The (se)X Factor.

I’m not one of these television elitists who thinks the only things worth watching are David Attenborough documentaries and perhaps the news at ten.

Nor am I a music snob who bemoans the insurgence of tv talent show searching for the UK’S  next big pop star.

Okay, okay, I’ll just come right out and say it- I love The X Factor.


I love the trashy song choices, I love the cheesy dance routines and, for me, the more confetti flying around the stage, the better. I can appreciate a good Leona warble as much as the next person but to be perfectly honest with you, it’s the fully blown novelty acts that usually appeal to my inner diva, and I’m afraid to say that’s Jedward inclusive!

I think one of my favourite aspects of the show, however,  is the judge interaction. I’m all for a bit of panto-banter between Simon and Louis and, heck, I even quite like Dannii  Minogue! I’ll admit to probably being a wee bit in love with Cheryl Cole, but I think the rest of the country are pretty much with me on that one, so no surprises there.

That’s right, I’ ve got love for our X Factor lady judges. However, I can’t help but notice that week by week their outfits are getting more and more ridiculous and also… semi pornographic.


Case in point.

Week after week, we see  The Most Powerful Man In Music (ever) Simon Cowell waltz out onto the stage in black suit after black suit, and chances are Louis Walsh will not be far behind wearing the same thing in navy. It’s not that I don’t like the suited and booted look, but it almost seems in this instance to reflect the power hierarchies of the show. Simon and Louis are the judges doling out the album deals and, ultimately, are the ones who have the last say on who really ‘makes it’ off the back of the series. Both men are prolific music managers, at the top of their respective piles, and so, must be taken seriously in their formal evening wear.

As I mentioned before, I’m a fan of both Cheryl and Dannii but ultimately, one can’t help but feel they might have been cast for as much their visual appeal as their insider knowledge of the music business. Dannii is a beautiful lady indeed, but does anyone really remember much from her musical heyday? Cheryl Cole’s role on the show is officially justified as she is a former musical- reality show contestant, but this was as 1/5 of a girl band, and I think it’s fair enough to presume a decision not made on her vocal talent alone. What does this matter anyway, when the girls look this good in their couture?

I can’t help but feel that at the most basic level, the judges consist of the powerful men versus the dumb, but pretty, female women. After all every week it turns into a bit of a ‘good cop, bad cop’ scenario on the panel, where inevitably Simon upsets a contestant by openly slating them, and a tearful Cheryl wades into the situation to diffuse things with hugs and platitudes.

Is this unfair of me to suggest? After all, last year it was Cheryl’s contestant Alexandra Burke that won the show, and this year it is Dannii’s contestant Stacey Solomon who is hotly tipped to bring in another female-led victory. There’s no question that Mrs Cole and Miss Minogue are both intelligent, successful women in their own right, but it seems that just isn’t enough. After all, viewing figures soared after Cheryl was brought in to replace the savvy, but perhaps less sterotypically sexy, 57 year old Sharon Osbourne two years ago.

It seems like under Sharon’s powerful female reign, womanly sexuality was not displayed quite so blatantly on The X Factor. Just look at the transformation of Dannii Minogue in these two judge promo shots:

In two years a change has been made in Dannii’s styling, taking her from demure girl next door to out and out electro babe, in alignment with Cheryl’s rise to Sexiest Woman In the World (as voted by FHM readers in 2009). Cheryl is just so young and so gorgeous,  that it seems the whole show has had to sex itself up just to be in her presence.

Why is it that sex has become so predominant on what should be a show about music? I attribute it to a combination of primal marketing, whereby the producers of the show try to hone in to the public’s most basic emotions and desires (victory! loss!  heartbreak! glory! sex!) and some over zealous styling.

I would love to tune in next week and see Dannii and Cheryl in cute two pieces to rival Mr Walsh and Mr Cowell’s, though I have a feeling that won’t be happening. At this rate, both women will be in bikinis by the time The X Factor finale is shown! Or is that the whole point? Is the gradual undressing of Dannii and Cheryl just adding to the suspense of the show, and heightening the potential climax of when it finishes next month? If so, I say Simon Cowell flashes at least one moob for all his fans out there. I mean, come on, check out the chest hair on this..

(Photos courtesty of

By: Yasmin Eshref, 20.11.2009 | Comments (1)
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
  • billybeck
    January 16th, 2012
    3:03 pm

    wow he so fit! <3

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