When Did The X Factor Jump The Shark? | The Popjustice Forum

When Did The X Factor Jump The Shark?

Discussion in 'The X Factor' started by Baby Clyde, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. It goes without saying that I'm obsessed. My whole week builds up to Saturday evening when I sit down in front of my TV laptop on lap and watch X Factor whilst posting on Popjustice. I spend more time in the week talking about the show than anything else and a large portion of my day, everyday is spent on here debating the finer points of the contestants, their performances and other minutiae. But am I actually enjoying it anymore? I'm beginning to wonder.

    It seems to me that this year the show has given up any pretence at being a talent show and has simply become a pantomine where the live show doesn't really matter anymore and the whole thing is actually played out in the media with a steady stream of stories obviously being placed by the show itself to keep the interest up.

    It's become irrelevant how people perform as the favoured contestants are clearly agreed upon in advance and criticism of them is kept to a bare minimum (And in some cases is non existant) regardless of how terrible they may be on the night. The only judge who dares to say anything sensible is constantly booed by the idiotic studio audience and put down by her idiotic boss on the end. All the rest of the judges do is either spout catchphrases or platitudes and serve no actual purpose whatsoever. The sing offs have become a complete joke, with Simon seemingly changing the criteria by which people should be judged every week and purposefully sending home superior acts in order to whip up outrage in the press.

    The theme nights are ridiculous and then completely ignored and the musical knowledge of all the judges is woeful. The song selections are spectacularly predictable with the same few songs churned out year after year whether they are suitable or not.

    The Sunday results show is a complete abomination with an every expanding cast of irrelevant acts wheeled out and bigged up as if the audience can't tell that there is barely a proper star amongst them and that the vast majority are in someway aligned with the show already.

    And then there is of course the yearly insistence on putting through joke acts and then feigning indignation when they are A) Not very good and B) Popular with the public. The point hardly needs to be made that if they are indeed they shouldn't be on the show in the first place. And was there ever any proper explanation for the 16 contestant/wildcard debacle?

    We know that the viewing figures are increasing every week and the show seems to get more and more popular every year but I genuinely believe that this is at the expense of the shows long term well being and integrity. People may be tuning in but every single one that I've spoken to is complaining more than ever. We watch and comment and read the papers and sometimes even vote but do we actually care? Do we genuinely love the show and contestants in a way that we have done in the past? Are we going to rush out and buy anyone's records at the end? It seems that finding and proper recording star has become entirely incidental in the grand scheme of things and the ultimate purpose is simply to line Simon Cowell/ITV's pockets because it's obvious there is far more money to be made through the programme than anyone's resulting musical career.

    The whole thing is overkill. To my eyes it seems that the media saturation along with the multitude of shoddy production decisions may be good for raking in money right now, but it's all downhill from here. It's impossible to keep up this degree of media intensity without further egregious manipulation and we're beginning to see through and tire of it.

    It most of all reminds me of the housing market before the crash. On the outside it may have seemed great but anyone sensible new that it wasn't real and couldn't be sustained. The sensible ones got out whilst the going was still good which is very much what I might find myself doing before next year comes along.

    Oh, and for my money this is the exact moment the show jumped the shark. It was from then on we knew it had absolutely nothing to do with talent and everything to do with creating headlines........

    Hudweiser and Tribal Spaceman like this.
  2. I think it properly jumped the shark during this year's Judge's Houses episode when Cheryl put Katie and Cher through despite neither of them actually singing a whole song.
    I've actually stopped watching this year (besides what I caught of it this evening). I've been growing steadily more pissed off with pretty much everything about it (especially Cheryl and Simon) and eventually realised I was watching out of habit, not because I enjoyed it.
  3. Interesting post, Baby Clyde.

    I agree with pretty much everything you have said.

    Dannii is the only judge with any integrity.
    Galaxy_star likes this.
  4. JadeFan

    JadeFan Guest

    Oh god, that clip...

    I agree 100% with you.
  5. Resi12

    Resi12 Guest

    I feel so sorry for Lucie in that clip, she looks so fragile as she knows whats coming.
  6. c.x


    That summarises everything I've felt about this series of the show. In the last few weeks, I've found myself wondering why I'm still watching it.
  7. The problem is, the show is unique. There is no other prime time music talent show like it, and certainly not against it, so there is no competition -it exists in a vacuum. The BBC tried an alternative, and inspite of having some nice features; it was largely a failure.

