The X Factor: A Shit Stain On The Pants Of Culture

The X Factor: A Shit Stain On The Pants Of Culture


Here’s an article to show to anyone you know who has become brainwashed by karaoke shows….

I know it’s hugely ironic to urge people to ignore something, before writing an extensive feature about the subject in question. But I feel that I must get this anger out of my system and deliver THE final critique that will wake people up. I’m going to sum up this subject in such detail that 
no-one else EVER has to talk about it again, OK??? OK…

The subject I am referring to is the new series of ITV’s cheap, nasty “talent” show The (e)X(crement) Factor. This tacky programme isn’t anything to do with music, it’s about attention seeking and grabbing TV viewing figures. I wouldn’t be so disgusted if the “artists” produced by this show weren’t clogging up radio playlists and preventing real musicians and artists from breaking through to a wider audience. I don’t see any reason why anyone would choose to watch this garbage instead of using the time to discover interesting, creative and uniquely talented people instead. The only reason this show and the appalling acts that it spawns have become successful is because of the cheap and nasty way they generate publicity for themselves. In the days leading up to the launch of the new series, already the tabloid newspapers were hyping it up, giving the show yet more free publicity.

olly murstwat2Why do newspapers feel the need to write about The X Factor anyway? If anyone was interested in the show, then surely they’d watch it instead of reading about it in a newspaper? It seems to me that some sort of deal has been done with the ever-scandalous Murdoch press, so that Cowell’s poor quality show can receive more coverage, yet again leaving no room for musicians and artists to achieve any noticeable exposure.

Some comment that the show’s creator Simon Cowell has become rich from humiliating people, and that is an absolute fact. But don’t expect me to feel sorry for the victims. If people are prepared to risk humiliation just for a shot at short-term fame, then they deserve all the misery they get. It’s their choice to go on this cheap, nasty show and by doing so, they prove that they’re not “doing it for the music” as some of them will try and claim. If you’re really doing it for the music, then you won’t mind taking the time and effort to write your own songs, and if you really love music so much then perhaps you will have learned how to play an instrument? If you’re that passionate about music, you won’t mind years of constant gigging in small venues to work your way to the top. The long gradual climb to success also allows the artist to develop their own sound and style. In direct contrast, people go on the X Factor to try to take a short cut to fame, without doing anything to deserve it, or without doing any of the hard work every talented musician has to do. So if you go on that show and get humiliated by Cowell, then it serves you right.

z cowell

They may also be “forgotten about” by the majority of the general public, but at least many of indie’s former chart stars have always kept doing the same thing they always did: writing songs, recording them, and playing them to people. Due to the fact they’ve always been able to come up with the goods, they still have dedicated fanbases, even if they are smaller than they were in the 90’s. The only thing that’s changed is the fact that they’re not in the singles chart anymore. Pop singers only exist to make money, and when their moment in the limelight is over, they give up on their career as puppets and spend a bit of time enjoying the money they conned mostly from the pockets of the world’s children. Then, when they miss that attention they used to get, they attempt to desperately relaunch their careers, often with disastrous results. Why would any fans have a reason to stick with them once they’re out of fashion and out of the limelight? Their big hits are written by well-paid songwriters, who aren’t going to want to write for them when their success dries up. Because they don’t come up with their own music, they can’t be relied on to keep producing output of a consistent quality. There is no glory in being a pop star. Fake illusions of glory, yes: money, fame and popularity. But in the end, you’re left with no credibility, and no way to turn back and do start again differently. Meanwhile many genuine musicians may be penniless and ignored, but they have something more important and valuable than fame and money: a collection of work that they can be proud to call their own.

oneditrectionmcdsPeople have asked me if I’ve heard boyband One Direction and their attention-seeking cover of ‘Wonderwall’. I don’t need to. In fact I have tried my very best not to exposed to even a split second of ANY X Factor act. All you need to know about them is that they were launched by The X Factor. And if someone takes part in that show they do it for fame and money. Like I said before, if you’re “in it for the music” and you REALLY have something to offer, then you’d be more than happy to go through the normal process of working your way to the top. So when people accuse me of being “ignorant” because I criticise these karaoke singers without even hearing them, the answer is simple. I don’t NEED to hear them to know that they’re worthless. Plus I haven’t got time to listen to them, I’d rather spend that time checking out music that actually has a chance of being good. 

