The Fix Factor or just formulaic TV?

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Ah, it’s that time of year again. The X Factor is back, and that can only mean one thing – angry viewers up in arms about vote-rigging, fixing and tactical judging.

Sunday’s show has been called the most dramatic yet, as Gary Barlow proved to the world that he can play Mr Nasty, when he stormed off stage in response to his act, Carolynne Poole, getting unceremoniously booted off the show in favour of Rylan Clark.

The X Factor has a very strict formula and ‘Rylangate’ just shows that we’re already following a well-trodden path. The extrovert, from Essex, joins a long list of ‘Marmite’ contestants, such as Chico, Jedward and Wagner – all of whom have collectively ensured that X Factor is never far from the front pages. A singing contest? Don’t be ridiculous!

Back to poor Carolynne – Yorkshire’s answer to Shania Twain. Yes, she can sing; yes she’s pretty; but, what makes for more entertaining television? I’ll give you a clue – he wears a gold lame hoody.

The same thing happened to Lucie Jones in 2010, when – shock, horror – she exited the show in favour of the Irish twosome. The great British public was in uproar. We’re going to boycott! It makes a mockery of those with talent! We won’t watch again! Well, 9 million viewers said that, but the boycott didn’t last too long.

Dramas like this are part and parcel of the X Factor experience. Can you imagine Strictly Come Dancing without one of the celebrities hooking up with their dance partner? Or Big Brother without a love-triangle? Of course not – it’s what makes the shows work and it’s the reason why millions of us Brits tune in week after week.

There are claims that the X Factor’s producer, Richard Holloway, intervened during the elimination sing-offs and told Louis to send it to deadlock. Who knows? Maybe he was just asking him if he wanted a sugar in his tea. One thing’s for sure, the end result has made certain that the first live shows have completely and utterly dominated every single popular press outlet known to man – job done!

Last word goes to Now Magazine’s very own telly addict Rosie Gizauskas, who summed it up perfectly: “Gary Barlow’s diva strop made my weekend and Rylan Clark is exactly what I want for my Sunday night television viewing.”

Welcome back to the biggest show on British television – you’ve missed it, haven’t you?