The X-Factor Generation


I work in what was once (before they were scrapped and replaced with Academies and Free Schools) a Performing Arts College. Not actually a college, but a regular school that got a bit of extra money to focus on drama and stuff!

As a Maths teacher, drama, dance and art are really not my bag (and if you’ve ever heard me sing you’d know why), and as we were a performing arts school there was always someone singing, or playing music somewhere on site. It can at times be sweet, almost endearing, and formed a big culture of the school.

But I have to let you into a little secret. I shouldn’t really admit this but I find 99% of pupils performances the most toe-curlingly painful and embarassing sights to behold.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been privileged enough to see some absolutely amazingly talented young people over the past 12 years. Performances that leave you stunned they are only teenagers and leave you with a warm and fuzzy inside, with an almost maternal pride at seeing “your” kiddies up there.

Unfortunately there’s the other end of the scale, the performances that you’d pay good money not to watch, but out of teacher’s duty you sit there to support.

I’ve heard Mariah Carey’s Hero ruined more times that I care to remember, and seeing two eleven year old girls performing a very unique version of Liberty X’s Just A Little Bit has scarred me for life. I can’t hear Robbie Williams Rock DJ without having a flashback to one of our talent shows and a spectacularly terrible interpretation of it, dance moves and all!

It doesn’t help the staff room is situated above the drama studio so my frees are spent listening to One Day More (Les Mis) with varying degrees of success!

Whilst I have huge respect for anyone (regardless of age) who puts themselves out there, I do worry what this leads to. It’s one thing standing up in your year 7 talent show and having a bit of a laugh, but then you see these people in ten years time on X-Factor or Britains Got Talent throwing a strop because they they haven’t got through because for years they have been told they are wonderful singers when they are barely better than average.

Better to find that out now, than be one of the “funnies” on a Saturday night TV in 4 or 5 years time!

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  1. You Baby Me Mummy
    October 15, 2014 / 6:13 am

    I always wonder why the awful ones friends don’t tell them! I think kids are encouraged no matter what & in an attempt to be positive, people never get told the truth x #ShareWithMe
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  2. October 15, 2014 / 6:32 am

    Oh hon it must be so difficult keeping a straight face! Although it’s wonderful that anyone can be anything these days, I think shows like X Factor are deluding our kids into thinking they’ll be famous one day and therefore won’t have to work hard at getting a vocation ๐Ÿ™ #sharewithme
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  3. ToInfinityAndIVF
    October 15, 2014 / 7:48 am

    Hehe I think I would walk around with all the songs stuck in my head….I now have “Bring heeeeem too meeeee” from Les Mis stuck him in mine! ๐Ÿ˜€
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  4. ToInfinityAndIVF
    October 15, 2014 / 7:49 am

    Ahh wait,.. its “Brreeeem him hoooooome!” isn’t it? Ahhh pants, think this is going to be my earworm for the day. I have an interview todaye too ;P
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  5. October 15, 2014 / 7:50 am

    hahah this made me laugh!!! My husband can’t watch the school talent shows at his schoolโ€ฆ.he can’t handle the cringe haha!!! I said that one day it might be Arthur and we have to be the supportive parents, I honestly don’t know whether he’d be able to stand it!!

    A secret confessionโ€ฆ..i was once one of those kids that performed and sang on the stage for school talent show haha arghhhhhh i thought we were so good (we weren’t!!!!!!)
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  6. lifeatthelittlewood
    October 15, 2014 / 10:02 am

    Oh Jo, I totally know what you mean! I taught a bit of Drama and there were always kids who had aspirations way above their capabilities (we did have one make the West End too though!) This is the thing that bothers me about X-Factor. Does no one tell these people that they can’t sing before they enter? I couldn’t put my children through it. Mind you, Annie has decided she wants to be a ‘Pop Star’ so I may have to eat my words! ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  7. October 15, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    Haha! I don’t do well at cringe inducing performances. It’s just so painful to watch! I do admire them for getting out there though! ๐Ÿ™‚
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  8. Louisa
    October 15, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    I totally agree with this.My daughter loves to sing but she is not blessed at all in that department. We are walking a fine line between encouraging something she enjoys and gagging her to stop our ears bleeding #sharewithme
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  9. October 15, 2014 / 7:09 pm

