With a brief summer hiatus in-between football seasons, post Britain's Got Talent and pre The X Factor, sane and rational conversation can be as inclusive as possible and real, tangible progress towards solidarity with all mankind - towards a more peaceful, harmonic life - is seemingly made. People from all walks of life get along better, the sun is out, and true equality, the end of fascism and the prospect of a new era of world peace one day seem a real possibility.
Alright, Big Brother is still going but only the brain-dead watch that anyway, given that there's no enigma about the show anymore - "will they have sex live on TV?" "will they fight live on TV?!" "will they fight and then have make up sex live on TV?!!" - no, they'll just be dull and boring (and complain about the lack of shopping budget meaning they have to make do with Granny Smiths and not Pink Lady apples and other such hardships). But, in almost one fell swoop, this inclusive, potentially utopian prospect of society has ended. The football season began, and so hand-in-hand doth begin insular conversations about matches, discussions of tactics and jokes about Tottenham - immediately alienating anyone who's a bit perturbed with the British obsession of a soap opera that stars an inanimate ball of leather as its narrator with a set of obscenely overpaid protagonists. If that wasn't enough, the rise in this sectarian conversation will be compounded as Saturday night television is once again home to the X Factor - the show where the public can tune in to watch all but one person have their dreams shattered and pissed all over by Cowell & Co, taking solace in the fact the dashing of their own dreams will never be quite so public.
And so, not much has changed - this is still the start of a new series, and the typical array of candidates have their auditions televised: the humble people with no confidence but fantastic talent, the obnoxious people with heaps of front and denial in place of any discernible talent whatsoever (let alone singing skills), and the barely adequate singers riding heavily on some emotional blackmail sob-story to curry favour with the judges (fortunately for whom don't have to sit through the televised show version of the audition, replete with requisite dramatic music - Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias's respective 'Hero' songs seem to be particularly cringe-worthy editor's favourites).
However, a few things have changed - most notably, the candidates now get to have their humiliation exacerbated by a live audience / crowd of cackling bullies, not only for extra spirit-crushing entertainment but also it seems to spark the additional embarrassment of particularly uncharismatic "working of the crowd" and other desperate post-rejection face-saving attempts.
In addition though, a few extra features have been thrown into the mix to pace the above unlikely hero/belligerent villain/sad story recipe so as to make the formula a little less conspicuous to the show's demographic (though any regular viewers inherently won't be astute enough to notice). Previously this breaking up of the usual routine was only achieved by the presenters' (Dermot O'Leary on the main show and Holly Willoughby on the Xtra Factor) mocking, manipulating and downright exploiting of some of the more naive (and talentless) candidates through baiting them into further self-humiliation in front of the camera - so it is with mixed emotions that I greeted one of the new features (a mix mostly consisting of disgust, rage and pity): Presentiators.
Formerly of the Xtra Factor, the Presentiators features put the show's presenters in a Gladiators-esque face-off - except the challenges are far from what you'd expect in Gladiators! Hilarious!! Oh, actually, maybe not...
So the clip is of quality fitting for the feature it seems (there are plenty of better quality clips from previous Xtra Factor seasons on YouTube, but this was the only one of last night's), and given the children's television, ChuckleVision calibre of the comedy it seems apt for the average mental age of most regular X Factor viewers.
Stephen Mulhern: slightly unrelated, but I really dislike him and his face. Perhaps a version of Presentiators that crosses over into BGT and includes multiple bulls and a red-cladded Stephen Mulhern in a fight to the death is in order?
But for any one capable of any analytical thought whatsoever, it's awful. Terrible. Unforgivably bad... it doesn't so much serve to entertain but to instil unfathomable disgust and loathing for both the show's producers (for approving it) and O'Leary and Willoughby (for pissing away their integrity with such blasé arrogance), my rage levels transcending violence however and morphing into a block of grey impassiveness in my heart; of quiet disgust with all humanity that I fear will never again feel passion. Unless of course I have to bear that insufferable Stephen Mulhern, who does a similar job in consistently attempting to induce mass hatred with his patronisingly asinine "presenting" of Britain's Got More Talent - seemingly qualified to present such a show given his unrivalled talent in pissing any trace of his own dignity up the wall with every opportunity.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm pretty sure if this was put into some contest for features for the show that mirrored the main spectacle then Simon's verdict would be something along the lines of one of his usual, flippant "I'm sorry to say you're rubbish, you'll always be rubbish and I wish ill on you and your family" style of retorts.
Still, at least at this stage in the series you can rely on the candidates to add some kind of personality to the show, and that alone gives it some kind of saving grace. Given that the most talented of these will unfortunately have any trace of personality stamped out by the overly-aggressive X Factor image police come the bootcamp stage (all the candidates getting pigeon-holed into their most fitting mainstream stereotypes and the seemingly universal addition of metal appendages to male candidates' ears and eyebrows), this charm doesn't last long, and obviously if you don't watch the show with the right attitude (e.g. that of 'this show, these people and everything they do only serve to reaffirm that no matter what I achieve in life, there are depths I will never sink to') then maybe the X Factor isn't for you.
So you can go back to avoiding it like the plague, and missing out on all the fun water-cooler talk that it generates in all the people that were accessible for all too brief a period. Still, at least Match of the Day is back, right? Wait, you don't like football either? Oh. So, um... did you, er... sorry. Gotta go.
im all for presentiators - anywhere you get to see willoughby and her massive tits is fine by me lol
Aldi [unregistered user]
24/08/09 @ 00:36
Haha, I just feel sorry for lovely Dermot, who remains an honourable gentleman. In my mind (perhaps over-optimistically), every time Dermot speaks to a contestant or another presenter on the show I see him talking to them as you would a child or someone with learning difficulties.... so in some respects he's doing a good deed! He's like the carer for an army of brain-deads, mopping up their piss and shit and holding them when they feel sad.
Anyway he had no chance of winning Presentiators against evil mastermind The Joker (played by Jack Nicholson). Just be glad Amanda Whoreden and Piss Morgan (i just came up with these) haven't been permitted to join.