Effi Summers - Music Industry Blogger
Creative Blog- Creative Direction, Branding and Design Projects
First of all, a little disclaimer, I love X Factor. Sorry not sorry to everyone who hates it but I LOVE the fact that anyone, anywhere can apply and has the chance to get to the live shows. I think it provides a fabulous opportunity for people from small towns with no music industry contacts and is a great platform for artists who are at the start of their career to get some publicity.
However, there are some substantial changes that I've love to make to the show.
1. I think there should be more focus on artist development as the live shows progress. I feel that at judges houses (usually) is where we lose the 'nice but forgettable singers' from the artists who have true potential. In an ideal world the artists make it through this round, although that doesn't always happen entirely; sometimes some hidden gems get discarded at this stage.
So from the point of getting through judges houses to the live shows, some kick ass development should start happening. The contestants should have to meet with a team (or me, hello) who could advise and direct them to find who they are, who they want to be, what kinda stuff they want to sing and the message they want to send out with their music.
The results of this should then help craft the decisions going forward into the live shows; the creative team, stylists and musical directors should all be working to grow and assist that artist further. Obviously we can't forget that it's an entertainment show as well, but I reckon both can be achieved in happy alignment.
This leads me onto point number two...
2. Only acts that have true potential should be put through to the live shows. Now this doesn't have to be strictly a musical career, the fun acts that end up with a great career in TV (hi Rylan) should also have the chance to go through. This seals the deal with the entertainment factor yet still results in a credible 'success story'.
3. Some of the show's GIANT budget should be poured into the afterlife. I think at least five of the acts that the producers/judges think have the most potential for a career post-show should be given a team of people that can work with them afterwards. This could either be a publicised thing that becomes part of the show (1 winner and 4 runners-up-who-get-help type thing) or the contestants could be approached separately after the show has finished.
The point is that if the show can churn out five successes each season (whether it's singers, presenters or otherwise) the credibility of the show goes up and in turn attracts more and more promising acts to it in future seasons.
4. Scrap the winner's song! For the love of god scrap the winner's song. PLEASE. I totally understand that the first single rides off the momentum of the show finishing and everyone being invested but so much credibility and quality gets sacrificed by doing it all so quickly. I think they tried to fix this in recent seasons by using covers? But it's still so quick and lacks authenticity.
The goal of longevity wins here. Get the acts to perform their most well received tracks from the show or a cover that's similar to the kinda stuff that they'd release and by all means fast track the first single but just take enough time for it to be truly authentic and, ideally, perfect. This is the first step to the rest of their career, it needs to be a good one.
5. Get them on social media and make sure they do it right. Whether we like it or not, social media is EVERYTHING. The acts should definitely get help and guidance with social media; and I mean more than just telling them to set it up and putting 'official' after their name. Whether this is managed by the acts or a team, it should align with the artist, encourage engagement and help to get the word out. I think this should be pushed more on the show as well. Maybe during the VT their handles could be shown on the screen and there could be various competitions that encourage fans to scope out the acts on the socials. This is something that will remind people that they're still around even after the show ends.
6. Scrap the sob stories! People are bored of them and they're starting to diminish in impact because they're so common. By all means if something shitty has happened that week then explain it in the VT; that adds drama and is fab but don't go dredging up sob stories from the past and allowing people to vote for that over the musicianship/ entertainment value/ talent. It induces eye rolling and sadness which is unnecessary.
Well there you have it. This is what I would do to X Factor if I could get my lil hands on it!
That's all for now, kids x
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