My Big Fat Mouth: Is the X Factor a singing competition or a comedy act?


The X Factor has come a long way since Leona Lewis, not necessarily in singing terms, but on the entertainment side.


By Katie Richardson

Of course it’s a singing competition I hear you say, but going by the Facebook frenzy I witnessed after Sunday night’s episode, I have to seriously ask: is this just becoming a joke?

The fact is that the X Factor has come a long way since Leona Lewis, not necessarily in singing terms, but on the entertainment side.

Year on year we are promised contestants who can not only sing but have that special ingredient: the X Factor.

But in recent years the singing to entertainment ratio has become increasingly unbalanced and judging by Nicole Scherzinger’s decision at Judges’ Houses, I am now resigned to watch the live shows on iPlayer just so I can skip the ‘joke’ act and save five minutes of shouting at the TV.

If you’re not deaf then you should know who I’m on about. As one of my friends tweeted on Saturday: ‘looks like Kylie is missing half her outfit!’

I must say I thought Rylan Clark’s audition was the weakest of the boys’ and Nicole’s face seemed to mirror my horror when he turned up in what looked like pants and half a costume from Kylie’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ video. And that’s before he started singing.

So I can understand why some viewers might have been surprised to see him secure one of the three precious places on the live shows even though contestants such as Adam Burridge were turned down.

Instead, Adam is now resigned to hoping viewers vote for him to fill the show’s surprise twist wild card spot. He’ll have to beat off some pretty stiff competition from Chris Maloney, Amy Mottram and Times Red.

But ever since that fateful day when Louis Walsh decided to back Jedward, we’ve seen an alarming increase in the amount of acts that fulfil the entertainment aspect but barely scrape through the vocals.

In Jedward’s case this involved ridiculous costumes, a lot of shouting and normally a massive stage display, or in other words, anything to detract away from the fact that they couldn’t sing.

And their legacy? An occasional comedy spot on Celebrity Juice and performing twice for Ireland in Eurovision – hardly the record sellers they set out to be.

Of course, I don’t intend to imply that the X Factor is not a major platform but it is getting depressing with the amount of publicity acts that are being chosen over better singers.

Strictly Come Dancing anyone?

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