Are you watching the X-Factor?

It’s a bit of cliche to say that every year I get dragged in, while promising that I won’t. But here we are, several weeks into the X-Factor live finals and even though I really, really don’t want to watch every week I can’t seem to drag myself away.

It’s train wreck telly at it’s very best - or worst if you want to see it that way. The line up of hopefuls pinning their future happiness on this one big title is almost depressing. “My life will be over if I don’t get through,” they plead through the tears and snotters every week. “This means everything to me. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. If I don’t get through....*pause to wipe away the tears and streak mascara across their face* I’ll give up.”

I look at them - young, filled with ambition, longing for their shot at fame and I almost want to shake them. Their lives will be over? They’ll give up? They’ll throw their rattles out of the pram.

This year more than any other the show is populated with spoiled over ambitious wannabes who believe their own hype and already think they are in the big leagues. When the truth is, they are just pawns in a money making show - which in itself is just a big stage version of a pub karaoke competition.

It’s not that I want to knock ambition - nor do I want to knock anyone who is following a dream - but it is the nature of the dream which gets under my skin and makes me want to scream at the television each and every Saturday night.

One more than one occasion a contestant has wept about the hard life they have have had and said being a part of the competition could change their lives and the lives of those around them. “I’ll buy my mam a house,” they weep - and I just think why oh why can they not just want to be successful singers. Why are they already focusing on the money and the fame and not singing for the love of it?

The X-Factor - is should be the Fame-Hungry-Factor.

As I have said this year’s contestants seem worse than any previous lot. They seem all too ready to burst into flood of tears if there is so much as a hint of them not getting through. T

hey have had their sob stories at the ready and they aren’t afraid to share them. Those with genuine talent (and there are one or two) are getting left behind in a cloud of glittery smoke from their more fame hungry counterparts.

First there is Kitty Brucknell - the blonde in the over 25s category who would do anything to be famous. She stalks around the stage like she owns it (and not necessarily in a good way. I find her quite scary if the truth be told).

The hysterics she displays every week when she gets voted through make me want to tear my eyes. Sure, it’s a big thing and I’m sure she does feel relieved but could we not just do without the shaking and crying every week? Dignity woman! Dignity.

Now you wouldn’t want to get me started on Skanky Frankie Cocozza - one of the biggest talking points of the series.

Now, for those who don’t know who Frankie he - he’s the one who looks like he has a bad oul dose of the nits or one of those itchy flaky scalps they talk about in ads for T-Gel.

Skinny as a rake with the look of a young fella who has already smoked more than enough cigarettes to last him a lifetime and drunk enough cheap cider to pickle anyone’s liver - Frankie Cocozza can’t sing. He looks awful.

He talks about women with no respect whatsoever - tattooing the name of his conquests on his rear end which he flashed to the judges at the auditions. If he was my son he’d have gotten a clip round the ear for that carry on.

He swaggers around like a mini Pete Doherty - all attitude and no substance. He is already living the rock star life despite being a nobody who can’t even sing. He makes me want to throw my Saturday evening glass of wine at the TV.

The rest of the contestants - for the most part - are not much better. They swagger and pout, sing and warble, wail into the camera and descend into floods of tears when someone says something bad about them. They come across as the kind of young ones who believe the world owes them a living - who aren’t prepared to put in the hard graft and the years of trying if this one big event in their lives doesn’t come off just how they would like it to.

Go for your dreams - for sure. Have confidence in yourself without a doubt. There is nothing wrong with that. Give it your all each Saturday night and try your best. But have a sense of decorum and a sense of humility. Earn your right to be there because of your genuine talent. And if you don’t make it through. realise that it won’t be the end of the world. You’ll just have to try to achieve your dream in a different way.