Monday, 27 September 2010

Remember my name...

It's a sad day over at Daily Mail towers, as the entertainment team wakes up to a cold, unforgiving new world. After a week of frenzied speculation and almost hourly character assassinations, Chloe Victoria has departed the X-Factor.

In a way, Chloe is to be congratulated for achieving the impossible - becoming front page news at Boot Camp stage. At this point in the show's interminable run, most contestants struggle to be remembered as more than 'her with the chin' or 'him with the arms'. Not so for
the Ridings' most graceful and demure beauty. Chloe has managed to capture the tabloid's imagination like no-one since Diana, Queen of HeartsTM.

Since her first appearance at the Manchester audition, wearing jeans that looked like she'd narrowly escaped from an industrial thresher, the luminous looker has become the Mail's poster child for 'Broken Britain'. Batting her enormous eyelashes at Simon (in itself an admirable effort, if only for the strain it must have placed on her neck), the Wakefield wannabe pulled out all the stops to prove she was worthy of a second chance. And despite sounding like Vicky Pollard auditioning for a stage production of 'Kes', she got through.

Aghast that someone so vulgar might actually go far in the contest, the Mail launched a staggering attack on Chloe, composing new headlines every day for a bunch of recycled 'content'. Rather than take the 'innocent until proven guilty' approach, the paper branded her the 'Leeds-based hooker' based on the findings of an 'undercover reporter from the News Of The World'. And let's be honest,
that's an unimpeachable source, if ever there was one.

Obsessed with every gloriously grotty detail, the Mail has painstakingly
reproduced the same images every day - Chloe with a vodka bottle, Chloe in a pink bra, Chloe's Bebo page. I'm not sure what to make of that last one, since the death of Bebo was predicted more than six months ago, and besides which, the ages don't even seem to match.

She maintains
that she's not a prostitute, and that the whole thing has been invented by the media. Instead, she works as a 'sexy dancer' - suggesting she's more likely to be punished under the Trades Descriptions Act than any kind of vice clampdown. 

Chloe's final indignity, at least the one we can talk about here, was to be set up for a cocaine sting by a friend in a West Yorkshire hotel. No sooner had the lines been cut and a rolled-up twenty stuck in her nostril, the pictures had been
sold to the Daily Mirror.

By the time last night's 'boot camp' episode aired (showing Chloe's departure from the show), she had already been allocated a new media-friendly nickname. Rather unsurprisingly, today's front page thoughtfully bellowed '
At last! Cocaine Chloe is kicked off The X Factor'.

Given how concerned papers like the Mail seem to be about the thoughtless and insensitive way that contestants are treated on shows like the X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent, this 'throw them to the lions' bloodlust seems slightly incongruous. Heaven forbid that anyone might suggest that the media are complicit in building people up, only to delight in knocking them down...

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