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Monday, December 22, 2003  
It’s not over when the fat lady wins…

Pity Michelle Pop Idol. Simon Cowell decided weeks ago that the only chance of making series 2 of the nation’s favourite talent contest marketable was to have a winner with at least some attribute that could mark them out from the identikit stage-school hordes. When cutesy teenpop rentboy Sam was voted out last week the result became as inevitable as Frodo tossing the Ring Of Power into the flaming underbelly of Mordor. What the fuck is the other guy even called? Mark? Matt? Mike? Last night he looked like nothing so much as a drunk young man at a wedding who’d stumbled onstage to karaoke his way through some long forgotten Take That number. And he’s meant to be a pop star? God save us from this blandness. Elton John must have been weeping. With no recognisable personality or distinguishable vocal character to pin the marketing team on, Simon Callow was left with the fat girl. Why not? After all a few people liked Rick Waller, and at least Michelle has human teeth.

Saturday revealed to me that a; Michelle is not a singer of any instant, recognisable quality, and b; the public still like to patronise overweight people by assuming automatically that they must be talented or ‘lovely’. This is not the case. Fat people are just as likely to be ridiculous, callous no-marks as thin people. Compounding Simon’s realisation that Michelle was the way to go was the growing public determination to demonstrate that the idle judges don’t like it up ‘em (Pete Waterman allegedly stormed off in either tears or profanities when the result came in), by voting for Michelle. Hence you get thousands, maybe millions of people voting not for their favourite singer but for “the fat girl”, out of both a sense of misplaced justice and a mischievous desire to upset misters Callow and Wankerman.

Only Callow isn’t upset, because he sees the opportunity in this result. Alex Parks? Gay. David Sneddon? Might as well be gay. Will Young? Gay. Girls Aloud? Homicidal. Gareth Gates? De-flowered by Jordan. One True Voice? Characterless, bland and nowhere to be seen. Hear’Say? Characterless, bland and nowhere to be seen. Had Matt/Mike/Mark won where would Pop Idol be? What’s the market for dull, heterosexual, characterless pop? Certainly there’s room for it in the rock sphere (Coldplay, Starsailor, Travis – all of whom suffer from not being anywhere near gay enough) but then you need at least an illusion of being organic, something which the whole reality pop system throws out of the window before letting contestants in the door.

I imagine Michelle’s career will be as long and illustrious as Tiny from Ultrasound’s.

Where the fuck is David Sneddon? Not that I want him back in the charts or anything, you understand. Just curious.

12/22/2003 01:52:00 pm


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

All material © Nick Southall, 2003/2004/2005