This is the truth behind reality TV. It’s only slightly less staged than the non-reality version.
I don’t know because a lot of the best artists aren’t necessarily the best technical singers, we buy into their personalities and viewpoints too, sometimes the best singers are pretty bland. I can’t deny there’s an element of that though with the sob story side, you may be tempted to vote for Jimmy because he was raised an orphan but does that make you want to buy his records a year down the line?
I still think the biggest disconnect is demographic. This is when X-Factor was near its peak:
Saturday 1st October:
Total Viewers - 9,460,000
04-15 - 11%
16-34 - 25%
35-44 - 19%
45-54 - 17%
55-64 - 12%
65+ - 15%
Male - 37%
Female - 63%
So 63% of the audience is approaching middle age or older, the record buyers (or Spotify streamers) for the kind of ‘pop star’ they are trying to produce is younger. Hence the reason I think specifically One Direction and Little Mix have gone on to have loads of hits but didn’t even get into the final two.
The BBC’s Fame Academy, which didn’t last long took, a different approach where they were attempting more serious artists and had songwriting classes and the like. The voting had the same problem and they voted for the cheeky looking young bloke who got dropped by the record company within months. Lemar came third and ended up with 5 studio albums, 2 Brit awards and 3 MOBO awards.
I honestly don’t think these shows give a shit how well the artists is doing more than a year down the line. They only care about them while they’re on the show and helping their ratings.
A lot of solo artists/lead singers are actually pretty shitty singers because they can only sing melody and not any other part. So the front is the only thing they’ve ever been able to do.
Simon Cowell does, he signs up the acts to his Syco record company.
He doesn’t have the ability to control what the public vote for though (and he does sign the ones that came lower, like One Direction that are likely making him more than the TV show does).
I would imagine after the first album even he has made the money off of them that he wants. It would be interesting to see the contracts that come out of these shows.
They sway things more than you might think even down to the way the “live” performances are cut for audience viewing.
I’m not the slightest bit naive to that. They are blatantly manipulative shows and I’ve always known they pre-screen the ones that get into the audition phase.
On the other hand they don’t always get the results they want, as recents events have shown us the public can be very unpredictable. The biggest example was the first X-Factor winner, a middle aged bloke the mums liked, Cowell couldn’t drop him fast enough.
What events might you be referring to?
Gar was a huge supporter of Joel Dommett on the latest I’m A Celebrity.
I wish I was as unfamiliar with what he’s actually talking about as what you’re referring to right now.
To be honest I had to google the runner-up myself.
I actually really liked Fame Academy for that very reason. It’s the only one of these things that I’ve ever followed though a whole series, and I could see it transforming from week to week as I suspect the production team were realising that people weren’t voting for what they were trying to do. By the end I was watching for the sake of completeness, as its move to complete blandness had killed everything that initially hooked me on the programme.
Yeah I’m pretty much the same on all counts. It was a noble idea but I think it was the audience that scuppered it.
We don’t have to feel too sorry for Fame Academy, the ill-fated UK version was part of a much larger franchise that did pretty well all over the world (I first came across it as Star Academy in France, where it did very well, running for nine years).
Interestingly it was a concept by Endemol (of Big Brother fame) that was phased out in favour of another Endemol format, The Voice.
Yeah we had Akademi Fantasia here in Malaysia, which was a big hit but to be honest it was much less like the BBC version and a lot more like Pop Idol / X-Factor. Very ‘shiny floor’ stuff.
Is it just me or does Star Academy make it sound like a sci-fi show?
Because I heard that name first, I always thought “Fame Academy” sounded weird, like it was something to do with the movie Fame.
Or to a lesser degree the TV show, also called ‘Fame’
You’re thinking of Space Academy: