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Friday, 29 September 2017

The X Factor: The young people aren't watching.

As I sat down to write this, a quick Facebook check told me everything I needed to know. The TV listings (and my Facebook feed) have been taken over by the big X, X Factor. Yawn.


It seems to be on for the full 48 hours of my weekend. Saturday morning is repeats of the previous week, and then it’s the cringe-worthy auditions in the evening. Sunday morning is a repeat of the day before and then somehow it’s on again on Sunday night. Why? Surely no one is interested anymore?

My social media is full of people whinging that there is no good Saturday night telly anymore. Maybe they’re just on the wrong channel.

One of the best status updates I saw about the show was simply: “Is X Factor actually back on? Why can’t we just let it die?” I think that sums it up quite nicely.

After a whopping 14 series, surely nothing is going to give us the ‘WOW’ factor? Unless a dog walks into the audition room and belts out a tune, I don’t think anyone is going to be shocked or amazed.

As a Uni student, I love nothing more than procrastinating in bed with my laptop, binge watching shows I’ve seen a million times. Major stereotype, I know. I'm in the demographic for The X Factor. Cowell has said before that he thinks Strictly is for 'nans' and his show is for the younger generation. As a member of that generation who is living with other members I can say categorically that Mr. Cowell is out of touch with us young-un's 


My flatmates and I will usually all gather on our tiny little sofa for our weekly dose of Great British Bake off. The bake off just has more to talk about, once we stop giggling at Noel Fielding’s innuendos that is. I’m still in shock from the Baked Alaska Incident of 2014!  We’ve all picked our favourites from the start and are genuinely sad when people have to leave. You’d think after three years of watching it, we’d know how to bake, but I can’t even get packet mixes to go right.

Mr. Cowell would be disappointed to hear that no such gathering, discussion or predictions take place on a Saturday night when The X Factor is on. It's not necessarily the shows fault. It's just been on for such a long time that it can't possibly surprise or engage us like it did in the days of Leona Lewis or One Direction. Even Mr. Cowell can't reinvent the wheel. The X Factor is now something that's on the in the autumn. It hasn't created any genuine stars for a while and the ratings for this current series prove that its core audience is leaving it in search of something more original.

Over the past few years of University I’ve lived with a bunch of different people and I've discovered a few shows that go down well whoever you're with. Channel 4's The Undatetables elicits a little bit of giggling and muttering ‘you should go on that’ to each other. We’ve been trying to get our partially-blind flatmate to go on there since freshers. By the end of the episode though, we’re all ‘awwwww’-ing and rooting for the two hopefuls to fall in love and have their first kiss. It draws you in, you get invested in these people’s lives and it’s lovely to watch. When you’re up to your neck in deadlines and stressing out, you just want some emotional, feel-good telly to watch with your friends with your feet up. 

BBC1's recent series of Planet Earth drew a large proportion of the elusive 16-35 demographic broadcasters clamber over proving once again that that we've all outgrown ITV's singing competition. Maybe the show only appeals to Louis Walsh now eh?

The X Factor Continues Weekends at 8.00pm on ITV.

Contributed by Lilly Houston.

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