Before you read any of the following, I think it’s important that I highlight that when I first heard Janet sing, I was instantly and irrevocably (much to the annoyance of my friends, family, Twitter feed…) enamoured with her voice.
However, recent revelations have started to really annoy me. Firstly, Janet’s complaints that the show made her feel like a karaoke singer. The show’s been around for a while now…surely she realised that was the format of the show?! Her boyfriend has also chimed in, saying that the show is all about making money. Well, yes, obviously. The music industry is still an industry, after all. At least The X Factor works with some fantastic charities; this year’s, Together For Short Lives, is a particularly wonderful organisation. Still, I suppose Brendan Sally (ridiculous name.) is probably still too in love with his childish ideals to understand how the world works.
Second thing I’ve found frustrating - Janet’s constant talk of how underground and obscure her music taste is. Whatever. That may be the case in Gortin, but out here in the big wide world a few of us have actually heard of Nirvana, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and City and Colour. Saying in interviews how bored audiences would be listening to ‘songs they have never heard of’ is incredibly patronising. (and makes me pity my mother who probably had to endure similar antics from me when I was fourteen.)
Third - Declaring herself glad to be off the show because it doesn’t fit her style. Fine, that may be the case, but saying so is pretty disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of people voted for her and those who have already shelled out money to see her perform on the tour. It’s also a slap in the face to the thousands of people who were totally desperate to be performing on that stage.
I should also mention how fickle her attitude is becoming - despite those previous statements, she still claims to be excited to be going on the tour. But then again, she also recently claimed that she’d never cover a Nirvana song as it would disrespect the memory of Kurt Cobain.
I now struggle to know how to feel about Janet Devlin; the Celtic soul in her voice has totally moved me in a number of her performances, but every week I found myself longing for the innocence and naivety that was evident in her first audition. Despite all of this, I still find myself somewhat saddened that she’s gone. I guess I’ll go put on my Doc Martens and listen to The Smiths. You’ve probably never heard of them.
‘Have you seen that woman in the papers going out with a boy two years younger than Brad? Weird!’
The above is a text from my mother than arrived in my inbox a few days ago. The woman in question is Caroline Flack, 32 year old presenter of The Xtra Factor, and ‘the boy’ refers to Harry Styles, 17 year old member of One Direction. The pair were seen having dinner, and the papers have now ‘decided’ that they’re dating. Oh, and the ‘Brad’ she refers to is my little cousin. Immediately I’m not keen on my mum’s argument; in her mind, Brad will be probably always be that little boy she held in the hospital and who used to run around the house in his nappy. She’s never seen Harry Styles wearing a nappy. I hope. ‘Well, what can they possibly have in common?!’ she asks. Poor uninformed mother. I have to tell her that they have both been heavily involved in the same TV show, are both in the music industry and run in (albeit perhaps of a different calibre) celebrity circles.
Consider also Flack’s reaction the other day to supposed ‘death threats’ on Twitter. Let’s be honest, I’ve had worse death threats than that. In general, her tweets come across as…immature isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind. At the time of writing, she was tweeting about her spots. I admit it doesn’t help matters that Styles has curly locks and rosy cheeks that seem to have come straight from a cherub in a Raphael painting, but Flack’s hardly an old maid. In fact, the whole situation got me wondering where the Caroline Flacks of the world where when I was seventeen…
And I hate to be ‘that guy’, but age differences are hardly headline news are they? Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, David Schwimmer and…that girl he married. Those couples each have age differences of more than a decade and they’re all doing fine. Well, they were when I wrote this anyway.
Still, I suppose it’s worth remembering that if Harry gets drunk and sends over any pictures of him pointing in one direction (sorry), Caroline would be off to the nearest correctional facility. And we all know it doesn’t take much to give the ladies in there the X factor. I’ll stop with the puns now.
I text my mum back that I think she’s over-reacting; I remind her that Caroline Flack isn’t a personal friend, so she doesn’t need to give her advice or ‘set her straight’. Plus, I add, no-one complains when men date younger women - think of Hugh Hefner and his bunnies. ‘Well don’t get me started on him!’ she texts. So I don’t.