We love our Saturday evenings, Mr EC and I. After a tiring week trying to cram in work, childcare duties and other jobs which always need ticking off the list, it’s usually (unless we’re lucky enough to have a babysitter, that is) curry and wine time on Saturday night.
And X Factor. Yes, we got sucked in. We know it’s all over commercialised and everyone signs a contract with Mr Cowell and has to do as he says and all the good ones seems to somehow turn into boy/girl band rip offs and so on…
We still watch it, regardless. It’s easy to watch and provides the sort of mindless entertainment that doesn’t require the use of any part of my brain, save to appraise Nicole Scherzinger’s latest garb and marvel at the unashamedly distasteful put downs by Louis Walsh (“You’re like a little Lenny Henry!”).
On a recent Saturday evening, my brain fought back in a surprising way. I wondered what the X Factor would be like if my three year old was in charge.
Here are my thoughts:
So the current format is auditions in front of a live audience (with, I’m sure, a lot of pre-selection going on behind the scenes), ‘boot camp’, ‘judges houses’ where the remaining few in each category have their final auditions in their judges homes (not their real homes, though- usually an immaculate and expansive hired home in LA or suchlike), and finally the live shows.
The live show format is actually so complicated these days for a mind wishing for simple viewing fayre, that even I don’t really know what’s going on. Flash votes? Judges abstaining from voting?
Anyway, three year old would have none of all that.
All auditionees would have to stand on a small box in front of her chosen judges (see below – you’re in for a treat there) and sing loudly. Then she and the judges would say whether they liked them or not.
This process would be repeated over and over until we were down to one. This one person may even be herself.
Simple. All very open and transparent.
Dance routines and show-wear
Oh boy, have you seen some of these get ups? They range from gigantic fishtail show dresses with bling to rival Fifty Cent, to the males wearing the tightest black pants available. I’m sure they must be sewn into them, as Olivia Newton-John was during the making of Grease.
Sometimes I can’t see the singer for the dancers. I really pity the wannabe rock star who ends up on X Factor singing a rendition of “D.I.S.C.O.” surrounded by a throng of dancers dressed as cheerleaders.
This would all be seriously frowned upon by three year old, who would ensure that everyone wore pink – maybe red at a push. No sparkles, no frippery. A pink or red dress or trousers would do nicely.
And dancing would seriously detract from her enjoyment of the singing, unless it was ballet. The aforementioned small box would be all that was required. No pressure to do anything else.
The current show judges are Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne.
Three year old doesn’t know who any of these people are and has no confidence in their ability as judges.
She would choose herself, probably Daddy, Angelina Ballerina and Alex Winters from Cbeebies.
I’m sure you would agree that this would be an interesting panel.
The current prize is a recording contract with none other than Simon Cowell’s own label and the adulation of the country and, if you’re lucky enough and Si likes you enough, the world.
Three year old’s prize would be a lifetime supply of chocolate and getting to sing ‘in a show’, probably with Alex from Cbeebies.
An X Factor run by a three year old, with everyone dressed in pink or red, standing on a small box and being judged by said pre-schooler, Angelina Ballerina, Daddy and Alex?
I quite fancy watching that. Maybe just once. I might even feel better for watching it.