I don’t think that not liking the X Factor makes any of us “elitist” or musical snobs, it’s just plain simple: we prefer good stuff over bad stuff, and no “taste” can make excuses for that disgrace of a programme. Declaring it to be a steaming pile of dogturd isn’t an opinion, it is simply stating a fact. If you gave someone the choice of eating a slap up meal or a shit sandwich, would they be an “ignorant” snob because they would rather have something nice than something hideously nasty?

Furthermore I HATE how this show symbolises the mentality of a dumbed-down culture, where men in suits choose what people hear. Year after year the quality of the show (and its contestants) becomes worse and worse, it’s almost like they’re testing the public to see just how low their standards can sink. And the lower people’s standards get, the more easily Cowell can get away with releasing any old shit and seeing it sell. It seems like he’s laughing at all the people who buy his products and telling them “come on you mugs, roll up and buy more of my shit, you fall for it every time!” while sneering at artists and musicians “you’re trying hard to make good music and you won’t get anywhere because everyone’s buying my rubbish. And i’m not even trying! It’s so easy for me! I don’t even need any more money, yet I’m going to carry on producing this crap JUST to keep myself in the spotlight.” How much worse can it get? Is it going to come to the point where one day people’s standards become so low that they will buy a recording of someone taking a shit? So it’s in Cowell’s interests that he keeps on producing crap, after all with all the free advertising it gets, it’s going to sell no matter how bad it is, and he wouldn’t want his audience to start expecting something special. 

The show has also helped create a shallow culture where thick and talentless people are famous and the truly talented barely get a chance to be heard. In the 70’s the public were buying Pink Floyd records. In the 80’s they were buying Smiths records. In the 90’s it was Oasis. Now people’s standards have dropped to such a low that the singles charts have become entirely separated from the actual music world. People have been conditioned to accept any old rubbish the radio plays them, and more of these awful “talent” shows have cropped up as well, including Cowell’s OTHER show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ or to give it its full name ‘Britain’s Got Talent But You Won’t See Any Of It Here Because Talented People Don’t Need To Go On Tacky Reality TV Shows To Prove Themselves’. After years of frankly disgusting manufactured rubbish clogging up the UK charts, does this utter prick really need to make MORE money? All his acts have proved to be nothing more than puppets, not a single one of them possessing even a trace of talent. To call the garbage they produce “music” is an insult to every hard working musician out there. A slap in the face for gifted and creative artists who are ignored by the public in favour of whatever new puppets the latest reality show has produced.

simon cowell+cunt

They use the hype and the publicity to make it appear to simple-minded or easily led people that ‘The X Factor’ is somehow an event, and they condition these people to accept this poor quality rubbish as entertainment. During the first few weeks of the show, they do the tired old routine of showing people who obviously can’t sing very well, just to get people to tune in. Why do people tune in? Because they think it will be funny and by laughing at other people’s lack of talent, it will probably make them feel better about themselves. Seeing contestants humiliated by the judges gives the impression of drama taking place, and people shallow enough to watch it will soon be on Facebook or Twitter spouting off about the latest “events”. And because other people on social networking sites see others talking about it, they feel like they’re somehow missing out by not watching it. It’s a cheap, easy ploy and it requires no effort whatsover from the show’s makers. Their whole show is based on taking advantage of thick and easily-entertained people, and they fall for it every time. 

