Saturday, 10 December 2011

Why didn't Misha win X Factor?

Was Misha Bryan too black to win The X Factor?  Kathryn Knight, Daily Mail, 10th December 2011

I would say that being from Manchester had more to do with it.
People are used to us being unhappy, glum, and therefore inferior on Coronation Street, The Royle Family, Shameless, and various other misery dramas featuring people with accents from Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire.  People love that great feeling of superiority when watching Corrie.
They don't like people from inner city Manchester like Misha getting above her station by having effortless talent.
Also, Misha knows this is what people are thinking, so she stops herself from being too expressive, which leads to her not connecting with the audience.
If you contrast her personality with someone like Alexandra Burke, who we saw filling in as a judge for Kelly Rowland one time, you will see they are miles apart.  Alexandra is confident, ebullient, articulate and expressive (Judging,Youtube)- the total opposite of Misha who is shy, inexpressive and overly polite (HolyMoly interview, Youtube).  Alexandra won the 5th series of the show in 2008.
Misha reminds me of 90's girlband Cleopatra.  They are from the same area, Moss Side, and are of the same colour.  They also experienced a bit of backlash and a fair amount of ridicule.  Basically attempts to knock them back into their place.  If they were from Birmingham or anywhere not presented in a negative way on TV, a hostile reception would be less likely.  Imagine an all white girl group group from Moss side speaking in the same accent as Brooke Vincent, the actress who plays Rosie Webster in Coronation Street ( Brooke Vincent interview, This Morning. Youtube. ).  Can you imagine them being ridiculed or treated in a less hostile way?  I can't.  Girls like this wouldn't even try because they would know that there would be a hostile reaction.  So instead we have middle class girls like Ellie Goulding.
I am reminded of a Jonathan Ross interview in 2004 with Amy Whinehouse where Ross, half way through the interview, decides to put Amy back in her place by calling her common (at 3:29) (Amy whinehouse interview, Youtube.)  She puts a brave face on it and smiles, but I bet after the interview she would have thought about that comment and it may have plagued her.  For someone who was obviously looking for appreciation and acceptance, that comment must have really stung. You can also see how the audience spontaneously bursts into laughter as if it was something everyone was already thinking. 
This snobbishness stems from having a monarchy.  The monarchy creates a class system and social hierarchy where you are supposed to accept your station in life.  If you don't, you are made fun of as a way of putting you back in your place.  Our desire to look down on certain sections of society is illustrated by the massive success of Coronation Street and Eastenders:  4-5 episodes a week, each gaining 8-10 million viewers.  The characters are presented as unhappy and perturbed so we can look down on them and feel better about ourselves.  Now Corrie is on a commercial channel.  Why on earth is the BBC, a public service channel, allowed to screen a programme which negatively affects the self esteem of real life Eastenders?  To add insult to injury, these real life London folk are paying to be put down via a licence fee.  It also has the effect of depressing the nation and making out that our country is more broken than it is.

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