X Factor• Talent show created by Simon Cowell and first airedon television in 2004.• Aired on ITV channel and runs from mid August tomid December• There are 4 stages in the show: Auditions, Bootcamp,Judges Houses and Live Shows• There are 4 judges who each take a category tomentor (Girls, Boys, Over 25s, Groups), the idea isthat they ensure they mentor them to success (thefinal)
Context• X Factor was created in 2004 during the rise ofdemocratic all-generation reality shows, eg. I’m ACelebrity, Big Brother etc.• Democratic shows are successful as people like theinvolvement they have in the voting process• Shows like that are successful in providing a lighthearted atmosphere when natural disasters and worldattacks are happening• The purpose of the show is to find the next big star byhaving the audience involved in selecting who this isand also to satisfy the growing celebrity culture.
Britain’s Got Talent• Aired on ITV from April to May• Anybody of any age with a talent can audition• Its been on television since 2007
Postmodernism in Britain’s GotTalent..There is an element of homage and simulacra inBritain’s Got Talent as the singers on the showmainly do covers of other established songsHere, the contestant sings a coverof Skinny Love by Birdy
The X Factor supports Baudrillards main ideas about what isreal and the hyperreal and simulation.Contestants stay in a hotel for the duration of the live shows andattend premieres, living what we see as the ultimate celebritylife style. This is hyperreal as they came from normalbackgrounds and majority will go back to this lifestyle.Hyper-realismBefore X Factor (Reality) During X Factor
"world in which stylistic innovation is nolonger possible...all that is left is toimitate dead styles“- Frederic Jameson, 1988The contestants sing covers of songs created byestablished artists so reality and originality isremoved.Lack of innovation
PanopticalisationFoucault’s theory of Panopticalisation relates toX Factor because..• Knowing that they are being watched bymillions every Saturday their behaviourchanges in response to the control
Audience TheoryHypodermic Needle Theory relates to the XFactor because..X Factor audiences are somewhat passive asthey just watch the performances every weekand do not participate.. They are dominated bythe producers/judges of the show
Weekly Themes• Each week of the lives shows consists of a differenttheme, eg Divas week, Best of British etc• The aspect of weekly themes demonstrates imitationas they all do covers of different songs• This is evidence of simulacra – everything is a copy ofa copy and has been removed from the originalRylan Clark imitatedthe Spice Girls in amedley of theirgreatest hits forBest of British week
AudienceBaudrillard said “When the real is no longer what it usedto be”• The audience know that they are also part of astructured reality show, and they succumb to it.• Theyre told to boo and cheer• They cheer the bursts of flame, because the heat feelsauthentic and reminds them that this is "live".• They cheer the Coldplay wristbands when they lightup, transforming them into part of the show.• They cheer the confetti falling from the ceiling: awedding between audience and the TV, betweensimulation and the real.
Differences between X Factor UK andUSAUKMore about finding the next authentic, edgy andfresh artist that will sell records, i.e. James Arthurand Little MixUSADon’t focus as much on the uniqueness of thecontestants, they look for anybody with potentialsuccess. Linking with the American Dream, thebelief that anybody can do well if they work hardenough
Contestant ChangesWith the aid of make up artists, hairdressers andchoreographers (eg Brian Friedman pictured right)contestants like Diana Vickers get their natural imagechanged to a ‘superstar’ image.This goes with the idealistic representation that inorder for them to be famous and successful they needa make over.
Debates for and againstFor AgainstIts democratic – we can all vote! Its not fair that winners are almostguaranteed a Christmas Number 1singleIts entertaining for the whole family Makes audience feel inadequate asthey can’t live up to the false ideologyHelps contestants find confidence andsuccessIt’s a fix – the producers/judges knowwho they want to win and can keepthem in despite votesNurtures talent and gives automaticpedestal to recognition if that’s whatthey wantThe determining vote is up to judges –Sing Off roundAudience is involved throughout –they can watch auditions and liveshowsIts more about the judges than thesinging, or contestants private lives(headlines)The producers tell them what to wearand mentors tell them what to sing
Historical periods..80’s and 90’s = musicians were found via talentscouts, advertisements and showcases00’s = emergence & rise of talent shows (PopIdol, PopStars The Rivals, Fame Academy, XFactor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice
Future• The buzz of the X Factor will dry up as theywill get bored of the same structure• Budding musicians will look to Youtube forfame and recognition now as many havefound fame this way ie. Justin Bieber