If you managed to make it through this weekend’s X Factor Final - your patience is commendable if so - you may have noticed that what used to be the blazing emblem of Saturday Night telly has been reduced to nothing more than a group of middling performers battling it out in the name of the great British takeaway.
That’s right, when Watford boy band Rak-Su was crowned the winner of this year’s competition on Sunday night, Simon Cowell chose that as his moment to take the floor and make a special thank you to the show’s sponsors for 2017, Just Eat.
Misjudged words of gratitude aside, it’s easy to see that The X Factor’s heyday is over. Viewing figures have plummeted, and a winner hasn’t bagged the Christmas Number 1 since 2014. “But where did it all go so wrong?” I hear you cry. “The contestants are just as perky!” “The sob stories are still just as real!”
Perhaps, to invest some much needed faith back in the capability of the British public, The X Factor is failing to generate a following because it simply doesn’t correspond with our perception of good music anymore. Just to look at a list like the BBC Music Sound of 2018 - a record that showcases some of the most diverse, dedicated, and exciting young artists around - it’s clear how far removed the talent featured on this year’s show is from the musical direction that the rest of the world is taking. And to be perfectly honest, it’s really about time that we stop looking to shows like The X Factor for talent, and instead champion artists who have risen to fame by more organic means.
In case you were lucky enough to be doing something of real value this weekend, we’ve dissected all the talking points from this year’s finale to keep the most insatiable of small-talkers happy.
Guest performer Becky Hill receives a confused reception.
Although joined on stage by DJ legend Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra, Becky Hill - who has previously graced our screens as a contestant on The Voice UK - made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Despite offering a better-than-average rendition of Moloko’s Sing it Back, fans took to twitter with clips of an audience member who can be seen mouthing “Who’s that?”
Kevin Davy White gets the honour of performing with...another talent show winner.
No hate on Tokio Myers - aka the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2017 - but his duet with Kevin Davy White wasn’t exactly on the level of Alexandra Burke and Beyonce’s performance from 2008. Sure, it would be hard to top that, but it feels like Kevin got kind of a bum deal, especially considering the fact that the other two finalists were supported by the likes of Paloma Faith and Wyclef Jean.
As our obsession with the 90s reaches saturation point, make way for the return of the 00s.
Louis Tomlinson’s performance of his new single, Miss You, brought back the teenage angst, strained vocals, and give-a-fuck wardrobe from the era when bands like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte reigned supreme. He’s even reinterpreted Blink 182’s smiley face logo for those who are too young to remember it.
Twitter users bash Little Mix.
Yeah, Little Mix’s performance was sexy, but all those who slammed them on Twitter for their revealing outfits were completely missing the point. The performance served to promote female empowerment and condemn issues like catcalling and slut shaming, but somehow criticism of the band’s wardrobe managed to take centre stage.
Rak-Su takes home the crown.
Rak-Su was probably the most interesting option out of all this year’s potential winners, but with lyrics like “we can wrap it up like a fajita”, and “you’re like my favourite song on the radio”, it’s fair to say that the boys have some way to go in the lyric department.
Nicole Scherzinger is branded an “embarrassing mum”.
Nicole Scherzinger has supplied this year’s series with the most fist pumping, overzealous dancing, and crooning over mediocrity that the show has ever seen. Sunday’s finale saw her put on a particularly embarrassing show during Little Mix’s set, which she promptly topped off by getting on stage with Rak-Su for their closing song.
But what will be next for The X Factor? We’re sure that Simon Cowell will find a way of extending the show’s reign for another year, with or without the help of Just Eat. But for now you’ll have to wait until 2018 for your next batch of depressingly eager hopefuls - unless you’re a Britain’s Got Talent fan that is.