Sunday, October 12, 2008

X-Factor 2008

The first live show of this season's X-Factor kicked off last night which meant a flurry of texting between me and the Champ. Plus at least two phone calls during the ad breaks to discuss the prices on betfair.

I actually didn't realise it was the first live show last night and only tuned into it about halfway through so I missed the Champ's pick for outright winner, Austin. I don't really like to doubt her much as she is a super-canny reality TV/talent show bettor and has done very well on these shows in the past.

But, I have to say, I'm not too sure about Austin. To be fair my opinion is only based on the 5 second highlight clip they use in the recaps and the Champ herself said he wasn't very good last night.

Still, one of her tips for top groups was Bad Lashes who actually ended up being the first ones out. Oops. Luckily I hadn't noticed recent updates on her blog as I made a small bet on them being knocked out.

This year looks like it could be quite a good show from a gambling POV as for once the competition seems quite open. For what it's worth I have backed Eoghan, Rachel and Ruth. The last one may not be such a good bet - she's gone right out to 50 on betfair as I type. I must admit I was a bit dazzled by her huge bazongas (as was Simon Cowell, which is probably why her price has drifted). Still, it's early days so who knows. In fact, at that price she might be worth having a bit more of a tickle.

I also wanted to have a bet on Laura, but her price is around 2-1 which didn't really get me very excited.

What always makes me laugh about X-Factor is the number of people who go on about how shit the contestants are and how the whole thing is a joke and how culture is going down the pan etc. What these high-brow intellectuals don't understand is that X-Factor isn't really a talent/music show - it's a made-for-the-masses TV show, on ITV fer Chrissakes, for families to watch while they have their tea. Essentially it's just a latter-day version of The Generation Game or It's A Knockout or Family Fortunes - pick any popular Saturday night drivel you can think of basically.

If you complain that none of the contestants are not in the same class as whoever you think is a brilliant singer/pop star then you are definitely tuning into the wrong show.

The only person who seems to have understood this is the Champ of course, which is why she has done so well punting on these shows.

Personally, I love popular/low-brow culture. I have always found it fascinating as well as very amusing. The amount of shit I get from my girlfriend for watching X-Factor is ridiculous - she just thinks I'm an idiot and doesn't understand. She's so hung up on liking "cool" music she misses the point. What's really annoying is she then accuses me of having bad taste, when in fact I know so much more about music than her, but, no, that just means I'm a "muso-trainspotter"* - aaaargh, you can't win.

Of course, having a few bets on the outcome does make the show much more riveting, but I know I would still watch it if I didn't have any money on it.

*Ok, I'll admit there's an element of truth in that.