Misha B in the show despite the public constantly rejecting her.

I got to interview Lucie last year just before she went to compete for us in Kyiv - I wish I'd asked her about that night now!
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WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
I've met the vast majority of X Factor finalists and many of them say how scripted the show is, right down to deadlock decisions and the vote results (as in number of votes) influencing subsequent song choices.
PC
p_c_u_k
I imagine Lucie Jones would have been spectacularly media trained and therefore relatively diplomatic in handling that particular night. Whichever way you look at it, it's worked out quite well for her. Was she ever going to be a pop megastar? No. Did it open doors for her in the career she pursued? When Sam Bailey won she was perfectly realistic about her prospects and used it to kickstar a career, rather than a world-beating one. In fact, if you end up in the live shows it takes some doing not to end up with something, even if it's doing local panto and opening supermarkets rather than selling out the 02 and Las Vegas.

When you're on X Factor you are to some degree doing a deal with the devil. They choose how to portray you and can throw you under the bus at any time. It probably doesn't help that most of the contestants are very young and dealing with stuff that people a good 10 years older would struggle with.

Thing is, it feels like we've just got to a point where we've seen it all before, rather than people being annoyed by attempts at steering the show. If there was world-beating talent on there people would live with it. But there's only so many times you can watch Simon or some random judge tell a secretary from Middlesbrough that she nailed it and Whitney Houston would be proud of her version of I Will Always Love You if she was alive today.

The future for reality shows seems to be celebrity, or some degree of celebrity, because these people have ready-built personalities. X Factor feels as much of a relic of a bygone era as Stars in their Eyes now.
Last edited by p_c_u_k on 4 October 2018 12:07pm
JM
JamesM0984
Oh, Lucie's very media trained. That was extremely obvious during Eurovision, and particularly when I met her. Lovely girl though, and a great ambassador for the contest (Eurovision, not X Factor!). In any case, Musical Theatre is her first love and she's played some amazing roles (including balancing playing Maureen Johnson in a UK tour of Rent whilst doing ESC) so yeah, I doubt she's that bummed at the way she got chucked under the bus 9 years ago.

15 days later

JO
Johnr
Thankfully Simon has decided to get rid of the prize nonsense and bring back the sing off/results show instead

I wonder if the ONLY THE YOUNG! audience member will return from hibernation?!

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SJ
sjhoward Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
Johnr posted:
Thankfully Simon has decided to get rid of the prize nonsense and bring back the sing off/results show instead


I wish they'd be more creative with the resolution of deadlock. With 16 contestants in the live shows, there could easily be a "judges - make a decision in the next 60s or both go home" mechanic that would re-introduce a bit of inter-judge tension to that part of the show and potentially generate some decent tabloid headlines from "shock" results.
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BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Forgotten about the Prize Fight but do think with a shorter run ut is a mistake to go back to the Sat/Sun results split. It held up well enough on Sundays last year and though not perfect I do think splitting the acts over two nights with the results within the show gave the live shows a bit of pace.
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WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
I imagine Lucie Jones would have been spectacularly media trained and therefore relatively diplomatic in handling that particular night.


Actually very little in the way of media training is given to X Factor contestants prior to leaving the contest. Their contracts explain what they're not allowed to talk about (ie they can't slag it off) but apart from that, any media training is minimal.

And once they leave the competition there really isn't much in the way of aftercare. In the days when you couldn't have a management deal and all the acts were automatically signed to Modest Management things were slightly different because the infrastructure was there to provide support and advice if needed.
PC
p_c_u_k
Oh, I meant Lucie of today is no doubt very media trained. Back in the day leaving The X Factor, I wouldn't be surprised if they're mainly off on their own.

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