X Factor (ITV, 12th and 13th December 2009)

X Factor in ice at St Pancras Station

I came across this ice sculpture at St Pancras station and as I was on my home to watch the X Factor.  I think it was there to make us think about climate change and the ice melting at the poles, but I was wondering what it was meant to say about the television programme the X Factor?  Could it be the coldness of the judges portrayed?  Is it about the judges being  ice cool week after week?  That they are really wet underneath?  For me, the ice sculpture represents the transience that the programme needs to survive.  Certainly for me the programme is about the moment that I’m watching.  I’m never really bothered about what happens to contestants afterwards, and I don’t rush out to buy the records.  I enjoy watching at the time and if I’m really interested I will turn over and watch Xtra Factor.  This is why I am finding it really difficult to get into the wait until Sunday to hear the result.  By the time Sunday comes I’ve forgotten whose in the bottom two and what they sang.  Like the sculpture between Saturday and Sunday my memory starts to dissolve.  I’m not convinced either that the show is about making a star a year.  I’m sure it doesn’t help the X Factor brand to have lots of X Factor winners all in competition for number one slots year in and year out.  It needs it’s Steves and Leons (yes who?) as much as its Leonas.  Surely, the brand and the watch-ability factor about promoting this year’s winner.  The judges need to be able to say this is the best year yet and the best ever etc etc…  We’ve got to have short memories, for us to believe we are watching something and new and vibrant.  It’s no good us saying I liked the line up in 2006 better as the programme will start to lose its impact.   

So yes like the ice sculpture, X Factor looks amazing while it’s on air, but will need to disappear to be built up as spectacularly the next year.

X Factor

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