If we’re to believe the popular press, these are the things that occupy British minds right now: cricket match fixing, pending tube strikes, the foreign secretary’s relationship with a young adviser, and Princess Eugenie being photographed wearing a plastic bottom.
Wayne Rooney is said to have cheated on his pregnant wife, Serena Williams is said to be OMG-ish about her sister’s choice of outfit for the US Open, and there was a right proper punch up on X Factor last night. It is all so exciting, I can barely breathe.
While I am someone who is interested in everything, I thought of all the opportunities listed above, I’d focus on the X Factor. It’s the one news item that might not spread beyond these isles. X Factor is a reality TV programme – a singing competition – conceived and produced by and making truckloads of money for Simon Cowell, and it draws in the viewers by the millions. True confession time: my husband and I are two of that number.
We are three weeks into the latest season, and the early audition weeks make for good – if not cringeworthy – viewing. Last night was no exception. It presented the British public with a local, 16 year old Cher, who can really sing; a kind of Spanish bullfighter-type who described himself as “older than Brad Pitt but younger than Sir Mick Jagger” who Simon said his mum would love, an over-fake-tanned and well built young man who thought it was a compliment to be likened to an action figure man, and a real live punch-up between two Birmingham lasses who fell out while trying to out-yobbo each other on national television.
My personal favourites included a young, shy chap who – with his typically nasally Birmingham accent – said he wanted to be “the next Michael Buble of Birmingham”. (Not sure who the first one was, but hey, let’s give him his dream.) He went on to sing really badly, and read the lyrics off a piece of paper. When the judges asked him why he read the words, he said, “for the past few weeks I’ve had a headache and a chesty cough” (pronounced with the same intonation as Tretchikoff), which apparently meant he couldn’t learn the words. All the judges gave him the thumbs down, but he said he’d be back next year. Simon quipped: “What if you have a tickly throat?”
And along came a young, part-time funeral singer, whose dream it is to be the next Elton John. He croaked a few tuneless lines of a song before being stopped by the judges. Simon said to him, “Do you really believe you’ll be the next Elton John?” “Fingers crossed,” he said!
Watching the X Factor is mindlessly entertaining. It’s as valuable to my life as newspaper in a parrot cage. Now that’s a good use for the tabloids.
Sunshine signing off for today!