Why I’m voting for Wagner in this year’s X Factor

Posted by blatantblithe on November 27, 2010 Blog posts | Music | Pop Culture | | 7 comments

I used to enjoy watching it. Yeah, go ahead and judge me.  The sad fact of the matter is that I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Suffice it to say that if I was actually going out on a Saturday, I would not bother recording it on BT Vision, but as I don’t tend to go out, I stayed in watching it while bitching about the contestants on Twitter. I also get sick of reading theology all week, so I need a bit of light relief come the weekend. 🙂

But recently it’s been leaving a bitter taste in my mouth… so I’ve decided to weigh in on the Wagner debate.

I should clarify: I never phone in and vote for things like this, no matter how passionate I feel about it.  But if I were to vote for someone, it would be Wagner.  He’s ridiculous.  He’s fun. He seems to be taking the whole thing in his stride, despite getting booed by the studio audience every time he gets through.  And there’s a picture of him holding a lion by the tail. 🙂

On the last show, Cheryl got her claws out and said to Wagner after his performance:

I don’t usually have anything constructive to say to you, Wagner, but I believe you have made some comments about me. I am very proud of my roots and I am very, very, lucky. But if I was to give you any constructive advice it would be don’t focus on everybody else or how lucky I am, but how lucky you are to be on that stage tonight.”


I thought Wagner’s response was the best thing he could’ve said; he grabbed the mic from Dermot and explained that he thought Cheryl was a role model for having made it big despite her difficult upbringing, etc.

But this nasty outburst by Cheryl really made me think about just how hated Wagner is, and how unfair the whole thing is.

So check out his audition video.  They all put him through, and they all thought he had a good voice (as did I when I first saw it)!

And now they have the audacity to give him ridiculous, fast-paced songs to learn every week, and then mock him for being rubbish?!  You wouldn’t catch anyone giving Matt Cardle “She Bangs, She Bangs” to sing on their first live show, would you?

The judges put him through, and the public are voting to keep him in.  It’s not his fault!  He has no say over what songs he gets to sing, so he’s being taken for a ride and turned into the “joke” contestant, just like Jedward were last year, except Wagner does actually have some talent.  They’re just completely manipulating and exploiting him.  He’s been set up as a bit of a joke contestant/hate figure, and I think it’s mainly due to the fact that he’s now attracting plenty of media attention, and regularly causes a bit of a stir on Twitter and Facebook on Saturday night.

(Yeah yeah, I know that’s the nature of the show and the showbiz industry, but you don’t see any of the other contestants being set up as hate figures to quite the same extent… well, not by the judges anyway.)

It’s Wagner’s dream to win the show and become a pop star too, just as much as it’s Cher’s dream, or Rebecca’s dream.  They KNEW what his abilities were when they put him through!  He has every right to be there as everyone else.  What are they expecting him to do, quit for the sake of maintaining the show’s integrity?!  And be labelled by the press as a “drama queen” for “storming out” of the shows, no doubt.

And yet he’s still in, after some great singers like Treyc and Aidan were kicked off.  I suspect that people are voting for him to annoy the judges and/or because they hate what the show stands for (kinda like the Rage against the Machine campaign last year).  Also a lot of people think Wagner is a nice guy, so they’re probably voting for him to piss the judges off, who seem to relish mocking him.  That’s certainly why I’d vote, if I were to vote.

But others are really up in arms about this whole thing, attacking Wagner and his supporters, by arguing that it’s unfair for voters to destroy “one of the few platforms for young talented musicians that there is on TV”.  Um, really?  The contestants are given cheesy pop songs to sing and are systematically voted off by the public based mostly on personality rather than singing ability… are people really trying to argue that this has anything to do with artistic integrity or promoting “talented musicians”?  I’m not convinced.

So anyway, it turns out that there’s a Facebook group called “Wagner To Win X Factor” that’s probably got a lot to do with his popularity.  Some of the comments on the page are quite telling of their motives, hehe:

“If you hate Simon Cowell and want to piss him off vote Wagner! If you want to help run the X factor into the ground and cause mayhem vote Wagner!”