    At a certain point this series I got fed up with it and decided to follow it online only so it didn't get the ratings (although I'm not sure you can measure it that way anyway?), but watched it again tonight so what can you do?
  8. JadeFan

    JadeFan Guest

    I know it is far-fetched and full of false drama, but that's why I love it.
  9. Great post Baby Clyde. I do agree with most of what you say, but the difference is it doesn't send me into despair. I've never wasted my money voting on one of these shows before (apart from Nadine on PSTR cos she was from Derry) so I suppose I don't mind this manipulation as much as I should. I mean I'm glad that Jedward stayed over Lucie last year, she was an average singer who provided much less entertainment and Simon was right she was never going to win. I DESPISED Katie this year and her staying infuriated me every week, but I guess looking back on it, it was exciting. The producers bias towards her was inexplicable but it gave me something to bitch about. Now that her and Wagner have went tonight the show is going to be much more boring. and I am not as excited about next week's semi-final as I should be because of this.

    I think that's cos I view it as an entertainment show and not a talent show. Aiden would still be here otherwise!! I've never bought a record from the X Factor winner ever and you ask me once they win they shouldn't even be given a record deal. just give them a cheque and tell them to fuck off. I love the entertainment value of the show but I don't think it adds to the pop world in anyway.
  10. I agree that, that was the nadir of this year's show and was an early indicator of what we were in for but this whole debacle started the minute Simon took it to Deadlock in the Jedward/Lucie sing off.

    I know exactly what you mean about watching out of habit. I tend to stick with stuff once I've started to at the moment my plan next year is to miss the first programme.
  11. I think this might well be the series that The X Factor jumped the shark, for the following reasons:

    1. Not having a live band is bad enough. Allowing contestants to mime is inexcusable.
    2. The show has been more about the judges than ever, and Dannii is about the only one who hasn't been 100% useless.
    3. None of the judges seem to know the first thing about music, which rather calls into question their suitability for the judging panel of a music show.
    4. Given the number of songs there actually are, there really is no justification for endlessly repeating the same ones year in, year out - not to mention having the contestants repeat songs they already sang at the auditions.
    5. The choice of guest stars has been appallingly lazy and unexciting. Does anyone really want to see Westlife give the exact same performance they've been doing for the last 12 years?
    6. The choreography and staging is horribly, horribly dated and bears absolutely no resemblance to anything a sane person would pay money to see in 2010.
    7. All the tabloid 'drama' being stirred up around the show merely serves to highlight the fact that none of the 'talent' is good enough to stand on its own.
    8. For that matter, you could say the same for the hyperactive and increasingly irritating studio audience.
    9. Louis Walsh's horrific dye job makes me want to gouge out my own eyes.
  12. just what i was thinking! Simon!!!
  13. But if the show was made with proper care and attention it wouldn't need all of this contrived drama to be exciting. Clearly the best year ever was 2008 and that managed to have everything a show of this nature needs by putting together a load of talented contestants (And Eggnog) and letting them sing each week. Even Deadwife Daniel was amazing in comparison to what was to come. Remember the outrage each week as he went further and further in the show and yet it at least felt that it was genuine public support and a sob story that was keeping him there rather than the show actually encouraging it. The villain of the piece in 2008 was Rachel Hylton who was by any measure a great singer. She created headlines and people had really strong opinions on her but no one could doubt her talent.

    But the 2 shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Talent shows should be entertaining because the public enjoys watching the talent not because we're outraged each week by another ludicrous contrived conflama. If the show had any intention of doing it'sjob properly we would spend the week talking about an amazing performance at the weekend rather than the fact that one of the contestants grans is a prostitute.
  14. Every single point is 100% valid and we could easily come up with another 20.
  15. I agree, but I cannot view the X Factor as a talent show anymore. You're right it's so contrived in every sense of the world. In previous series I had respect for Simon as he was the most even handed judge, even criticising his own act when they performed poorly/sending home the Conway Sisters etc. This year he has made a mockery of the whole thing by raving over obviously lack lustre performances. Dannii is the only judge I have an ounce of respect for, although I do still love Louis' absurdity.
    What's the solution however? Scrapping the entire format and going to a back to basics Pop Idol approach? Getting rid of Cheryl 'font of musical knowledge' Cole haha? I'm not sure. If Simon is reportedly leaving anyway I don't see the programme lasting that much longer anyway, which may actually be for the best...
  16. Personally I found Lucie at her best (swing week) a lot more entertaining than John and Edward. I don't know if that makes me a freak or not.
  17. I agree with everything you said bar one: Westlife have provided the best vocal performance this year of all the guest stars. It's been horrifically low in quality for that.
  18. Nobody cares about the quality of Westlife vocal performances when their musical output remains forgettable and the same as what it could have been 12 years ago;
  19. It's reminding me a lot of the downfall of Big Brother, baying mob and all...
  20. Brilliant opening post, i completly agree.

    The booing of danni: is it the same audience of production staff each week? cos everyone i know knows that shes the only one with anything constructive to say, and yet like clockwork they boo what has been a mostly sensible and well thought out comment.
    Simon has always blindly favoured his own acts, but this year he's not even given any criticism to the others.
    Louis is as inane as ever.
    But Cheryl who i once thought was decent on this show has not dared offer one ounce of criticism this year, is she scared of danni's boos that may make her breakdown on live tv?
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