X-Factor, that televisual odyssey loved by dunderheads, returns this weekend for its eleventh series as the search begins once more for that golden, though not always lucrative, musical nugget. The question is…what makes singing so bloody special it can tie up the TV schedule from now till Christmas? Is it really that amazing a skill it deserves seventeen, yes seventeen, weeks of TV?

Singing has to be the biggest sham going, it’s amazing to think we put these ‘artists’ on such high pedestals. I mean, consider exactly what is it they are good at. Singing involves expelling air skilfully and sometimes forcefully through an orifice to make a sound that delights and pleases others – how exactly is that any different from farting? In fact, if we’re ranking things on difficulty, farting is a far harder skill to master, as if you go wrong you really are in the shit. Not convinced? Then look at it scientifically. Babies can wail from birth, yet it takes months, maybe even years for them to master the art of a dry fart. So next time you hear Mariah Carey blasting through the octave’s like a brickie has dropped the hod on her toe, remember, it’s nothing compared to that ripper you let fly in the lift.

If ITV have to have a show about people pushing air through a bodily opening, I believe they should ditch X-Factor and run BumFactor instead. It could follow the same format as X-Factor. You could have the boys, the girls, even the groups. Who wouldn’t want to see four blokes knock back a curry and then try a four part harmony? It would be a ratings smash. Each week you could have a different theme…dry…wet…the poser (farts that sound like a question). And let’s face it, even if you find this disgusting, BumFactor would only be on TV a fraction of the time currently given to X-Factor – Nobody could sustain a fart for four minutes. But a singer can wail and whoop and whine like a constipated walrus for ages. For safety BumFactor would have to lose the pyrotechnics, so it would be less of a visual spectacle, but hey, music should be about what you hear anyway.

So, it boils down to a question of orifices. We either have seventeen weeks of prolonged vocal torture at an hour a time, or we have Bum-Factor. Either way, look forward to seventeen weeks of arseholes on television. (Da-Dum-Tss!)


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