Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The X Factor

I live in a testosterone-fuelled household, so Saturday evening viewing has to be ITV rather than Strictly Come Dancing, which I can of course catch up with on BBC iPlayer anyway.

The X Factor is so far living up to what you'd expect. An array of weird and wonderful contestants at the audition stages. A handful of people who can sing but perhaps get further than they otherwise would because of their backstory. Judges sniping at each other from time to time. A new judge, Cheryl, who has shown an unexpected emotional side.

And at last we now know the final 12 for the live shows.

The groups - Louis
Frankly I don't care, none of them will win, but I liked the boy group best.

The over-25s - Danni
Did you notice how Danni looked a little like Joan Collins in the last programme? Anyway...Rachel, raw talent but a risk. I personally would have chosen Susie over Ruth, she was more consistent. Daniel, lovely guy with a very sad story, but not a star...??

The boys - Simon
Austin can sing but can he hold it together for the live shows? The other two don't inspire me yet.

The girls - Cheryl
The strongest category this year, crammed with Amy/Duffy wannabes (I love Amy and Duffy's music so in my mind that is not necessarily a Bad Thing, but I thought they were seeking someone original this year). There were four very strong contenders so sadly one had to lose out, but personally I think I would have chosen Hannah over Diana.

Three notable things:

1. How do I write a constructive criticism of a short story I hate ( but was written by a member of our course team)?

2. A long phone conversation with an old friend ths morning provided a good catch-up and some unexpected sad news.

3. Son 1 will be 17 tomorrow. My baby is old enough to learn to drive. How can that be?


Anonymous said...

I love watching BBC on a Saturday night, for a Saturday, it's quite good at the moment.

CJ xx

CL Taylor said...

I pretty much agree with ALL of your comments on the X-factor apart from I would have chosen Susie over Rachel as I can see her rubbing the public up the wrong way and getting booted off early (she's already rubbed me up the wrong way a bit!)

I am getting a bit sick of all the tears I have to say...and the sob stories. It's like everyone is trying to out-do each other with their tales of woe. And I haven't been hugely impressed by the majority of the singing talent.

But I'll keep watching. Of course!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I haven't really been following XFactor to be honest but the few programmes I did catch, I think Cheryl cried in each one of them.

My son was recently 17 and is now learning to drive, it's such a scary thought.

Anne Brooke said...

Happy birthday to your son for tomorrow - you must have been a child bride, my dear!



HelenMWalters said...

I agree about the groups - I really didn't care who got through and who didn't. Cheryl cries so prettily doesn't she?

Casdok said...

Happy 17th birthday!! :)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

That kind of constructive criticism is indeed hard. Some thoughts that may help:

1. Remember we are in a taste-based industry, and try to separate what in the story is not to your taste from those aspects of the writing craft that need improvement.

2. Break down the 'hate' into its component parts by working out exactly what you think is wrong in terms of punctuation, structure, grammar, characters, and so on. Deal with each one separately, outline what you think could be done better and give ideas/examples to illustrate how it could be done better (always remembering that the writer may not choose to use your suggestions; they may serve to spark up his/her own ideas).

3. Identify at least two things you can praise about the writing and/or the story (I've never yet found this impossible to do) and use one at the beginning of your critique and one at the end in the traditional 'praise sandwich'. If you can identify and use more than two, so much the better.

Hope that's useful. Good luck!

Catherine said...

My 17 year old 'baby' wants to buy a car and is taking driving lessons,while I fret that he will survive on the busy roads. I do feel 17 is far too young for such a huge responsiblity.

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