The X-Factor will be back on our screens this August. I can’t say I am as keen to watch it as I have been over the last five years or so. Perhaps the entire concept of audition followed by phone vote has been too thoroughly overworked these days. I enjoy watching the audition process but it is the successful candidates who make me smile. The people who audition for no other reason than to make fools of themselves simply make me cringe but those who genuinely believe they have talent, only to have their aspirations viciously mocked, those are the moments when I feel ashamed to be watching the programme. How cruel a nation are we to deem the tears of these dreamers entertainment?
Once this show starts I will no doubt have to answer the same question from countless friends and relatives, “Why didn’t you audition for the X-Factor?” My reply will be the same as last year and the years before that, “ The show is for people who want to be famous and I can’t imagine anything worse!”
From the age of 19 through to age 22ish, I was represented by two agencies. Their job was to get me into castings in the entertainment field. To be fair it was not the easiest of tasks for them since I had not attended any stage schools and had received little relevant training for that sector. Predictably for a blonde with big boobies, most of the work offered to me involved the removal of underwear. Complaints from my agencies that I turned down all these offers fell on deaf ears. As far as I was concerned, that kind of ‘work’ involved descending a slippery slope and was annoyed to be asked. I find it sad that many of the girls on these TV ‘talent’shows usually end up accepting the thong work in an attempt to hang onto their 15 minutes of fame when it is likely they would have turned their noses up at such a suggestion previously.
Thankfully, I had many more auditions for TV shows, pop groups and dancers ect which went pretty well. One that definitely did not do well was an audition for a female singing group in West London. When I arrived it was packed out with girls who looked like they belonged on a Baywatch shoot. I was immediately suspicious since this was invitation only casting. As I handed the main guy my portfolio, he informed me with a sleazy grin that I had already been pre-selected for the group, my costume had arrived and I should go change ready. My suspicions were confirmed by that costume…Schoolgirl outfit complete with bra and panties so small that Christina Aguilera would have been too shy to wear them for her Dirty video! I watched the other girls on stage auditioning with gusto (or should that be gusseto) and pitied them. Did they really want to be famous that much? I walked out of the audition but I did pocket the panties.
I did guest appearances on one TV series. The following morning after the first screening, I got a phone call from an ex-boyfriend whom I had not seen since I left High School. He called to tell me he was still in love with me. Creepy, ridiculous and totally untrue! A few days later I got followed around Reading High Street by a couple of blokes who had not the nerve to approach me but would not leave me alone either. To top it off, I had another couple of fellas standing outside the Body Shop pointing at me also until the Street Security man finally sent them packing. Some of my other work had yet to be aired but I knew without a doubt that I wanted nothing more to do with fame, especially as my efforts had been very minor but I received this kind of attention. How would I cope if my career really took off? Badly! I would become one of those psychotic paparazzi punchers with a shaven head and verbal vomit.
I have lost count of the talent show contestants who have had their private lives dragged through the mud by ex-boyfriends and so-called ‘one time friend’. Surely they must know that this behaviour is to be expected and hurtful for both themselves and their families, so why volunteer themselves, especially when there is no prospect of a profitable career at the end? Magazines are filled with pictures of celebrities who cannot even put their bins out or pooper scoop their dogs without being photographed. That kind of intrusion is my worst nightmare! I would love the job of international performer but I could not be paid enough ever, to be spot lit the way the new X-Factor finalists are about to be. If this is the kind of life they want then I wish them all the luck in the world. As for me, I am happy to be Lyndsey the Columnist, Wife & Mother living in a paparazzi free zone.