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October 10, 2015

Is Sting right about The X Factor?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 16th 2009 4:35PM
CowellSo Simon Cowell and Sting are going at each other. Sting said some not-so-nice things about The X Factor , including "it's a preposterous show, and you have judges who have no recognizable talent apart from self-promotion...basically I was looking at televised karaoke." Cowell responded by saying: "Talking about these contestants being a bunch of karaoke no-hopers ... I thought it was pompous." Cowell invited Sting to come on the show.

So who's right? I assume Sting's comments would apply to American Idol too.

Is Sting right?
Yes! It's about time a major musician said something.334 (67.6%)
No. These people are talented.61 (12.3%)
He has a point, but he went too far.99 (20.0%)

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I don't think you can conflate American Idol with X-Factor.

Which platinum-album selling artists start with X-Factor? There might be one or two, but I don't know who they are.

American Idol? Legitimate musical acts including Kelly Clarkson, Kerry Underwood, Daughtry, David Cook, Jordan Sparks - people who win Grammys. And yes, there's a second tier that use their name recognition to become niche artists or star on broadway, but AI seems to have found some real stars in a way that X-Factor has not.

It's fun to be snobbish about reality TV, but don't let it get in the way of not seeing reality, and the reality is, American Idol has started a fair number of legitimate careers, in a way no other talent search show before or after has.

November 16 2009 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Kirby's comment

Not disagreeing with your main point, but American Idol has produced just a tiny fraction of the number of successful careers that Star Search has.

November 16 2009 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William McIntyre

It could just be that you are American, and live in the US which means that the list of "stars" you listed, are as unfamiliar to me in the UK (barring Clarkson) as "stars" of the XFactor (and it's predecessor - Pop Idol) are to you?

November 18 2009 at 5:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He didn't say they couldn't sing, he said it was a karaoke show, which it is & he's right about the judges.

The problem is that 'proper' musicians see things through the eyes of people who've had to put the slog in to get where they are and (rightly) think that these shows just create more fodder for the ailing record industry to keep afloat by selling rehashed generic pop back to the people who lap it up.

There will never be a credible alternative for 'proper' musicians because as soon as it becomes a TV competition & controlled by some guys in suits the music loses the thing they lament.

There is a place for these types of programs, the same as there was/is a place for gladiators & wrestling because the general public don't care about integrity or how hard people work but about what gives them something to talk about when the show's over.

I go to gigs to see real bands, and so do quite a lot of other people so I say as long as there's a place for both & as long as real bands get supported then everything's cool with the world

November 16 2009 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DarthPaul's comment

Well phrased!

November 16 2009 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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