Saturday, 12 December 2009

Your Saturday night starts right here

That's right folks. After what seems like an eternity of Cheryl sulking, Dannii waggling her eyebrows (just to prove that she can) and Louis being so in denial that even creationists would tell him to go with the flow, we're finally at the end of series six of the X-Factor. 

p0pvulture will be going live tonight to capture all of the excitement, unimaginative pyrotechnics and tediously. Drawn. Out. Announcements. But before we kick things off, I wanted to honour one man who won't be taking part -
Pete Waterman, pop impressario and steam train enthusiast.

Those who've been following TV talent shows since the first
Pop Idol will remember that Pete was the originally a regular face on the judging panel. He was there when Popstars: The Rivals created Girls Aloud, when Will Young first backchatted Simon Cowell, and when Michelle McManus put down a jumbo mince pie long enough to romp to victory.

Playing the silver-haired voice of reason (well, compared with
Doctor Fox at least) the former Hitman was always on hand to dispense largely indecipherable words of encouragement, But the format soon soured for him. As a fan of pure pop music, he favoured Gareth Gates over Will, he famously backed 'vocal harmony group' One True Voice over Girls Aloud, and rivalled Marjorie Dawes in his distaste for plus-size women.

But despite his long absence from the judges' bench, he can usually be relied upon for a testy, back-in-my-day soundbite, and this week's finale is no exception. He's
boldly stated that none of the contestants can expect any kind of longevity in the music business.

Proving that you don't need to know anything to be a self-appointed expert, Waterman bellowed: "I haven't ever seen any of the finalists. I haven't heard them sing. But I can guarantee they all have decent but unremarkable voices, no discernible personalities - and some heart-rending tale to tell about a granny who's died, a distant cousin with a drug habit or some other such sob story."

Which means that he's basing his judgement solely on the jokes that Peter Kay worked into last year's
Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, in which Pete starred as himself. 

Then again, I'm not entirely sure that Pete's telling the truth. Summing up his feelings on the matter, he claims "So whoever wins on Saturday - whether it be Olly, Joe or East London's sweet-voiced Stacey - they'll be permitted to release their album. Then they'll retreat into musical oblivion." It sounds to me like Pete's been following the show very closely, but can't bring himself to admit it - like the people who claim they hardly ever watch TV but know the difference between Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell.

It's also funny that Pete can criticise the show for not guaranteeing longevity in the music industry - given that he gave the world Sonia, Sinitta, Hazell Dean, Big Fun, Brother Beyond, The Twins, The Reynolds Girls and Pat & Mick. Pete's basically like the cantankerous uncle who turns up at Christmas and spoils it for everyone else. Someone just needs to give him a nice cup of tea and a copy of the Daily Mail, so he can quietly tut himself off to sleep in an armchair.