“I actually think Wagner would make for a really fun Xmas number 1, gotta be better than the alternative romantic slushy shite that one of the other contestants would bring out!”

You gotta get over there, even if it’s just to see the ridiculous fan photos people have made.  Oh my goodness.

That’s it, isn’t it?  Causing mayhem.  Fucking shit up.  If you’re going to have the gall to openly mock and tear apart a contestant who wants it just as badly as anyone else, then you’re gonna pay for it.  And damn, wouldn’t it be a fantastic send-off if this is Cowell’s last X factor, to have Wagner win the competition?  Can you imagine Sony ploughing thousands of pounds into promoting Wagner?!  😀

So yeah.  That’s my take on the whole thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that reality TV and the Cowell-machine is a load of old cobblers and I’m not toooo bothered by the whole thing… but I just feel bad for Wagner, is all.  I want to give him a little cuddle.

And finally, because I love lists, here is a quick breakdown of my opinions of the other contestants, in reverse order of preference:

7. One Direction. The Justin Bieber brigade? No thanks.  A lot of people have expressed outrage at the fact that they were entered as five seperate singers, who were then turned into a band by the judges at boot camp – unfortunately, they survived longer in the competition than the proper bands!  I have to agree that that seems very unfair, especially since most of the groups that were ousted were far better than One Direction, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  You can practically see the pound signs in Cowell’s eyes when these guys sing. ¬_¬
Fun fact: someone on Twitter pointed out that every time Dermot O’Dreary says “One Direction”, it sounds as if he’s saying “Wand Erection”!  This makes me giggle, and detracts every so slightly from the fact that they are shit.

6. Katie Waissel. Alright, so I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about the fact that she is already in with the guys at Sony BMG, a company of Cowell’s…. Anorak.co.uk have a great article about it all here.  Other than that, her voice is really bland, and I hate how Simon and Cheryl fawn over her so much.  She’s so bloody mediocre.

5. Mary Byrne.  Very likeable and down-to-earth, but I don’t like her singing style/song choices. That’s just personal preference though.  Would be rather happy if she won.

4. Cher Lloyd. There’s an air of arrogance about her that makes me uncomfortable, but I do like the fact that she’s a little different. It’s quite scary to think that she’s doing this show, and is 4 years younger than me. Eep.

3. Rebecca Ferguson. Classy, talented, but a little boring for my liking.  She seems like a really nice person, and I like the fact that she’s understated and a little shy.

2. Matt Cardle.  I like his kind of laid-back charm. He has a lovely voice too.

1. WAGNER. He exposes the show for its true farcical nature, even if his songs are badly chosen.  What’s with all the up-tempo medleys and ridiculous over-the-top staging, Louis? You tool.


ETA: the dream is over. Good night sweet prince. [28.11.10]


  • Dan Read said on Nov 27, 2010 12:49 pm

    Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more with you, Catherine.

    What is sad though is that the younger members of the audience seem to think that sows like the X Factor are the be-all-and-end-all of creating and promoting talent. We had a young guy on the FB page you mentioned the other day who genuinely thought that this show was THE place where musical talent is generated. We named a good number of quality artists spanning the last four decades, but his only comment was that he was not old enough to have listened to them when they were ‘big’.

    This is so sad on so many different levels- firstly and more obviously he, like so many others of his age, simply lap up whatever is put before them. If they’re voted for on the X Factor, they must be good. But secondly the fact that he no longer thinks he can listen to the likes of The Smiths, Joy Division, Cure and so many other brilliant British musical bands and artists because they’re no longer ‘big’, or popular with his peers.

    There’s a reluctance with the younger generation to find their own individuality, to go out and find something they really believe in, plucking instead for the follow-the-crowd mentality. And I put the blame for creating this culture squarely down to shows like the X-Factor.

    Vote Wagner!

