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Bad mum strikes again…

September 17, 2007

One thing I should have added to my X Factor Drinking Game is the Inevitable U-turn after judges turn away a really decent singer (down if singer later goes on to be a finalist).

This piece of ‘drama’ is another in a long line of ‘storylines’ producers like to throw in these ‘reality’ TV shows these days. Except last Saturday’s X Factor U-turned the U-turn, first allowing pregnant 24-year-old Katie Boothand, from Skegness, through to bootcamp, knowing that she’d give birth in November (the show climaxes late December) before changing their minds. I’m all for a sob story, but this is going too far.

I’m not going to bother talking about her terrible teeth, her horrible boyfriend or her unfortunate circumstances (she lives in a one-bedroom flat – boo hoo). But what I do want to talk about is a point that I haven’t seen discussed yet. Had Katie been put through, it would have been hugely unfair to the other contestants.

Katie would have been given special consideration because of her condition. She would have been able to fluff her lines, sing out of tune and generally be a bit crap. She might have even been able to miss the odd performance, especially if it came to her delivery date. Who remembers Rik Waller who missed one week of Pop Idol because he apparently had tonsillitis. He was through to the next round, and someone else (more deserving) got booted off. Not fair.

It seemed to me that Katie is a product of the ‘see it, want it’ generation. Those who want to be famous because they believe it’s the easiest route to money. And in most cases, it is. But to be really famous – as opposed to the Steve Brookstein kind of famous – and to make any kind of cash, you actually have to have the full package, and although Katie had a lovely voice, she actually wasn’t that great a singer and looked like a toothless, scraggy mess. Moreover, she might have come across as a lovely person, but I really feel for her unborn child. What mother drags her embryo to the X factor auditions, stands in a queue for up to four hours, then subjects them to possible stress and ultimate birth on live TV? And what father would allow his pregnant partner to put herself (and his baby) through any of that?

Still, at least she’ll be able to get her teeth fixed on the NHS for up to a year after the birth of her poor, unfortunate child. For Katie and her nasty other half (who didn’t even hold the door open for her when he charged through it, f-ing and blinding), this wasn’t about music, talent or even providing a future for their unborn child. This was about making a quick buck so Katie’s bloke could sort himself out in scratch cards and B&H for the rest of his life. Call me a snob. But there you go.

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