All About Strictly & The X Factor - Which Will Prevail - Daily News Online

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

All About Strictly & The X Factor - Which Will Prevail

Strictly Come Dancing is now more popular than the X Factor. Will the show stand the test of time and what changes can the X Factor make to rival it?

The latest viewing figures suggest that Strictly Come Dancing is beating the X Factor hands down in the popularity stakes. The question is why? You would think that popular music would have a lot more appeal than ballroom dancing and yet that is clearly not the case. The X factor was the biggest thing on TV but is on the slippery slope. Will Strictly’s fortunes subside in the future too or is it a winning formula that is here to stay?

Old Format

I believe that the X factor in its current form has simply outstayed its welcome. The formula has changed little over the years and whilst some minor changes have been made for the current series they are really just window dressing. It would appear that many viewers are growing rather tired of a series of wannabes who “want it so much”. I am sure that many, like me, are also bemused by the programme’s claims that they are looking for someone unique for the current music market. This is a worthy ideal which is contradicted by wheeling out the contestants every week to sing disco hits and ABBA surrounded by gyrating dancers. It is quite difficult to be edgy and unique singing Dancing Queen in spandex! Watching such a freak show can only remain compelling for a limited period of time and that time seems to be up.


What sets Strictly aside is that the angst of the desperate is absent. This show is all about people who have already made it to one extent or another and it is a riot of glitz and glam. This is an uplifting production where the losers do not return to cleaning hotel bedrooms and stocking supermarket shelves and where winning is not everything. Nonetheless this is also a show which has changed little over the years and so you do have to wonder whether we will all tire of it too.

Minor Changes

There have been subtle changes over the years. The contestants now perform a greater variety of dances. Each show presents the contestants doing different dances from each other and the results show is now on Sunday making Strictly a weekend-long event. In practice there is little that could be done to change things greatly. We could see the introduction of further disciplines like Flamenco or Irish dancing and possibly a more active role in mentoring from the judging panel but that is about all that could be altered without changing Strictly into something else entirely.

The Future

The X factor on the other hand needs to think hard and fast about big changes. I believe the show should focus on artists who write and perform their own material and bands which play instruments rather than merely singing. This is what the music industry is all about now. The nation will be excited to see the next Keane, Snow Patrol or Coldplay rather than a desperate youngster doing a cover of Billie Jean. With this kind of shake up the X Factor could rise to the top once more. In the meantime Strictly sucks us in with its visions of beauty and glamour but for how long?
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.

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