    I’m now trying to picture the awful performances you’ve had to see! You’re so right, though. Whenever I watch things like that, with their family there cheering them on, I do wonder why no-one tells them. I want my kids to grow up believing they can be anyone and do anything they want, but that said, I don’t want them to be delusional! x
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  10. October 15, 2014 / 7:52 pm

    hahaha this is so funny. I am afraid I am guilty of ruining quite a few Mariah tracks. I cannot sing but God loves a trier ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. kidGLloves
    October 16, 2014 / 6:37 am

    The Mothers say – We totally identify with this. Performance is an amazing tool to assist with self-confidence and social skills but sometimes you have to be honest. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ #sharewithme
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  12. Wicked World of Lucas
    October 16, 2014 / 6:39 am

    Having studied drama at degree level, I totally get this. When I was at school, the song that was regularly ruined was ‘Eternal Flame’ by The Bangles!!! On talent show night, there were about 7 different renditions and it was almost a competition to see who could bring the largest amount of ‘besties’ on the stage to perform the song as a ‘band’. They even gave their ‘bands’ names. The one I’ll always remember was ‘Captive Motion’!!!!! Have been giggling into my cuppa reading this xx #sharewithme

  13. Jenny
    October 16, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    This is brilliant jo I love it and couldn’t agree more. I love singing and drama and I will be the first to say I am only average and in no way think I am fit for tv and the xfactor. How do these “funnies” on Saturday night not know they absolute are horrible. I know I am not good so I wouldn’t put myself out there just to be a joke and entertainment for someone else. Maybe you are right maybe we should be a little more realistic on kids talent shows. help them find what they are good at and be honest. Poor you having to list to it over and over. Great post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
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  14. October 16, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    I do feel that this generation think they have oodles of talent and can all be stars. I think some parents need to be honest with themselves and their children as to how much talent they have for the performing arts.
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  15. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    October 16, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    I think you are right that they will know now than be a laughing stock and get hurt. #brillblogposts
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  16. Potty Mouthed Mummy
    October 16, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    Oh this has made me chuckle a lot Jo, I would massively cringe. I can’t really bear the whole “jazz hands” brigade as I call it. Fab funny post lovely xx
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    • October 16, 2014 / 8:05 pm

      It’s almost treason at work to admit you don’t like kiddie performances! x

  17. October 16, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    I totally agree, it’s so cringey at the auditions when their family have obviously been puffing the poor kids up for years – they’re either tone deaf or blinded (deafened?!) by love, which is quite sweet in itself, but it must be such a knock to their confidence to be humiliated on TV. You are a valiant lady sitting through those performances, I salute you!
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  18. October 16, 2014 / 9:43 pm

    It’s a difficult balance, isn’t it? You don’t want to destroy a child’s self-confidence, but you don’t want to fan the flames of self-delusion either …
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  19. Emma
    October 17, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    I always feel quite sorry for the people who are really bad at singing on X Factor and yet their families have told them they are brilliant. I don’t quite understand why they haven’t told them the truth!

    Emma |
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  20. Alice Megan
    October 17, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    Sending virtual ear plugs your way!!
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  21. October 17, 2014 / 8:30 pm

    I still remember watching a girl from my old school and her sister scream abuse at Simon Cowell during the first series of X Factor. Their voices were terrible, as were their attitudes and several years after leaving school they still hadn’t realised they weren’t as good as their parents and other bratty kids had made them out to be. I feel for you and your poor ear drums ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  22. Amy Treasure
    October 17, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    This is so true, songs can be totally ruined! It made me laugh because I totally did this in the car today when I massacred ‘Don’t let the sun go down on me’ by George Michael- you know the one where Elton John comes on?! Anyway, a bit of gentle honesty never hurt anyone ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  23. October 19, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    Oh gosh Jo those teachers should be honest! It’s mind boggling to see how many people with no talent think they can sing! I would have loved to have been a singer but unfortunately i have no talent for it :((((
    Great post though made me chuckle ๐Ÿ™‚ x
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  24. October 21, 2014 / 10:32 pm

    Gosh so tough as you don’t want to kill dreams but kids need to understand the reality-when we were growing up talent equalled fame! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x
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