Seann Miley Moore, the androgynous Australian balladeer, was axed from The X Factor after the judges’ deadlock and sing-off against Mason Noise – with its subsequent public vote – saw him get the fewest votes.
And many viewers of the TV talent series have given up on the show as a result.
There’s even a petition to bring Seann back, with, well, 106 signatures so far.
If that’s a tiny piddling amount, it’s probably because from the most seasoned viewers of The X Factor to even the most occasional will know there’s no use contesting the judges’ decisions, or even more so, the public vote. Plus, this sort of injustice happens every year, and, for a moment, viewers’ temporary collective amnesia disappears as it becomes clear, once again, that the show really isn’t that fair.
Ostentatiously glam and strutting about like he was on his way into a secret, passworded, dress-coded New York club circa 1991, Seann played around with traditional drag, keeping his hairy legs clad in stockings and platform boots, looking like he was bringing something new, something that we’ve never seen before on primetime TV, let alone The X Factor. While his outfits were challenging to great swathes of the UK, his soothing voice was simply perfect for belting out ballad versions of ’70s songs familiar to old fogies, like California Dreamin’ and Hotel California.
Somewhere along the lines, though, the audience – who perhaps haven’t been the young people Simon Cowell had hoped for when he drafted in Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw this series to judge – just weren’t into it. Bear in mind this is the very same audience who’ve voted for easy listening crooners like Ben Haenow, Sam Bailey and Matt Cardle, to win. Of course, there have been successful X Factor winners like Little Mix, Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, but more often than not, The X Factor has produced underwhelming victors. And it's beginning to affect the show, with rumours being that, with dwindling viewers, it'll be sold off or simply dropped after ITV poached the BBC's gimmick-light The Voice.
Seann had much of the makings of a star with a real edge, an extra bit of oomph to separate him from the crowd, a backstory that is obvious in his piercing blue eyes, 5 o’clock shadow and purple lipstick. But maybe, the youth-friendly gender fluidity he had to offer didn’t reach the young audience it would have surely appealed to, because that younger audience The X Factor is after just doesn’t watch TV – or cast votes – like their mums or grandparents do.
It’s not only because young people consume entertainment in short snippets online or have got used to watching TV shows on catch-up. After years of The X Factor letting down its most unique acts – from Gamu to Laura White, from Rachel Hylton to Diva Fever, from Aiden Grimshaw to Misha B – it just goes to show that if you want someone who deliberately breaks away from the norm, someone who pushes up against what Middle England will co-sign, someone who really has the 'X' factor, you have to go elsewhere for your heroes.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.