olly murstwat

By making it as annoying as possible for intelligent, well-informed people, this also helps stir up more promotion. People have asked me if I’ve heard the show’s boyband One Direction and their attention-seeking covers of ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Teenage Kicks’. They know things like that aren’t going to go down well with music fans. They are fully aware that it’s going to create a shitstorm. For people with taste, it can be very difficult not to criticise this programme, and when fans of the show hear these opinions, they realise deep down that they’re being sucked in by rubbish, and get offended by being made to feel like idiots. So it makes them even more determined to keep watching it and talking about it. Attention seeking is what it’s all about. Do any of the winners go on to make valuable contributions to the world of music? Unless “the world of music” has become a nickname for Simon Cowell’s bank account, then no. Morons and the misinformed can try and argue all they like that “these singers must be good because they’re having number one hits”. That’s not going to help in ten years time when they’ve wasted all those years singing whatever they’re told to, rather than developing as artists. Plus, by that point the hits will have dried up, no-one will remember who they are, and any money earned would have been spent. It’s the worst of both worlds. 

A few days ago my friend Jason B tweeted me to tell me news of an upcoming event at The Kings Arms, a hotel located in out home town of Melksham. In terms of live music, this hotel has recently played host to a couple of brilliant charity gigs that featured the region’s finest up-and-coming bands, but following a recent change in management, it seems they think that having rock bands there may “lower the tone” of the newly refurbished establishment. Jason’s Twitter message read: “Steve Brookstein to appear at The Kings Arms…”. A little bit confused, “who?” was my reply. Was I supposed to know who this Steve Brookstein is? A local singer perhaps? Then I was informed that this individual was in fact the very first winner of The X Factor! A small column on page 5 of the Melksham News confirmed this: “This is the first of many live cabaret nights planned” said the venue’s manager. Brilliant. All that hype, all that fuss, all that headline-attracting bullshit and what for? A cheesy twat singing cabaret at a hotel.

The competitive element of the programme keeps people interested, and whichever acts are judged to have the most current commercial appeal are chosen to progress to the show’s next stage. This is followed by weeks of viewers being exposed to these acts, as well as hearing others talking about all the show’s latest gossip and reading about it in the newspapers. Basically no matter how bad his acts are, they will still continue to benefit from free advertising, something real artists don’t get.


Then there’s the end product of the whole thing where after the series ends, the acts get signed up to Cowell’s label, featured all over the tabloid press, and then release the most truly stinking attempts of music known to man. Written and created by other people, all the “artists” have to do is turn up to the studio to sing and the resulting atrocity is swiftly manufactured before being played repeatedly by lazy, unimaginative commercial radio stations. Of course it’s all cover versions and painfully bad “originals” given to them by terrible songwriters, but depending on how much attention the braindead mainstream media give the faces fronting these money making projects, they’re bound to sell more than all the good records that don’t benefit from a huge amount of free advertising. Hence you get completely useless bellends like One Direction and JLS, empty headed puppets who have no chance of ever creating anything of artistic and creative value. And they’re actually famous? Why?

It baffles me why anyone would willfully listen to any of the substandard trash the show pumps out, instead of listening to remarkable and special music written and created by talented people, the people who will CREATE the classics of tomorrow rather than doing cheap cover versions of songs from years ago. If a band like Yuck were able to get their songs heard on radio and telly then they would inevitably become big, and their songs would probably be used for an X Factor singer to cover. But Yuck CAN’T become popular because the radio is full of X Factor contestants. 

Basically the point I’m trying to make is, if there’s no new music breaking through then what are the reality show singers going to sing in a few years time? The show’s contestants sing songs by bands like The Beatles, U2 and Oasis, yet none of those bands could have had the chance to make it big if these karaoke shows existed back then. Therefore the contestants would have nothing to sing now. Some people will watch someone like Olly Murs singing something like ‘Hey Jude’ and think to themselves “this is really good, i’m going to buy his album” when they should be buying a Beatles album instead, since it was of course them who crafted the song. They’ve got a nerve: they prevent musicians from being noticed by the public, and yet they use songs by these musicians so their contestants have something to sing. It’s a slap in the face and it’s a disgusting insult to bands and artists everywhere. 


