Oh. My. God. Have you heard the news about Cheryl Cole? She’s been sacked from The X Factor USA! They say it’s because she’s got no chemistry with Paula Abdul and that the contestants couldn’t respect her opinion because they don’t know who she is and her accent is a problem too and she has doesn’t have the appeal of Simon Cowell and so ex-Pussycat Doll, Nicole, has taken her job.
If the story is true, it’s actually quite sad. A burgeoning and possibly lucrative showbiz career stateside stopped before it even got started. Even if it is true, I hate to tell the world this… it’s not news. It’s PR guff. News is the arrest of a war criminal in Serbia. FIFA corruption is news. A female singer found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on a nightclub toilet attendant is news. This is all a brilliant strategy by one man to keep his product in the public eye so much that it reached the top of yesterdays twisted news agenda. That man is Simon Cowell.
Fuelled by rivalry with former business partner, and ‘genius’ behind the Spice Girls, S Club and Beckham’s move to LA, Simon Fuller, and influenced in equal part by Goebbels and Oscar Wilde’s maxim of “It’s better to be talked about than not talked about at all,”, Cowell is a superb and inspirational media manipulator. He has built an empire by correctly estimating the intelligence of his audience. It’s mesmerizing to witness and see the witless sucked in to it.
I like to think that after a hard day of negotiations, auditions and filming, he goes back to his hotel room, pours himself a brandy and sticks the ‘White Album’ on the sound system.
He has polished turds in the past, making popstars out of Power Rangers and wrestlers. Now he churns out empty, homogenous music through people willing to give anything and everything for fame. Or infamy. He showcases the borderline mentally ill on a primetime television show in a format that’s taken over the world and now has the country obsessed with the peculiar British desire for him to ‘break America’. Again. While the circus rolls around him, he makes sure he’s always the main draw.
The story of Cheryl Cole’s sacking off The X Factor USA is not news. Neither was it news when the press were speculating for months whether or not she would transfer her unique judging skills across the Atlantic. It’s PR guff for a Saturday night TV show with spectacular advertising revenue that everyone wants to be a part of. And we’re all talking about it. Clever Cowell.
Some would say what he does is cynical but I can’t help but admire his chutzpah. I like to think that after a hard day of negotiations, auditions and filming, he goes back to his hotel room, pours himself a brandy and sticks the ‘White Album’ on the sound system. I can’t help but find Simon Cowell an inspirational figure. He could sell sand to the Arabs and Cole’s back to Newcastle.
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