Sunday, 12 December 2010


"I don’t buy into the chirpy Scouser stereotype. I don’t believe in the faux ‘everyman has a chance’ of talent shows. I don’t for one minute believe that the tears of joy or regret that the members of the public thrust into the spotlight excrete, are not produced by a runner on the production team bringing in a bag of freshly cut onions. The X Factor is cynical; an exercise in, the public gets what the public wants. The X Factor is the lowest common denominator of modern popular music. It’s analytical in it’s approach to making money. From phone calls, competitions, Nintendo adverts featuring former alumni, established artists of dubious talent promoting their latest records and manufactured media furore.

In this context I have to talk about Rebecca Ferguson. As cynical as I am, I have been impressed at how good this girl is.
Background: She is a contestant on the X Factor who has reached the final; this beautiful young woman has a talent certainly. This in itself means little without any substance or humanity behind it. What I like about her is that through the cold and manipulated lens she seems, well, a nice young woman. Yes that rare thing; an ordinary girl, a mixed race girl with a couple of kids, from an average working class background with a voice. And what a voice. 

I want her to win. Not that winning has much bearing on the career that can be seen being imagined and moulded  by Simon Cowell. Winning might just mean that the good guy/gal wins. It might mean that the confidence that this woman clearly lacks will be regenerated.
I don't believe that artistic integrity or credibility is possible within the Simon Cowell/X Factor /BMG world. But what I do believe in is talent. Why not Rebecca making it? why not the ordinary and beautiful girls reaching the top?

It's of little relevance making comparisons; the great singers of the past and present. This is the beginning of something. This is the raw talent spotted and exposed. For better or worse that's the modern reality. Take the talent and the girl and mould it. But Rebecca's appeal, aside from her voice and looks, is her lack of fake gesture and her, for want of a better word, charm. Even the professors at laboratoire crap music would not be stupid enough to calculate that factor out of her.

I will use the word cynical again. I will continue to have the utmost suspicion about the UK reality/talent show. I will view every move with utter cynicism. But I will believe and hope that Rebecca wins and that I am able to lower my curmudgeon barrier for that moment. That's what a singer and a song can do. That's what the one in a million story can do. Come on Rebecca"-A remarkably upbeat WYST

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having said that;