X Factor, I’ve lost interest…

I’m not a big fan of all this X Factor stuff however I did catch the final tonight. What’s good about this programme is the first part, where they tour the UK for “the next big thing”. Most are dire, some laughably so. Tonight they brought back some of the worst to do a song and, although it was bad it was possibly the best piece of TV during the X-Factor.

So Leona won, and rightfully so, she’s got a Maria Carey-style voice even though she’s very shy too…

…But I’ve been having a think about this. In one of the advert breaks Mr “I’m bloody loaded” Simon Cowell was promoting his next show. I’m not quite sure what it was, some bilge or other with a similar format to the X Factor / Pop Idol programmes. This format works. Why ? I’ll tell you why. There’s an obvious reason.

Simon Cowell paid around 26 million quid in TAX last year. Yes, 26 million in TAX. Just think how much he earned. Where’s all that money from? Well, part of it is due to the contracts that each winner is tied into – Simon and the other judges get a fairly sizeable chunk of the earnings and the guaranteed recording contract that the winner gets is littered with clauses.

Plus let’s look at the voting on the show. Tonight more than 8 million votes were cast. To vote you have to dial or text a number which costs 35p. This 35p is paid via an 0906 number. Let’s do some rough mathematics. Let’s say that ITV1 get around 20p of this 35p. That’s 1,600,000 direct to ITV1 – or at least the shows’ producers / creators… who are they? I’ll give you three guesses. Even if I’m wrong and they only get, say.. 15p it’s still 1,200,000…. and that’s JUST FROM TONIGHTS SHOW!!!!! If you work on a rough guess of 2 million votes per week (and I’m severely under-estimating here) that’s still 300,000 earnings per week based on 15p per call.

“No”, I hear you cry, “it costs a lot to put on a show like that”. Sure, but the advertising pays for most of it (a big name sponsor too) and I’d question just how much money is actually spent on the show. Let’s look at the basics..

1) Cost of presenter

2) Camera crew, producer, studio plus hire costs for venues around the UK

3) Transportation, studio, singing coaches, equipment etc

4) Cost of three “judges” (probably more than anything else)

That’s it though isn’t it? How much are they paying the people who do all the work? The people who sing? The people who queued up for hours to chase their dream of becoming a star? Well, as far as I can see it’s absolutely nothing at all.

Regardless of the reasons, I couldn’t be bothered to wait and find out who’d won. Instead I chose to purchase a movie from Sky Box Office. The movie I chose was Scary Movie 4….. I really wish I hadn’t bought it. It’s only around an hour long and it’s truely unfunny, boring and it spends far too much time trying to cover as many bases and movie references as possible without having any plot or real humour.

“Look at us, we’re taking the mikey out of loads of movies”

Yes, you are.. but it’s NOT FUNNY…