Sunday, October 02, 2011

Beyond ridiculous

Even as I start to write this I can't believe I'm (a) wasting my time with it and (b) sufficiently annoyed with what is essentially a vacuous pile of herd-fodder to bother devoting a post to it, but we just got through watching this year's X Factor "Judges' Houses" round, and I'm dumbfounded at the depths they've plumbed for the inevitable "twist."

I can't remember when it first happened and I certainly can't be bothered to look it up, but by now regular viewers of X Factor are very familiar with the concept of Manufactured Groups at boot camp.

It started one year when the number of groups being put through was pitifully low. Suddenly someone had an "idea." Let's take all these soloists that haven't quite made the grade individually, put them together and pretend they're a group! I swear one year two out of the three groups that made it through to the final rounds hadn't existed at the start of auditions (I *have* checked this, and it was series 4 - 2007 - the culprits being "Hope" and "Futureproof". I'm sure you remember them).

So we've been used to this for at least the past four years and the number of groups going through from initial auditions has continued to be... on the low side. Is anyone surprised? Why would you audition as a group when there's a very public history of the producers making groups up on the spot and giving them - effectively - a free pass to the later rounds at the expense of people who have been singing and practising together for more than a week.

Well you may have thought that was ridiculous, but here's where the title of this post comes from. Because THIS year's shenanigans have taken that level of ridiculousness and multiplied it not once, but twice.

First of all, the groups that were manufactured at boot camp were still not good enough, so right at the end, a few members from a handful of groups were given "a life line." Formed into a new stratum of meta-manufactured group made entirely from left over pieces of worn out manufactured group, these groups were then given tickets to Judges Houses. Or judge's house, in fact, since there's just the one for the groups.

With stupefying surrealism, when THOSE groups weren't good enough either, another random selection of members from two groups were given another "life line" (these really are 'cats' - and they haven't yet run out of lives) and made into a third level of uber-meta-manufactured group who then (surely not?) made it through to the final.

Like I said: beyond ridiculous.

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