It May Be A Ridiculous But The X Factor: Celebrity Is Our New Favourite Show

The Love Island supergroup alone was ICONIC.

The X Factor: Celebrity

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

It’s Saturday night and I’m in pyjamas eating Ben ‘N’ Jerry’s out the tub while The X Factor plays on my TV. No, it’s not 2006. It’s me, last weekend, enjoying the thrills of Simon Cowell’s immovable face as a Love Island supergroup chaotically performs There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back by Shawn Mendes.

It’s not how I imagined my Saturday evening would turn out, but I’m not mad about it either. Because, I hate to break it to you, The X Factor: Celebrity is actually iconic reality TV. Honestly, I laughed, I screamed and I cried – what more could you want from a wine-filled weekend in watching trash TV?

Saturday night’s show saw performances from not only the Love Island supergroup – comprising Wes Nelson, Samira Mighty, Zara McDermott and Eyal Booker – but also Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole and The Chase’s Jenny ‘The Vixen’ Ryan. Literally, we have reached the reality TV show zenith.

Ultimately it works because_The X Factor: Celebrity_comprises every car-crash TV trait from all of the reality shows that its contestants come from: the sex appeal of Love Island, the suspense of The Chase, the relatability of Strictly.

The celebrity aspect is the cherry on the cake, because not only is our curiosity at their lives and group dynamics satisfied, but we also get to see them brought back down to earth by their lack of one specific talent.

Of course, it’s not just reality TV stars on the show. We also got a hilarious performance of ‘No Diggity’ from three professional rugby stars, Thom Evans, Ben Foden and Levi Davis – which intriguingly saw some flirting between Foden and judge Nicole Scherzinger (does that man have a fetish for ex-girl band members?).

There was also a genuinely heart-warming performance from legendary journalist Martin Bashir, who brought the audience to tears when he revealed his heart-breaking motivation for going on the show. Telling the story of his brother's struggle with muscular dystrophy until his death in 1991, he said: ‘When you grow up with a child, and you fight over toys, and you're aged four and he never fights back, and by the time he's 13 he can't feed himself, you feel you have no excuse for turning down opportunities.’

Essentially,_The X Factor: Celebrity_is everything you could possibly have dreamt it would be back in 2010when the show symbolisedeveryone’s run-up to Christmas. Yes, it is absolutely, blatantly a popularity contest more than a talent competition (as Simon loved to tell the crowd after disappointing performances, 'This is also about who the public are going to want to see progress’) but isn’t that what all game-based reality TV has become anyway? The winner will not necessarily be the most talented, but the one who has the most engaged fan-base (yes, we’re living in a Black Mirror episode).

But, if we get some hilarious performances and bear witness to celebrity drama in the mean-time, we’re perfectly fine with_The X Factor_ taking over our Saturday nights once more. If anything, it takes us back to a simpler time when the biggest threat to our democracy was Simon Cowell’s everlasting influence on the Christmas number one album. Ah, the good old days.


So, Which Of Last Year’s Love Island Contestants Are Going To Appear On Celebrity X Factor?

Why Have We Fallen Out Of Love With The X Factor?

Depression And Anxiety: The Price I Paid For Reality TV Fame

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us