X-Factor…Fag Ash Breath-gate

27 Oct

The X-Factor has long thrived on many things, the musical ability of some contestants, a controlled dose of weirdness from other contestants, the rivalry of the judges, etc. These have all been carefully balanced and orchestrated to deliver the Saturday night ratings winner that it has long been – ITV’s golden goose.

X-Factor’s shine has depended on all these parameters staying within acceptable limits. The show could deliver a final of 11 Leona Lewis’s but if it did that it wouldn’t be as entertaining as a show with clear and contrasting contestant abilities.

It could pack a show with Jedward’s, Wagner’s, Chico’s and Rylan’s but that would just be a Victorian freak show and would be probably illegal under some European Human Rights convention on dignity.

It could have the Judges bitterly at each other throats and getting real personal about it…it could and tonight it has, live on air.

In the past we were fed stories about Judges bickering but it generally was of two flavours, over the top in a pantomime fashion, or frosty but professional. It just never became vividly personal, nothing to seriously detract from the main show.

When someone refers to your breath as “fag ash breath” they’ve gone P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L in a big way. The scene was the judges’ comments after Christopher Maloney had sung. Tulisa is giving her feedback claiming Maloney, who Barlow mentors, was delivering poor versions of 80’s hits week after week, she really goes for it and Gary Barlow sits there seething, when he was finally given the opportunity to respond and boy did he do just that…

Tulisa: “I have to stop having a go at you and let your mentor take some blame for you. Gary, how many of these 80s hits are you going to let him keep destroying? He is getting the same critique every week, why not change it up for him? It’s not working.”

Gary Barlow: “Tulisa, I don’t know what’s offended me more, what you said or the fag ash breath!”

Tulisa (after a moment of stunned silence) replies rather weakly: “Lay off the red wine, because I can smell that from here as well.”

I am sure an apology will follow and the publicity people will be kicking into overdrive to clear up the mess, but the tight ship that was HMS X-Factor is beginning to unravel, standards seem to be slipping in direct correlation with the drop in its audience share and this does not bode well for the Golden Goose.

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