Monday, 22 November 2010

Vote Wagner to Win! (Chris Moyles Agrees!)

Anyone who has seen my Facebook or Twitter posts in recent weeks will know that I've not been afraid to say openly that I've been voting for Wagner in the X-Factor this season.

The response has unsurprisingly been a split of defiant support for my sentiments, and annoyed outrage from those who see Wagner's continued presence on our ITV1 screens as sacrilegious to modern music.

Today I heard from the self-styled saviour of Radio 1 Chris Moyles, that he had said the same.

My Run-ins with Mr Moyles
This tickled me it must be said because I've had a few run-ins with Mr Moyles over the years. The first was back in 2000 when he was the main act (alongside Comedy Dave) at a National Young Farmers Conference in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. He was late arriving at around midnight and all I can remember was this scrum of young people pressing me closer to the barriers at the front of the auditorium. It wasn't the most memorable of memories.

My second and more contentious run-in as many will know (particularly those who saw it happen in the flesh) was in Aberystwyth Students Union in 2004 when the Union was hosting the first Radio 1 University Quiz (the town being the home of Aled from the Chris Moyles team). Our team came joint second and I was tasked with answering the tie-breaker question live on stage with Moyles and Comedy Dave. I was doing well I felt, bantering with the infamous Moyles sense of humour and quick wit before he flattened me, saying that I reminded him of the 'Crazy Frog'. Having never been referred to in this way before, I had no repost. The hundreds gathered around in the 'Joint' lapped it up at my expense. It was a win for Moyles over Cole, fair and square. To rub it in, I bombed at the tie-breaker!

Wagner Brings Us Together!
So it shouldn't surprise many when I say that I'm not a Chris Moyles fan. I'm more of a Chris Evans (originally when he was on Radio 1 in the '90s and now on Radio 2) supporter but now, I find myself agreeing with Moyles for once.

Why do I support Wagner? It's because I want to rail against the system. A system that acts as a conveyer belt as it pumps out wannabe pop stars. Now don't get me wrong, these reality based programmes have unearthed some absolute gems over the past decade. Will Young and Leona Lewis are deserved superstars and they were 'found' in the reality format of recent years.

But the majority of the 'talent' that is unearthed, usually sinks away as quickly as it had risen. What happened to Michelle McManus (who I actually rather liked), Steve Brookstein and Leon Jackson for example? They all actually won the competition (and its predecessor) but have sunk without trace since.

What Moyles said today which I agreed with is how the judges (and the producers of the programme) are often keen in the first instance to promote the 'odd-balls' that will attract the ridicule and the high viewing figures but suddenly turn against them as they progress further and deeper into the competition 'proper'. The progress of Jedward last year caused a furore but eventually, they ran out of steam.

The Class of 2010
However, this year as this website article says, both Wagner and over on the Beeb on Strictly Come Dancing, Anne Widdiecombe are breaking new ground. For these 'joke' contestants to reach December would be unheard of. Suddenly, there's an actual chance that this time the public could see it through and vote one of these contestants through to the end. It's still unlikely of course but not impossible.

What makes it different this year is that a sceptical public have drawn blood and are keen to do so again. Their viral triumph last Christmas when they 'raged against the machine' to stop the X-Factor hijacking yet another festive No.1 showed that 'people power' could overcome the Simon Cowell machine.

It's a desire to speak up against the conformed nature of modern music. A desire to fight back against a decade of reality TV. A want to act individually and not as a flock of sheep.

It's a sense of purpose that I happily attach myself too. In his own way, Chris Moyles - yes even Chris Moyles, seems to have felt the same.

Deserved Winners?
Would it be fair for the likes of excellent singers like Matt, Rebecca or One Direction to be denied by a joke character such as a Wagner? Well, the people vote for they ultimately should decide. It's called democracy.

Real talent will find itself rising to the surface so those who may be spurned shouldn't worry - if they're good enough, they'll be found.

What this current insurrection may prove, is that this format may be on its final feet. I may well be wrong of course, but if a Wagner, now or in the near future were to manage to go all the way and win the X-Factor, then the programme really will have imploded on itself.

It's unlikely but then, odder things have happened.

Either way, I'm standing up against the system on this one. The likes of Simon Cowell need to realise that they can not determine our musical tastes. A short sharp shock to his smug system can only be a good thing.


  1. I think you're spot on in there Mark, and I'd agree with what you said. Only a few weeks ago, Simon kept Katie in the show over 'the better singer' Treyc because she was 'more entertaining'. It seems its ok for the judges to keep people in ...for entertainment value, but the public are somehow a bunch of tone deaf idiots who want to ruin careers if they find the likes of Wagner more entertaining. The only way to guarantee the best singers staying for the longest would be for the public to have no vote at all which we all know would never ever happen!

    I think Wagner gets a lot of unfair stick - he goes on there in the face of boos from the crowd and condescension from the judges and does his best with the weird and difficult song mashups that Louis gives him. And unlike others, he doesn't moan about being victimised, he's just there to enjoy himself.

  2. Couldn't have put it better myself Rich!

  3. Hi Mark.

    The X Factor has turned itself into a travelling circus and has many young followers that are stii lunware just how planned this show is.
    Every comment made by the judging panel has been carefully assessed to see what kind of reaction it could get from the public and then acted out in such a way that it's all over the papers.


    This site is well aware that Simon receives a cut of the phone vote monies, however they encourage you to place a bet on Wagner to win the X Factor and should he do that then you are rewarded for your efforts.
    I'm now convinced that from an originally horrified thought by Simon that Wagner could win X Factor, i now have a very funny feeling that he has totally changed his mind and secretly would like Wagner to win. Every act that is currently singing in this competition has already been signed up by Syco (Simons record company) and regardless he will cash in from all of them.

    So i say

    Googd article Mark