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XFactor: A masterclass in mass manipulation

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Joined: 19 Jan 2004
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    Posted: 14 Oct 2010 at 12:08

The X Factor is a masterclass in mass manipulation

Katie Waissel survived because she's the first of this year's designated hate figures

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Katie Waissel . . . saved by X Factor judges despite getting fewer votes than departed boyband FYD. 

Ah, The X Factor – a gladiatorial arena for the 21st century. It makes the ancient Romans look so honest, so civilised, so serious, so even-handed. Though clearly Britain is not over- burdened with modern Romans, or first-reject Nicolo Festa would have managed to collect a few more patriotic votes. The Italian student's exit was highly predictable, and otherwise, matters also went according to plan, with FYD being booted off simply because the show was so long that no one could even remember the first performance of the evening, let alone vote for it. They do that on purpose, you know.

Katie Waissel got fewer votes than the departed boy-band, an obliging anonymous source from within the sanctum has let it be known. But the judges saved her, largely because she's the first of this year's crop of designated hate-figures, and therefore marked for psychological- torture-by-media. Even though Cheryl Cole put four people through in her group and rejected four others, Katie is seen as the one who stole Gamu Nhengu's rightful slot. There's no great logic to it – it's just mass- manipulation magic.

Gamu, who with her family now faces deportation to Zimbabwe, has such a populist following that even the Daily Mail appeared for a few days unequivocally to support her desire to stay in the UK. Yesterday, normal service was resumed, and the paper ran photographs of Gamu's mother, Nokuthula Ngazana, out shopping, looking nice in brazenly bright pink, as if "she didn't have a care in the world". Obviously, Ngazana ought to be well into her hunger strike by now, thinking about sewing up her eyes, and planning for self-immolation. Something that's got a tiny bit more of a Christians-and-lions flavour to it, anyway.


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