The X Factor Part Of A Rich Tv Tradition

The X Factor Part Of A Rich Tv Tradition

The X Factor – Part of​ a​ Rich TV Tradition
The X Factor – part of​ a​ rich TV tradition
Talent shows were popular in​ the​ UK from the​ 1950s to​ the​ 1990s, and​ shows such as​ Opportunity Knocks and​ New Faces launched the​ careers of​ many a​ singer, comedian and​ conjuror as​ TV personalities .​
Les Dawson, Victoria Wood, Lenny Henry, Bonnie Langford, Freddie Starr and​ Paul Daniels are among the​ acts who used these shows as​ a​ springboard .​
Winners were chosen either by a​ studio panel or​ postal votes – phone voting was technologically inefficient until the​ digital age.
Around the​ turn on the​ millennium, Popstars and​ Pop Idol took the​ format a​ little further, launching the​ careers of​ Will Young, Hear’Say, Gareth Gates, Liberty X, the​ Cheeky Girls and​ the​ most successful, Girls Aloud .​
With a​ little help from Big Brother and​ the​ Eurovision Song Contest, the​ public became used to​ telephone voting; huge numbers could cast their votes and​ the​ results could be confirmed the​ same night .​
The scene was set for​ Simon Cowell’s project – the​ X Factor.
What differentiates these later shows from the​ early talent shows is​ that the​ acts in​ the​ original programmes were usually established performers but on a​ small scale, working in​ cabaret and​ clubs up and​ down the​ country .​
Although there are obvious exceptions, the​ new breed often have no experience of​ performing live and​ go through an​ arduous audition process along with tens of​ thousands of​ other hopefuls .​
In both cases, TV exposure was a​ priceless opportunity for​ the​ acts, as​ it​ was unlikely that they would be talent spotted any other way.
The X Factor format
The X Factor is​ a​ purely musical show – there are no comedians, poets, dancers or​ jugglers here .​
The format of​ the​ X Factor is​ similar to​ those of​ Popstars and​ Pop Idol, in​ that the​ series starts with huge auditions at​ various venues around the​ country, where the​ performers have to​ sing a​ song in​ front of​ the​ panel, usually without instrumental accompaniment, to​ gauge the​ quality of​ the​ voice .​
The decision as​ to​ whether they advance is​ down to​ the​ panel, not the​ public .​
Also, groups are allowed to​ enter as​ an​ existing ensemble, unlike Popstars, which auditioned individuals and​ assembled the​ groups from the​ cream of​ the​ performers .​
Acts enter one of​ four categories – groups, solo singers aged 14–24 (male and​ female) and​ solo singers 25 and​ over .​
Those successful in​ auditions go on to​ Boot Camp and​ the​ survivors here have personal tuition and​ guidance at​ their category judge’s home .​
Numbers are then whittled down to​ the​ live finals, which take place over several Saturdays in​ a​ televised theatre situation, with the​ winner finally being declared when all competition has been eliminated through public voting .​
The prize is​ a​ million-pound recording contract.
More than a​ talent contest
Although the​ show is​ nominally a​ talent show, the​ cameras are privy to​ much of​ the​ contestants’ personal life, their family and​ most points during the​ auditioning, training and, of​ course, the​ live performances .​
They will also have to​ take part in​ public relations appearances and​ stunts, all of​ which builds up a​ picture of​ the​ personality, and​ being likeable is​ as​ important as​ having talent and​ stage presence.
Many a​ loser of​ these contests has gone on to​ greater things, and​ many a​ winner has fallen by the​ wayside .​
For contestants of​ talent shows new and​ old, the​ most important thing is​ the​ exposure .​
And with plans afoot for​ a​ Europe-wide X Factor, a​ handful of​ acts could well receive an​ unbelievable amount of​ publicity.

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