    • Catherine said on Nov 27, 2010 2:47 pm

      Thanks for the comment Dan, I completely agree with what you wrote. That’s really sad about the guy from the Facebook group saying those things, but I think it’s a very commonly held view, unfortunately.

      I vaguely remember Alice Cooper saying that shows like X Factor are not the right platform from which to launch ‘talented musicians’, because if people like Bob Dylan had entered, they wouldn’t even get past the first auditions, let alone the live shows (something like that). And I think there’s a lot of truth in what he said.

      I mean, take a look at former contestant Storm Lee, for example. Yeah, he took himself a bit too seriously, but he was really passionate, and could sing, and had worked hard all his life to break into the industry (he claimed he had, anyway). Come the live shows, they dyed his hair pink, gave him shitty pop-rock songs to sing (“We Built this City on Rock n Roll”? Really?), and he consequently got voted off. It’s ridiculous, and it has nothing to do with artistic integrity.

      • Dan Read said on Nov 27, 2010 3:09 pm

        And Alice would have been right too. I can’t imagine anyone in my record collection getting the panel’s approval on that show!

        It is what it is- an entertainment show, and no more. Unfortunately so many people see the ‘artists’ it produces as the benchmark, when all they do is re-hash what has gone before. As well as Storm, another good example was Diana Vickers a couple of years ago. I thought she was great. She came back a few weeks ago and they’ve turned her into a Lady Gaga tribute act! It’s depressing really.

  • Emma said on Nov 27, 2010 7:25 pm

    There’s a rumour going round that Simon has got a big stake in Katie staying in because he bought her out of her recording contract to be on the X Factor, and thus she’s not going any time soon…I think Simon controls every single aspect on the X Factor, and that Wagner won’t win simply because of this. Simon isn’t stupid and he knows that Wagner being in is a big draw entertainment wise, but I think when it gets nearer to the final 3 he’ll be kicked off – whether it’s because people actually didn’t vote for him or if it’s just for Simon. I thinkk One Direction will win. They’re not the best by any stretch of the imagination but Simon knows that that kind of band is a MASSIVE thing right now for that lucrative teen/tween girl market (*rolls eyes*) And that is all that matters for Simon – moneyyyy! Sad but true!
    I personally want Wagner to win, though my boyfriend keeps saying that if he *does* win then that’ll be the end of the X Factor. I think it’s ending anyway because of the US version anyway…my favourite is Cher, she’s arrogant but I love her voice, both singing and rapping! And it’s not often that you get a female rapper in the spotlight. Though they are making her sing a lot more which I don’t really like…
    Anyway, I’ll quit my rambling 😀 Good post, as always! I almost bought a zine from your review (and a copy of yours too!) when I read it, but figured my overdraft wouldn’t like that so I’ll wait until I actually have some money! 😀

    • Catherine said on Nov 27, 2010 7:47 pm

      Really?! I would not be surprised by that judging by how Cowell has been fawning over Katie recently. I think she’s irritatingly average, but he seems to fucking love her for no good reason.
      Do you really think the voting is fixed? A load of people have been saying that online, but I don’t know how they’d get away with it… aren’t there loads of rules/bodies in place to prevent that sort of thing? I agree that One Direction will probably win, they appeal to the Justin Bieber fans! Ick.

      Ooh, which zine did you almost buy? 🙂


      • Emma said on Nov 27, 2010 8:47 pm

        Hmm, I don’t know. Part of me thinks that because it’s such a massive show that there must be regulations in place to make sure that everyones votes (and money…) actually goes towards something. But then part of me also thinks that Simon is in a position to do whatever the hell he wants, he’s rich and powerful enough to stop it ever getting out, I think. I agree about Katie, I don’t like her voice or attitude and she’s so whiny! I also really don’t like her new hairstyle, it looks like a really bad matted wig most of the time!

        I was going to buy yours (I’ve wanted to for a while, it looks great!), and the one that had hints about coping with SAD, sounded really interesting and thought it might have some really good tips I could use. 😀

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