Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Cowell v Clifford. Now That's a Fight We'd Like to See...

Cowell is a clever cookie isn't he. Is it just me or does he makes Clifford look like a rank amateur when it comes to manipulating the media?

By backing the impossibly bad Jedward on Sunday night, he secured front page coverage in The Sun, The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror - all on one day. Imagine putting that in an evaluation report. Just one problem - it wasn't exactly positive reading. Is it really a case of "The Fix Factor"? Who cares? Not Simon.

This is a show that has been beset with negative press coverage - yet it just keeps on growing. It's beating its BBC rival, Strictly Come Dancing, hands-down. A whopping 16.6million people tuned in on Sunday to watch the lovely Lucy sent packing. And I bet even more of us watch this week. As a relative of mine said recently, "I decided to watch the X Factor last week. Everyone is talking about it..."

So why then, when the Beeb gets slated for axing Arlene does the show suffer - and when Cowell backs the worst singers in the history of singing, do his ratings soar?

I guess it's a bit like asking why Tom Cruise's sofa jumping antics cost Mission Impossible 3 over $100m in ticket sales yet Borat's endless slating of Kazakhstan prompted a 300% increase in enquiries on

The producers should never have messed with Strictly Come Dancing. The show is like Marks and Spencers. A British institution. Safe. Solid. The X Factor is not. It's about tears, tantrums and theatrics. Early on, Simon decided he would use controversy to capture viewers and controversial he has certainly been. Cleverly though, he has never let the show be described as poor, just the judges' decisions. He knows full well that we will watch again next week. Admit it, we can't wait to see the fallout.

Plus, Jedward, who are prepared to totally humiliate themselves in front of millions week in, week out, have become strangely endearing - a bit like Borat and, for that matter, Arlene. And most unlike Tom Cruise on Oprah. Nauseating yes, endearing - no.


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