I have no respect for these useless contestants because of their complete lack of talent, and I have no respect for them as people because of their greed and selfishness. Then there’s that utterly despiseable, squeaky clean cunt Murs, who has the sort of sickeningly smug facial expression that seems to say “I sang other people’s songs on a TV karaoke show so I deserve to be famous”. Enjoy it while it lasts. Because it won’t last long. None of them do. Even if the public are constantly exposed to them, it’s only a matter of time before the next X Factor winners (and losers) are the main focus of Cowell and his company.

The X Factor thrives off of publicity (good AND bad), and if the show is starved of attention then it will wither and die. So this article is to be my final word on the whole subject, and I’ve hopefully opened people’s eyes and proved that this show and its products are utterly worthless. 

So next time anyone you know mentions The X Factor, don’t begin ranting about how bad the show is because that’s what Simon Cowell wants you to do. He and everyone else who manufactures the programme are all aware that they’re producing nothing but shit, yet they also know that lots of easily-led, easily entertained people and idiots around the country are falling for it, and they know that intelligent people hate it. And having a show that provokes such strong reactions is what gains them even more publicity. 

So let’s ignore it. Ignore the show, ignore the people talking about the show, ignore the newspaper stories about the show, ignore Cowell and ignore every fame-hungry talentless piece of shit that takes part in it. Instead let’s talk about good music and proper musicians who feel proud of creating something themselves and who can achieve success purely because of their unique style, talent and ability.

  1. I agree this stinking pile of horse shit wants burning with cowell as the guy..the cunt and that dirty old teenage boy bummer walsh need raping by an elephant

  2. Sadly it’s something I have to bear if I go to my girlfriend’s on a Saturday night.
    The kids are brain-washed and duped by the stage-managment and manipulation.
    Visiting family sit around and say excrutiating things like “Ah … isn’t he sweet?”
    I am labelled as “grumpy git” … but who can blame me? …

    I’m sick of seeing O’leary swagger each time he finishes his introductions.
    Sick of ego-centric self-interested “judges”.
    Fed up of wannabe’s bawling over nothing.
    Pissed off with hearing things like “This meanz der world to me”
    Sick of gooey teenagers who are groomed to tilt their heads to one side.
    … or wear silly little “jolly” hats.
    And worst of all, hard luck story-lines … accompanied by treachley music.

    Hopefully the human race will be evolved off the planet so it can be cleansed of this pollution.

    D’jer na wot a mean?


  3. i cant stand instant fame and greed i still play my 150 quid guitar that ive had for 8 years and have bags of lyrics and tab doodles etc that could probably compile about 10 albums if they were all written and released but due to having to work regular to pay the bills have had no luck with breaking through in many differing styles of bands from alternative to thrash to black metal i downright refuse to watch or even listen to anybody talk about what happened last night on the show as i generally just ignore them. i mean … seriously their lives have become that self depressive they shrink back to the caves in which they were born and take delight and aggrandize the people on the show, i know its their fault for going on it in the first place and should probably do something better with their life like learn a trade or something. but, are people that self obsessed with how the see themselves now that they lower and debase themselves to mob mentality and join the ever growing dreary clad of brainwashed fuckwits who should be banned from having offspring in order to further the existence of the human race. fuuuuck … i dunno im ranting and i said i wouldn’t not to you to me meh’ i don’t care anyhow i’m going to shoot now and knuckle down with the band (you never know … one day they may listen ;p)

