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TNS TV Dump

14th December 2011
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Every one of the X- Factor shows since the dawn of time has been a crime against my eyeballs earballs and ball..erm..balls. This year has been the year that the show finally caved in and crapped all over its hairy legs. With an all new "judge" line-up, bar Louis ( the turd that won’t flush) we were set for an underwhelming rubbish season. There were groups getting split up to form other groups, solo singers being pooled together to form a group, people leaving and people getting fired. Yes Frankie I am looking at you.

X FactorHe even got cut of the M&S Christmas ad. Although the fact he was ever representing old-granny-firm M&S at all worried me. I don’t think I will ever eat from their range of chicken breasts again, just in case Frankie has rubbed himself all over them, hair, skinny jeans and all. I don’t want to be tucking in to a succulent chicken kiev, only to discover one of Frankie’s wiry hairs nestled in the fat folds.

Other acts shouted and screamed their way through sets, some better than others but ultimately none were going to be the next Lady Gaga/Rihanna were they? Come on, really. Were they? Really? Really? No.

The whole show was a mess, a farce and a problem. Everyone has seen this before (several years running in fact) so switching up the judges, the contestants and format was considered ‘edgy’. It wasn’t. It was tiresome. Yawnsome. Welcome to Yawnville.

The ‘judges’ didn’t really judge as such - just moan and groan about each other and then continue to discuss what a ‘journey’ the contestants have been on.

Towards the end even Kelly Rowland had had enough and called in with the best ‘sick voice’ I’ve heard on live television.

 ‘*Snuffle sniffle sshhhlrrrruuup* Hi y’all, I just couldn’t make it today I *cough* I wanted to *cough* I have let you all down *snuffle sniffle*’ Funniest bit of X Factor all year.

So this leads me to final. It was crap.

Too much flashy, flash of lights and not enough vocal to back it all up. One Direction appeared with JLS to perform one of the worlds most horrifying duets that assaulted my eardrums until they bled molten hot blood that trickled down my neck and dried in a messy pulp. More acts drafted in to perform for free were Leona Lewis and Westlife in their final performance (thank the sweet, sweet Lord).

Coldplay did a fantastic set to be fair, although the whole neon-flashing wristband light thing was oddly gimmicky for them. Oh well. Coldplay were the only good thing about the final and I genuinely didn’t care who won. It’s a case of same crap as usual. I won’t watch next year, and I doubt anyone else will either.

And now, back to some very good TV and the second installment of Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ series which, this week, depicted a world in which fame through a show entitled ‘Hot Shot’ ( a suspicious X-Factor format) was the only way out of a life of misery.

People pedal on exercise bikes all day every day to accumulate credits, which in turn ‘buy’ everything, from toothpaste, to food, to porn. Every surface is a television screen, or a computer screen. There are no windows, and the residents live life as avatars, through these screens. Credits/merits can be spent on entry to Hot Shot, which may or may not whisk you out of the grey drudgery of life, and make you a star. It really was quite beautiful to look at, very stylish and with smooth production.

Brooker has taken everything amazing we have today, the technology, social media, Wi-fi and depicted their shallow values with malice. He’s held a mirror to the insincerity of the our world. How for example, we can film a national disaster on our iPhones, yet manage to distance ourselves from the reality of it, because we watch through a screen. The insensitivity of the judges on 'Hot Shot' cruelly echos the scenes that unfold on X- Factor regularly (think Ms Rowland kicking out her own act, only to embrace her with open arms upon return).

The show followed a simple boy-meets-girl scenario. Bing hears beautiful Abbi singing in a toilet, and tells her to audition for Hot Shot. She does, but despite being good (and good looking) it still isn’t enough as one of the judges declares the market for this has ‘reached its saturation point’. They coax her into being a porn star instead, as in this world, any fame is better than none at all. A chilling message for those thinking fame in our world is a quick life fix.

Bing then has to watch his love getting rutted on the porn channels as the world he inhabits offers him no escape. Closing his eyes will only incur a merit penalty.

Frustrated Bing takes to the Hotshot stage and vents his spleen about the state of the world and the media, and threatens to slash his throat. The judges applaud his ‘passion’ and offer to give him his own ‘venting’ show that will be watched by the pedal pushers. Another creepy message - even questioning the system you become part of it.




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