7 December 2009

Travesties and Turnips

Well, of course, the travesty came to pass and Danyl (sorry about the previous misspelling) was booted in favour of RoboJoe (I decided it was too confusing to call RoboJoe Oliver because of there being a talented Olly in the competition). The Mrs engaged in much hand wringing during the X Factor semi because of RoboJoe's technically impressive, though bland, performance. I pointed out that if technical perfection in the face of blandness was all we had to go on then Lucie Jones would never have left the competition.

I can't, on the other hand, fault the performance skills of any of the others. Penguin Girl - the nickname in this case is affectionate - Stacey is as game as anyone stepping on chairs in high heels in a display of unnecessary theatrics. If RoboJoe appeared in high heels it might make him less bland, he wouldn't even have to work everywhere.

Like Mugatu I feel a bit like I'm taking crazy pills with regards to RoboJoe. Can I be the only one who's noticed that his comments on every one of his performances is that he's taking on board the judge's comments and he will strive to be better on his next performance? He may as well have a string with a ring attached dangling from his back.

The reason the show is called The X Factor is because it is supposed to find personalities who have talent and are interesting. In an unusual, though not unexpected, move Louis Walsh has staked his claim for Jedward and if that doesn't show that personality means more than actual talent in some cases I don't know what does. Looking for my own favourites, just on the grounds of fresh originality and an edgier sound, Miss Frank on Google makes it look like the nascent girl band just about died when they lost to Danyl in week three of the X Factor. It was the first and last time I ever voted for an act the week they went out. From then on I've been helping out my favourite acts by staying out of it entirely.

The fact that they went out to someone who later turned out to be a semi-finalist counts for nothing. Personally I think the X Factor should be more like the Eurovision Song Contest with G. Public voting for the top three. People would, no doubt, argue that such a system would be "too complicated" for the chimps those in the know believe the X Factor audience to be but the current system doesn't seem to be too effective at wheat from chaff separation.

If you were to go on subsequent success and generation of "buzz" you'd believe JLS beat Alexandra last year. Weirdly the samples of Alexandra's album sound more like what I'd expect JLS's album would sound like whereas JLS's sound is far poppier than I thought it should from what I've heard. I will reserve judgement for a little sit down with spotify before I say for certain.

This week's Danyl disaster just goes to show that the first past the post system is too blunt a tool because flavour of the month one-hit wonders make it at the expense of class acts with a prospect of longetivity. Not all the time but often this is the case. Who, for example, gives two hoots about Leon Jackson at this stage? Or Shayne Ward? Despite enormous popularity Leona Lewis gives every indication that her pop career is a chore.

Anyway, turns out that Danyl is planning to gig in Reading. I lived in Reading for many years and I can't imagine that they have a venue large enough to hold the legions of fans who are likely to turn up should this event take place. I think everyone is making the mistake of underestimating this year's X Factor has-beens including the entrants themselves. It's gone unsaid that the field was unusually rich with talent and potential this year; most of the acts, given a fair wind and a different year, may even have won in previous years. Even in the final auditions some incredibly talented people were sent home without ceremony. All of this with the sole exception of Jedward who seem to have been overrated beyond all belief.


The only other thing of interest to catch my eye this grimy Monday is The Turnip Prize; this seems like a worthwhile award in the world of modern art definitely deserving of more coverage, maybe even televising.

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