  4. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, sanity restored. I know alot of people will slag me off for supporting the ACDC campaingn but I dont care cos Im revisiting a time when I and many like minded peers bought second hand guitars (Bass in my case) and practised in bedrooms, garages, sheds etc till we were reasonably good enough to start gigging in the local pubs then village halls before getting into nightclubs then proper venues with house PAs etc. We spent all our spare time practicing, humphing amps and cabs from beat up old vans up flights of stairs etc all for bthe sheer joy of playing live music to people that just wanted to hear a live band playing their favourite songs of the day. Of course we dreamed of TOTP and some of us made recordings, tapes, vinyl singles and EPs (ask your dad) even CDs! Some gave up, others like me
    plugged away in several different bands and still play for fun now. A few had minor hits but mostly we all did it because there is nothing that will replace the feeling that you get when you are rocking and the crowd are jumping, Sheer Bliss. And No Kareoke TV Show comes near,

  5. This article is perfect, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. I hate
    this fucking programme so much and I hate even more the fact that nobody
    else can see what you’ve highlighted here. Fuck The X Factor, fuck
    Cowell, fuck them all. I’m goin’ to listen to some fuckin’ Stone Roses.

  6. It’s never on in my house, although my daughter is getting a bit caught up in the one Direction bollocks with her friends at school. I do try and keep her on the straight and narrow and only play decent rock music at home. I only listen to Planet Rock when the radio is on and try to get to a live music venue a couple of times a month. I heard the terrible rip-off of Blondie and the Undertones and really felt like weeping. Is this truly the kind of thing we want our kids to hear? Zero talent or ability, zero originality and zero pleasure to be had by submitting myself to it.

  7. What a load of BOLLLOCKS. Its a TV prog no more no less. Worry about the decline of the music industry before wasting your time on this shit! Cream floats, shit sinks…end of.

  8. Good God man, calm down a little. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows the show is an utter pile, but we also know it’s not compulsory watching. Use your remote to stare at something else, or just turn the damn thing off! If your entire family is sucked into this seemingly endless maelstrom of shite, do you really need to sit there too? … and then feel obliged to moan loudly? I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written, but a lot I simply don’t understand because I never watch the show. Why continue to bang your head against the wall if, after the first time, you discover it hurts?? Do you remember the kids’ programme ‘Why don’t you…’? Well, why don’t you? Maybe then you’ll be able to use your talent for something else.

  9. I stayed at the King`s Arms, when I was contracting at C.P.U.K. Staverton in 2009, luckily they had no non-artistes performing while I was there.

  10. As much as I agree with what is said here, I’m just saying that Bieber was never on X Factor, he performed on it, but was never a contestant haha

  11. Justin Beiber has nothing to do with the X-Factor so that photo a bit off irrelevant. Also you were banging on about how annoyed you are that the press keep giving the show column inches and here you are doing the same thing. I suggest you shut up, grow up, get on with your life instead of wasting time on these annoying people who are a hell of a lot richer than you will ever be. Even if they have no integrity.

  12. 9 months late but a few points people need to know about the show.
    I will admit that I do watch the show but purely for betting reasons & the money I win goes on helping independent artists through Pledgemusic sites etc.
    Once you know how the show manipulates the public through editing, camera angles, scripted comments etc, it’s very easy to know who will win – usually the one who has golden lighting while having a close-up of them crying while singing “Beautiful” and not the one who has a black & white long shot of the back of their head as they sing “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo”. (Yes, both of these have happened on the show). For more info on how Cowell lies to the public, check out the Sofabet website.

    The main problem is that any real singers will struggle to make a living due to the change the show has caused to the public’s mentality towards music. The general public now believe that you have to chart to be good, which of course is absolute bollocks.

    One artist I would forgive for going on the show is Janet Devlin. She appeared at the age of 16 and was hated on by the producers for refusing to fake. She then used the show to make real music contacts, turned down massive contracts to keep control of her career, wrote with some great independent artists who she has introduced to her fans, fan funded her own album & released on an independent label to rave reviews from independent music magazines.

