The Daily Telegraph‘s Neil McCormick says Simon Cowell is the “most influential musical figure” of the past decade: “Stretching all the way across the Atlantic (via his key roles in American Idol and America’s Got Talent), Cowell’s malign influence is inescapable – and has been ever since the battle for his affections between Will Young and Gareth Gates divided the nation in 2001. Which is why, whether the NME likes it or not, Simon Cowell is the most influential musical figure of the ’00s. I don’t, incidentally, ascribe this to any kind of genius. Cowell was simply the wrong man in the right place at the right time.”
More controversy has followed X Factor‘s John and Edward: “Technicians have claimed bosses ordered them to turn down their microphones and mask their voices with backing tracks.”(Telegraph)
The Times explains the “Jedward” phenomenon: “Unbeknown to most viewers, the whole of the X Factor has secretly been turned into the biggest art installation yet devised. There you were in front of the TV, feeling suicidal about the total intellectual collapse of British culture, when all along, it turns out that Simon Cowell is the greatest genius of the 21st-century avant garde. In a secret studio in Shoreditch, Cowell has been plotting this abstract comment on British culture for years under the code name The Unbearable Triteness of Being: The Reflection of the Culture in the Nervous Eyes of the Talent-Less. That noise you hear in the background is Charles Saatchi laughing until he’s sick.”
Jay-Z wants to break X Factor judge Cheryl Cole in the States.(Telegraph)
Moby has reappeared out of the ether to join the chorus of celebs dissing X Factor.(The Sun)
Eddie Izzard talks about his career: “I found it helped me to have a game-plan. Some people have this ‘everything just comes to me’ attitude. That’s fine but I’ve noticed that with me, it doesn’t. So it’s better to have this endless grind.”(Telegraph)
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.