I told you. I predicted it and nobody listened. I was told to pick up the phone but I didn’t, because I knew the outcome was going to be just as predictable as telling myself I’m not going to eat the last biscuit in the packet – it’s inevitable. And yes, I did bunker down into my sofa on Sunday night, giving myself mock applause. as well as a few congratulatory slaps of the back because I am the messiah. I am that octopus that predicted the world cup. I am the Mayans. I CAN TELL WHAT YOU’RE THINKING RIGHT NOW.
Almost. But even an untrained monkey could have predicted how X Factor was going to go this weekend. The shocked faces of the crowd as Christopher Maloney shook his way through another live show, like a jacket potato with its pointy end stuck in the blade of a blender. But did the predictability phase him? Of course not, it’s Christopher Maloney, for goodness sake! He raised his turnip hands to his face, clutched his cauliflower stomach before jauntily cabbage-patching across the stage and thanking himself for voting for himself. But this we knew, deep down we did. How could the producers ever get rid of the most hated act for years? Well they wouldn’t, they’d save him for the final. Forget that people seem to still blindly believe this is a talent show; it isn’t, this is entertainment, and what we have to admit is that we are entertained by things we hate.
Take the Go Compare advert for example – we hate it, that round man, the one with that voice that grates on you every morning. The creators probably have a noose on standby by now, but this was the strategy. They wanted to have us talking about it recursively, to be perplexed by how little we cared about car insurance before this came along. Bamboozled by how much we could discuss car tax inflammation over coffee with friends. It’s the cheapest advertisement anyone could ever ask for. It’s a fool proof plan, I know a song that’ll get on your nerves, and all that.
Of course, the biggest uproar on this year’s X Factor came when Ella Henderson made a ‘shock’ departure. I say ‘shock’ but I’ve already seen the blurb from previous X Factors, and the ‘shock’ concept consistently remains the same. So shocking in fact you’d believe it was scripted. During the middle stages of X Factor, where everyone is getting a little weary, Dermot’s spins have lost all pazazz and Gary Barlow is monotonously speaking even more in keeping of a suicide note, it seems producers knew it was time for one of the most talented acts to be shoved aside. Getting rid of the best singer, the one that everyone adores, the youngest, the most loveable, let’s get rid of her and then maybe Strictly will suffer. And that’s exactly what happened. Like the dip in the middle of a romcom where the boyfriend is found in bed with another woman, this is just another tagline. This uproar did exactly what it set out to do and suddenly brought our attention back to X Factor. The social networking sites went ballistic and Simon Cowell sat back as dollars fell in their droves at his feet. It’s a simple strategy, one that happens EVERY YEAR.
Then of course, non-suprisingly, Rylan, the joker act, the one that every series cries out for, came fifth. As scheduled. The balance shifted when Ella left, many screamingggg at the TV and grumpily deeming X Factor the ‘Fix Factor’. So, how on earth does a show like this recover? Easy – to maintain viewing revenue and to keep the audience in the palm of their hands, the joker act is released back into the wild and we all breath a big sigh of relief because WE NEVER SAW THIS COMING. We ignored the point where the producers sent out their own press releases of the phoning-in scandal, developing their own shocking headlines and then rubbing their arse with the moulla they just made for themselves. This kind of conspiracy is so simple and SO devastating to us humble TV-viewers, one where we will happily sit back and take the bait for a few hours of entertainment. We will blindingly endorse our own ‘power’ as Rylan runs free on Daybreak and we think we had something to do with it, when really we’re just fools. It’s like Rudolph eating the carrot you left beside the Christmas tree – it wasn’t Rudolph, it probably wasn’t even a real BLOODY carrot, you stupid, stupid child.
It always frustrates me when I see interviews with Simon Cowell (who still is very much behind UK X Factor) who stresses how ‘you just never know what’s going to happen on this show’. He says it with such a smarmy smile that we know that he knows that we all know but we fall for it anyway, because we love a good scream-at-the-TV moment. In most respects, Cowell is a genius. He took talent shows and made them a drama, but saying he’s a musical genius is farcical. Leon Jackson never made me weak at the knees with his gap-tooth and 6-year old spikes and Steve Brookstein is probably working in a sweaty pub somewhere, humming to the radio because he can’t even stand his voice any more than we could.
And in keeping with this sixth sense I and all of you should have developed by now, the predictions go as follows: next to go is Christopher, then James, then with Jahmene given the accolade of the winner. It seems Jahmene was always to be the most esteemed candidate for that role, fitting the brief of sweet, unassuming, and a good ole grandma’s favourite. However, this is not to say he’s undeserving, not by a long stretch. It’s rather just to say that, whilst we may think we know best by phoning in and writing all over Twitter ‘I just cast my vote for @JahmeneDouglas’, we really did just make all the difference that putting your TV on standby might do for global warming. A bloody pittance.