    The down side for her is that it seems Cowell/ Max Clifford has had her blacklisted from national radio stations. She even woke up to Radio One twat Scott Mills taking the piss out of her on Christmas Day for “not being famous”. This from a guy who thinks auto-tune is an instrument and wanks himself senseless over One Direction.

    It also seems that Cowell also has tie-ins with tv & radio to constantly hype his shit excuse for music as “the greatest thing ever”. His latest monster creation, Fake Ella Henderson is currently number one following endless promotion on his own tv shows, radio and online.

    Just to add that it is more important reveal the truth about this evil empire than ignore for the following reasons.

    By allowing Cowell to continue, he is shutting out real music and destroying the livelihood of real musicians.
    Cowell uses his money made from his shows and acts for some very unsavoury practices such as the £50,000 bail money he put up for convicted paedo Jonathan King and the £1/4 million a year he pays serial sex attacker Max Clifford to keep stories about him out of the press. Heaven (more likely Hell) knows what these stories can be if he pretends to be gay to cover up the real truth about himself.

  13. Couldn’t agree more. Its insipid, mass produced, uninspired, manufactured horse shit.I think people who listen to this rubbish don’t actually like music.How can they.Lets face it, it’s easy to feed pigs, they’ll eat anything. This programme has ruined British music, and I hate it with a passion

  14. Good Article, only thing – Justin Bieber wasn’t an X Factor contestant ever LOL. But I agree about most of this, the best thing about X Factor is Cheryl being on it, she’s one of my biggest idols but if it wasn’t for that then I probably wouldn’t watch it!

    1. A woman who punched a black woman and called her a “jiggaboo” and never apologised is one of your idols??? Sigh…

  15. The whole plasticity of this marketing behemoth is only matched by the stupidity of the idiots that watch the show and throw away their money buying this shite!

  16. Grreat article.

    It’s scary how big one direction have become around the world and now the two arrogant talent less pricks Zayne Malik and Harry styles( Harry was voted and awarded hottest male in many magazines, blogs etc..What the utter fuck!!? Okay, i’d understand if they had said Zayne. Even though he comes across as an arrogant narcissistic typical Bradford ‘bad boy’ cunt, he at least has been blessed with an aesthetic look that could be deemed as attractive.)
    The sad thing is i don’t think there fame is that short lived. They are diversifying into other areas of the arts and using there fame to affect artists in that area e,g actors, models, dancers, p’graphers etc , Zayne Malik, is now looking at acting. Makes me mad that these wankers block hard working actors from gaining a foothold into the industry and they have to spend years working there way up into the industry. Yet, people like Zayne, Harry Styles etc , who have NO interest in the performing arts, just waltz in and get people falling over themselves to sign them up to theater and film contracts.

  17. Brilliant article and generally great replies.My dad once told me that if you wheeled out a dog turd onto the stage,all British people would applaud;on the excrement theme,to use Alex Higgins’ observation,”I’d rather watch stools float “.The cringeworthy false emotions of joy and tears also rankle.Many use a tactic of a sob story of how the knowledge of the ingrown toenail of a third cousin twice removed has left them traumatised but inspired their ” profound ” songs.All reality shows are shit,partly because they are not reality.I’d quite happily give a donation to ISIS if they promised to attack these talentless poops.It’s so cynical,Alexei Sayle was right when he said if Hitler claimed he’d invaded Poland for charity,then it would have been all right.That fart Malik is only there as a token of diversity.It isn’t just the music that’s fucking crap,the lyrics are dross.I have a theory that part of the ease of appeal us that nobody under the age of 40 in the UK is either literate or numerate which is why the following words make up 95% of their ‘conversation’: like,literally,basically,yeah (?),d’you know what I mean.They all copy this twats on the shows and talk with that cretinous upspeak interrogative inflexion as though every phrase is a question. Still,if you know more than one letter if the alphabet you can have a first class honours degree in any subject of your choice.

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.