X Factor

Life lessons from X Factor

X Factor

Image: Flickr CC via Leif Carlsen

We’ve just recently finished up our very first NZ X Factor competition and I wonder if I was the only one in NZ to notice there wasn’t much on, on the Tele last night (i.e No X Factor on 3).

I mooched about for a bit before heading to bed early to read a magazine. My Englishman lay next to me reading on his tablet, but I prefer to feel the paper between my fingers – it’s an old-fashioned luxury. In between reading and thinking (Next is really good read this month!) I pondered on what X Factor has taught me.

Here are my life lessons gleaned from the X Factor competition (and others like it):

1/ Don’t believe your own publicity – This is an important lesson especially for people who delve in the dark arts of PR or who have an online personna, made abundantly clear by the exchange of a tone-deaf performer and one of the more ascerbic judges. ‘So who told you, you can sing?’ the judge asked imperiously. Lesson: Always validate your source, for good news and bad.

2/ Spot the ‘nasty judge’ – Not just a life lesson, but a survival lesson. Always remember that there will be people playing ‘the nasty judge’ role in your life. Determine who they are and then ignore every single thing they say. Lesson: It’s the xtreme version of good-cop bad-cop. What does your detractor have to gain from bringing you down? Are they simply fulfilling their role?

3/ Talent doesn’t always come first – Although the winner of our X Factor undoubtedly has talent there were a number of others who were exceptional. Any one of them could have just as easily taken the top gong, but would they have fulfilled the unwritten rules of engagement? Lesson: It’s never just about the talent. It’s about the story behind the winner. It certainly helped that our winner had been eliminated at the beginning only to be asked back and eventually win. Great PR story framing there.

4/ The Emperor has new clothes – All of the top three finalists were undoubtedly extremely talented and I would have no problem inviting them to sing in my shower, but did anyone else notice how much better their recorded singles are? Lesson: It’s amazing what technical intervention in the recording studio can do. It irons out the imperfections and the levels but without the wide-spread belief that the Emperor has new clothes spread prior to the single’s release, would anyone listen? Raw talent is great but raw talent + technical intervention = star quality.

5/ Your audience awaits – No matter what your talent. No matter how big your front teeth, or how hairy your chest there will always be an audience for your particular talent package. Your job is to find them. And once you’ve found them be happy. Lesson: Even the alarmingly screechy chicken-keeper who murdered an Elvis Presley song so vehemently with his blood-curdling yodels, has fans. If he does, how can you not?

Do you watch X Factor and Britain’s got talent type shows? What life lessons do they teach you?


'Life lessons from X Factor' has 4 comments

  1. July 28, 2013 @ 10:24 pm donnasimone

    Hahaha great Post Vicki – Love your X Factor life lessons.
    (just quietly I love X Factor and it’s ilk quite a bit. Am now enjoying The Voice Australia; major talent and VERY nice judges)


    • July 31, 2013 @ 2:22 am vegemitevix

      Thanks Simone, though I do wonder if we’re the only two adult X Factor fans out there. x


  2. August 1, 2013 @ 10:18 am Siobhan

    When I auditioned for Film School, the instructor asked me “How do you take criticism?” At the time I thought it was the silliest question ever, but in hindsight I realise it was the best bit of advice I ever got. She didn’t tell me how to take criticism or that I could or couldn’t take criticism well, but to consider how I took it. 10 years later I heard another gold piece of advice, “not
    everyone is going to like you. But if you like yourself, it doesn’t
    really matter… So to the people who don’t like me, I don’t care!”


    • August 1, 2013 @ 8:45 pm vegemitevix

      Great advice. I still struggle with that truism – not everyone is going to like you. I’m like the family Labrador – ‘love me love me’. LOL!


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.