Mr. Derren Brown goes to the X Factor

Posted: November 2, 2009 in tv shows, X Factor
Tags: , , , , ,

Derren Brown

It was a bit of a surprise to see Derren Brown on the Xtra Factor last night,  but a nice one. I have had a great deal of respect for ol’ Derren since a particularly memorable experience at one of his live shows, where I was actually one of his chosen audience members. Yes, I was one of those people who went up on stage, and of course, behaved in just the way he predicted. It certainly goes down as one of the weirdest moments of my life! And I still get emails, and Facebook messages from friends every time the TV version of the show is replayed somewhere in the world – “Was that you??”

Even if his recent Lottery stunt wasn’t resolved satisfactorily enough for you (but then, what did we expect? that he actually predicted them!?), I think we can all agree that Derren is an exceptionally clever man, a great showman, and that we would never want to take him on in any game of chance or battle of wits!

So when I read his blog about his X Factor experience today it gave me a great deal of pleasure to know, that like me and many of my friends, there are quite a few intelligent, culturally savvy people out there who, like me, get inexplicably drawn into the X Factor. And, of course, it gave me even greater pleasure that he too thinks Danyl should win! With the power of Derren on our side, how could we lose!?

Anyway, I just thought I should share with you a beautiful bit of wisdom from Derren’s post, because I thought it helped to encapsulate what makes certain contestants  more “likeable” than others, and why it is important to try and see past all of the production smoke and mirrors, to the real people, and talent underneath. Enjoy the whole circus, sure, it is there for your entertainment, after all. But just recognise it for what it is.

Joe, Lucy and Stacey seem to offer us ‘journeys’, and sadly, when we’re watching these people every week for so long, we value journeys over talent. This is the power of story, and the producers know it well. Danyl will struggle to give us a good journey, for he has come in already at the top. He’s so good, he has nowhere to go. This we can unfairly read as smugness. Now he needs to be knocked down in order to build up again, to a new place with new learnings: it’s the hero’s struggle, and will be important for him if he’s going to win. Stacey, Joe and Lucy have a clearer story: modest and much-loved, they rise to find the star within themselves. And I hope they do, even if it’s just a confection of the show, because I love a good story and bawl my eyes out at anyone winning anything.

Ain’t that the truth?

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