The ratings factor

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The oxymoron of Reality Television is put under the Stef-o-scope and given a good grilling.

I had the unfortunate experience of being privy to an episode of the X-Factor the other night. Anyone who is in any doubt that the debacle is anything other than a revenue generating exercise needs to be stripped, have their legs tied to their face and be rolled down an embankment of nettles.

Talent does not even enter into the equation in this contest. It’s all about ratings and who can garner the most reaction to bring in the vote money. Fact.

The proof was when they got rid of that amazing singer whose day job was working at a cinema — Paije I think he was called — over some hippie fuckwit called Storm with a voice like two ducks mating in a volcano. And kept in a useless crying bimbo with caterpillars on her eyes over truly gifted singer Gamu.

Sadly, good singers don’t make good television. Emotionally retarded, vacuous, egocentric cry-babies do.

Whether they realise it or not right now, Paije and Gamu are better off without today’s music industry. Had one of them walked into my studio I’d have written a contract on the spot and given them at least 50% (gross) of everything they earned for me; a far cry from the 9% (net) they’d get from a major label after being told what clothes to buy, which bigshot directs the video, and in which limo to travel to parties — all paid for out of their own pockets.

Both singers are soulful, immensely talented and have fantastic potential doing what they do best. Before mainstream media, copyright and business took control they’d have been given that chance. But not now. I remember a time when A&R stood for Artistes & Repertoire. Now it’s Assets & Ratings.

Type like the wind

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