The ninth series of TV’s biggest talent show, The X Factor, hits our screens tomorrow night. It divides the NME office just like it divides the nation: some love it, some hate it, some hate it and watch it anyway. Will you be switching on?
Do you know what? I don't care. I am massively looking forward to blaze and bombast (I really hope there's a duo who pick that as their name this year), to fire curtains, to ridiculous over-styling, to gymnastics in place of vocal range, and to muddled-together medleys. I can't wait for singers taking the steps one foot at a time, trying not to tangle their gown around their ankles. I can't wait for someone ad-libbing over The Beatles. And, more than anything, I can't wait for the moment during the auditions when an incredible voice comes out of an unlikely source, and proves exactly how The X Factor puts the 'talent' in talent show.
Then there’s the diminishing standard of contestants. The sponge of British talent has been wrung dry. Every single person in the country has already auditioned. Then there are the show’s other sundry crimes: Jedward. Popularising the phrase “smashed it”. Ad breaks that last forever. Olly Murs. The parade of dead dogs and dads ‘inspiring’ contestants. The faux ‘rivalry’ between judges. The endless Adele covers at ‘boot camp’. The fact that the winner always does worse than the runners-up in the long run. Fucking Jedward. It makes me so angry I could take my TV and ‘smash it’. So, uh, what time’s it on, then?