I’ll start off by saying that John and Edward Grimes are not my top favourite in the competition. That place is currently filled by Joe McElderry – I love his voice, and his demeanour, and I really hope that he wins. But I do like Jedward as performers, and I think the flak they have received in the press, and elsewhere on the internet is ridiculous and absurd. This is, after all, a TV show, and the nature of that show is that someone has to go out every week. It is therefore foolish in the extreme for people to be outraged simply because an act they preferred was voted off. Even more nonsensical is to direct that outrage towards the judges when it is, after all, the public who decides who ends up in the bottom two.
Whilst I was at university I worked in the customer complaints department of a travel agency, dealing with letters of complaint that clients wrote regarding their holidays. I read hundreds of these letters – many of which were written by the sort of person whose philosophy regarding grammar runs something along the lines of: ‘why use just one exclamation mark when you can use ten?!’ – and I came to realise that there are some people who should never, ever leave the UK, for business, pleasure, or anything else. They are simply not cut out for the trials and tribulations of travelling. Having seen some of the astonishingly vicious and emotive remarks floating round the internet regarding the X Factor, I would have to say that the same applies for talent show viewers – some people should never, ever watch any talent show of any type. If you cannot cope when your favourite act does not get through, then you should not tempt fate by watching the show. It is as simple as that.
I watch, and enjoy, the X Factor, but in the three years that I have been watching it, my favourite act has never won. This has never yet sent me into a cyber-rage, and I don’t believe it ever will, for the simple reason that, to me, the show is a pleasant diversion on a Saturday night, not the thing that consumes my entire life. It’s bad enough when people get unnecessarily upset because their favourite has not got through, but to descend into hysterics because your least favourite did get through is mean-spirited, petty and cruel. It is a real shame that people take such delight in singling out a particular act to hate in this manner. I could understand it if that act was, say, racist or sexist, or otherwise grossly bigoted in some way. I could understand it if they had committed some act of criminal violence or terrorism. But when their only offence is that their style of music is not to everyone’s tastes . . . I’ve just got to say it again: how patently absurd!
Personally, I actually preferred Lucie’s voice – in fact she was my second favourite, after Joe – but I really enjoy Jedward’s performances too, and I have a huge amount of respect for their cheerfulness and enthusiasm. To come on smiling week after week, even when the audience is booing them (and I think that behaviour is utterly outrageous) shows a tremendous amount of professionalism, and I take my hat off to them for it.
I suppose this nonsense is something that all celebrities have to put up with to some extent. When you get people attacking Steven Fry on Twitter, or hitting Leona Lewis at a book signing, you realise the sad truth of this. But I, for one, sincerely hope that the twins can rise above the blood-thirsty beast that is the Public, and go on to achieve some form of long lasting success.
END OF RANT
How great to have a blog where I can spout off about things like this. Join me next week (or whenever I get around to it) for my next cyber-rant on how much I respect Iain Duncan Smith, despite the fact that I am no Tory.
(And just in case anyone was thinking about leaving an excessively hateful comment about Jedward/their performance/their singing abilities/or whatever – don’t bother. Any such comment will very promptly be deleted by myself. This blog is to remain a malice-free cyber-zone at all times.)