And so our Saturday nights across the nation have become the time for X – Factor or Strictly Come Dancing.
I confess to being one of the millions who would rather stay in on a Saturday night and cosy up with a bottle of red wine, a nice supper and feast on my weekly diet of trash TV.
The irony of the X Factor show hit me quite suddenly this Sunday evening.
A programme which provides young talent from any street in the UK, regardless of background, colour, or creed, with the pathway to stardom inadvertently highlighted exactly where that path could lead.
Last Sunday was the night for Robbie Williams, a true pop idol in the eyes of many of the millions of young people who watched his mentoring of young hopefuls on the programme and then expected to enjoy his performance.
Many questions were asked the following morning regarding Robbie’s wild-eyed, decidedly odd appearance and performance.
Last night was the turn of Whitney. No one can detract from the amazing career this woman has had and all that she has contributed to the world of music, however, her performance last night, her dazed and vacant behaviour, was cringe worthy and the same questions will be asked in the press tomorrow after her late night performance.
So, what are we saying to the young wannabes taking part in this show? Win X-Factor and one day you will be so desperately sad and troubled, so lacking in confidence, your soul will be so tortured that you too one day will be like this?
The programme, which holds the dreams of a dozen or so young people in the palm of its hands, may in fact be shining a light down the road to misery, loneliness and ruin.
Cheryl Cole is a strong and successful woman, and thank God for her performance last night which gave out the message ‘it doesn’t need to be like that’. Danni appears to hold her career together well and Simon Cowell is a role model for all young men. However, Robbie and Whitney may once have been that strong and well put together.
Last night’s programme appeared to present a huge juxtaposition between a world of success, fame, and wealth and happy ever after with loneliness, sadness, dependency and loss.
I am sure the show’s producers loved the glazed performance from Whitney as it will guarantee a few more column inches somewhere and even more publicity for the show. I do hope they can balance that out.
With success comes responsibility, not only for an individual but in this case for the show at large. Get a grip X-Factor. It’s a fantastic show, but keep your message clean and positive. The eyes of millions of children and teenagers are watching you. Do not mix the image of success and wealth with one of desperation and dependency because you know that’s just plain wrong.