There's a lot wrong with the X-Factor, but it never inspired the gut clench of disgust and contempt I felt tonight. I always wondered about the choice of Nicole Scherzinger as the wholly unnecessary fourth wheel judge on the panel. At first glance she seemed to be a preening, narcissitic untalented imbecile, much more interested in her own muscle tone, accessories and complexion than she was in the singers she worked with. Her comments were consistently glib and sentimental, her arguments with Simon Cowell made him look brilliant by comparison.
But of course he chose her. I'm sure he's had ample time to regret that decision.
In the last two weeks I've come to feel that my initial harsh view of Ms. Scherzinger was in fact unduly charitable. In close votes she has now been responsible for sending home the two most talented singers in the competition. And tonight, when she rejected Rachel Crow, she couldn't even take responsibility for the decision, attempting to abstain, an option not permitted under the contest rules. It was clear that her opting out of the vote cleared her conscience, but the end result was to turn the two singers over to the national voting, and Rachel Crow lost.
So in fact it was the audience that concluded Rachel Crow's run on the X-Factor -- but one of the few advantages the show has had over its many competitiors has been the professional, clear eyed, even Senatorial power the Judges reserved to themselves to overturn the short-sighted hysteria of the voting rabble. I imagine some hormonally befuddled twelve year old somewhere in Kansas or Indiana , power-dialling her crush: the judges are supposed to stand between the singers and that unformed adolescent.
Unfortunately, that girl and all the millions like her have a champion and an avatar in Nicole Scherzinger. Ms. Scherzinger's infantile tears, her clueless inc0mpetant unprofessional behavior, make me want to give her a time out, ground her or take away her cell phone. Even host Steve Jones, that normally unflappable Scottish robot, showed a rare human moment of angry impatience with Ms. Sherzinger's dithering. Did he want to strangle her, too? I like to think so.
How could any sentient mammal have picked the smarmy, off-key histrionics of Marcus Canty over the blazing,full throated soulful performance that Rachel Crow turned in tonight? Could Ms. Schezringer have her own crush on Canty? A full blown affair between them would be a firing offence, so I can only wish such a "showmance" on both of them. They deserve to be happy, but they should get a room, and explore their passion in private.
Of course that's probably not true. Too bad, because witless mediocrity has never been a liability on reality shows, and no matter how awful and self-indulgent Ms. Scherzinger remains, outside of a juicy scandal, her position on The X Factor is probably secure.
She's found a home.
In any other job, in any other business anywhere else in the world, Nicole Scherzinger would have bee fired long ago.