Lucie Jones suffers Jedward X Factor snub
Lucie Jones has been the surprise evictee of X Factor, after losing in a sing-off against cartoonish Dublin twins John and Edward. But, in the long run, is it such a bad thing for the 18-year-old from Pentyrch near Cardiff?
It comes down to this: Simon Cowell put Jones into a public vote with Irish twins 'Jedward' - and the assumption is that he knew that, because of the unfathomable public support for the twins, they would prevail at the expense of the Welsh singer.
Cue a nation up in arms this morning, calling radio stations and wibbling about the unfairness of it all on Facebook. Lucie's improving, they say, and she's far superior to Jedward. The Cardiff girl may well have honeyed vocal chords compared the Bros-alike duo with their avant-garde takes on 1980s pop classics, but hang on one second.
This is a TV show first and foremost and the record contracts at the end are almost incidental. Ask Steve Brookstein or Shayne Ward whether they extracted the most from their record contracts.
Simon Cowell is in the business of orchestrating a TV show that gets the maximum amount of viewers possible and if that means manipulating the permutations to his advantage then so be it. The audience are entirely complicit in this artifice - with the exception of Leona Lewis, the role of the audience is to vote and then to buy the Christmas release and - maybe - the one album from the winner.
Cowell rakes in money from the phone votes, then again as the winner records their debut song on Simon's record labels. He then makes more money as radio and television stations play the songs. If the artist is lucky enough to release an album, he'll then be getting in more revenue from those sales.
If people really are up in arms about Lucie Jones' apparently premature exit from The X Factor, then they should take the initiative back from Cowell and his ilk and start buying proper pop music and stop relying on knockout talent shows as their sole source of music tips.
For Lucie Jones, her talent and her media exposure mean that she won't be lacking in offers of work, whether as a conventional artist, a West End performer, an actress or anything else she turns her mind to. She's probably best off out of it all.
Words: James McLaren