What’s in a name?

Having just featured a little piece on X factor, I thought I share some, um… thoughts

So I’m not a fan of X factor in the grand scheme of things but I’ll admit I do indulge in the audition phase for the sole purpose of observing the psychological behaviour of the competition hopefuls, and for the opportunity to see the overly confident yet completely delusional have their dreams come crashing back down to Earth, a little sinister I know, but it makes for great television.

Beyond this, I do also enjoy trying to pick the winner in the early stages of the game based on the group or individuals presence and personality, and to be fair, of all the seasons gone by, these have been easy choices straight of the bat, as a bit of clever video editing and focus on individuals tends to subconsciously influence us all.

Now considering X Factor, of all the winners to date there’s an obvious recurring theme, Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, of which only 1 has managed a successful career (the jury’s still out on the last 2). For the most part, this could be attributed to the lack of nurturing beyond the show buck stop, but I believe there’s more to it than that…

Whatever happened to good old fashioned stage names for solo performers?… nothing, anyone smart enough is still using them, Lady Gaga… Stefani Germanotta couldn’t break into the industry until she invented a superficial character, one that I’m still convinced she’ll kill-off to reveal herself as the performer she’s always wanted to be. Or how about Rihanna… as talented as she is, I doubt she’d have had the success she’s enjoyed if she was performing as Robyn Fenty, there’s power and influence in a name, I know this, you know this, the industry knows this, and even Homer Simpson knew this when he changed his name to Max Power, so why, year after year do they churn out the same formulaic photo shoot (you know, the one in the tunnel with the extraction fan in the background) and with the name/surname format? It’s almost as if it’s only about the viewers recognising the X Factor brand… but then I guess maybe the contestants are to blame for not bringing any originality to the show, perhaps they need to start bringing a name rather than just playing desperate putty for the moulding.

Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, and Joe McElderry, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are all available to download from the Nokia Music Store and are completely free to ‘Comes With Music’ subscribers.

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