My laptop has died. I was running behind on updating my blog in the first place, and then my laptop went and died on me. Technically, the laptop’s not mine, it’s T’s, but since we publicly agreed to share everything all those years ago, I can claim it as mine too. Anyways, it gave up the ghost on Tuesday and refused to power on despite all my entreaties. The guys from Hewlett-Packard are coming to take it away today. Hopefully, they’ll be able to restore it to its former glory. I am currently using a netbook. Again, it’s T’s. I don’t like netbooks, I find them too fiddly and too dinky. However, I don’t have much of a choice. I can either sit in bed with netbook on my lap, Ebaby lying next to me, and Etoddler toddling about in my warm room, or I can haul myself into the much colder study, Ebaby on my lap and pound away at my keyboard while trying to hold a very wriggly baby. I am a firm believer in ease and comfort, hence the fiddly, dinky Samsung netbook. I hope it stays alive, at least till I finish writing this.
Anyways, I digress. As usual.
We have this televised competition here where I live. It is called the X Factor. It is a singing contest, with contestants or acts who are mentored by any of four judges. One of the judges is called Simon Cowell. He came up with the format for the show. Whichever act wins gets a recording contract, in the meantime, they are all under a contractual obligation to the X-Factor till April next year, win or lose.
Every week, the great British public cast their votes for the act they like the most. The two acts with the fewest votes have to sing for their survival. The judges then vote for the act they want to save. In the event of their votes being tied, or ending up in ‘deadlock’ as they term it, the decision reverts back to the public, the act that received the fewest public votes then leaves the competition.
Following me so far? The contestants this year have been a mixed bunch. Some can sing, but don’t have the likeability factor. Some can sing, and dance, and have the likeability factor. Some can sing, can’t dance, and have the likeability factor. And there is this act called John and Edward. Or Jedward. They are 18-year-old twins. Their voices are decent enough, but they don’t got rhythm i.e they can’t dance. What they lack in rhythm though, they make up in sheer enthusiasm. They bound about on the stage with reckless abandon, their only concession to choreography being their matching outfits. It is quite a spectacle to see twins mirroring each other so well in everything, except when they attempt to dance.
They are the Sanjaya (American Idol) of X-Factor, the act that remains week after week, against all odds. They caused an uproar this week, because for the first time since the start of this competition, they ended up in the bottom two. Simon had the deciding vote, he cast it in their favour, and the decision as to whether or not they stayed was passed back to the public vote. They hadn’t received the fewest votes, and so were saved, at least for another week.
And then the uproar began. People the length and breadth of England expressed their outrage. They were mad at Simon. Because he had dared leave it to the voting public to decide who should stay and who should go. They railed at him for daring to use his vote to save the lads, after having denigrated, reviled, castigated and grudgingly praised them in turn over the past few weeks. ‘X Factor is a scam and a sham’ they cried. ‘Simon Cowell is an idiot’ others raged. They were angry that he had not taken the opportunity to vote off Jedward when he’d had the chance to, after he had spent so much time talking about why they did not belong in the competition. Some went as far as to say they were not going to watch the show anymore.
Me, I looked and I laughed. I believe strongly that a lot of the complaints were from people who had never cast a in favour of any of the acts in the first place, yet they had taken umbrage at the decision of the voting viewers. These people had also forgotten that Simon held all the cards regardless of whether or not one of his acts won the competition. He gets to sign the winning act to his record label, regardless of whether or not he was their mentor. He also gets to keep a proportion of the advertising revenue, as well as income generated from the phone votes. All in all, Mr. Cowell’s laughing all the way to the bank, regardless of all his detractors.
I have a favourite, his name is Olly Murs. I’ll cheer if he wins, but won’t shed a tear if he doesn’t. I don’t vote, so won’t be complaining about the results. I’ll also keep watching the X Factor. Thanks for stopping by.