‘X Factor’ reestablishes the right prioritiesBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Express
EVER since “X Factor Philippines” fielded its mixed bag of finalists a couple of months ago, the viewing public have been confused and confounded by the singing tilt’s occasionally contradictory priorities and preferences. Some good singers have been showcased in the competition, but so have some less vocally gifted bets whom we have described as more “idiosyncratic” or novelty performers.
We understood why those less than able singers had been included in the final lineup: To provide greater “color,” “fun” and “ordinary” lookers whom many similarly unremarkable viewers could empathize with.
But, we got worried when the first bet eliminated from the show was one of the better singers, while the “idiosyncratic” types, despite their lack of real musical talent, managed to survive. Alarmingly, this tuned out to be the pattern from week to week, and we fretted that the wrong standards were being set for impressionable viewers.
Finally, some weeks ago, a novelty singer bit the dust. We hoped that this would reestablish the tilt’s rightful priorities, but other less than musically gifted finalists managed to hold on, and even flourish—so, we continued to fret.
Then, last Sunday, the competition’s last idiosyncratic finalist, Kedebon, finally got his comeuppance—and we breathed a sigh of relief. —Not that we have anything personal against the guy, but we believe that a singing tilt should be about good singing, above all else.
Yes, other plus factors can be thrown into the “colorful” mix of performing quirks, but exceptional musical ability is a non-negotiable basic criterion.
Indeed, in the US version of the singing tilt, all of the finalists are good singers, so why can’t that minimum requirement be observed locally, as well? —Because some great singers are boring performers? OK, then don’t give them the top plum, and instead award it to the finalist who combines good singing and a “colorful” personality and performance style.
With only five finalists still singing their hearts out for the local tilt’s top prize, we still don’t have a clear picture of which one of them most “deserves” to win. And, we’re still bothered by the survival of one bet who, while he sings acceptably, doesn’t have much personality, unique style and charisma going for him. But, he’s definitely better than the novelty types who have recently been “surgically” eliminated from the competition.
Now, we can hope that the tilt and its viewer-voters, who have finally vindicated themselves, will be able to choose a winner who will do them proud.
More tangentially, we’re rather nonplussed and amazed that, with only five finalists left, our own three “favored” bets are still “alive” and singing! Frankly, we didn’t expect our “educated” guess to remain viable this long, given viewer-voters’ less than sterling reputation for judiciousness.
But, hey, maybe the tilt is belatedly bringing out the best, not only in its remaining finalists, but in its voters, as well!
Will wonders never cease? —Keep the wonders coming, folks!
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