Schadenfreude ist die schönste Freude (denn sie kommt von Herzen)

27 August 2006


I’m not a big fan of reality tv. I’ve never watched more than 1 episode of any of the seasons of Big Brother, apart from that celeb one with Jack Dee[1] but my one weakness is The X-Factor. I’ll watch the odd episode of American Idol, but The X-Factor has to be the best of them all. Course, it starts off exactly the same as all the other “you wanna be famous” reality shows. The auditions.

And we watch because they are car-crash tv. People who want, who desire so very much to be famous. Who are convinced that they have what it takes to be the next big thing. And so very often the only talent they have is self-delusion. And you have to ask that box in the corner of the room, Why didn’t their friends ever tell them?

Seeing the thousands of people queueing up, and knowing they’ll all get up and sing in front of the judges, you just know you’d be as mean as Simon. Simply out of frustration. How many times can you hear someone murder a song before you crack? I wince hearing those tiny segments of hell they play, I don’t think I’d be able to listen to the thousands and thousands of the hopeless, just to hear the hundred or so who might be worth hearing again.

Despite the pain of these performances I still tune in to hear them brutalising songs, songs that were pretty brutal[2] in the first place. Okay, so one reason is that there is nothing else on the telly at that time, but I also like it. Maybe because it is actually real. Most reality tv is ultra contrived. Big Brother is as far from reality as you can get. Celebrity Love Island? How is that reality? Now, I’m well aware that plenty about The X-Factor is totally edited to “create” an effect, it is more real than the others. Like that wan who was on today’s episode. She who runs the Louis Walsh fan club. People that insane can only be real :twisted:

Once they get down to the serious part of the competition I lose interest. I’ll tune in every now and then, but I really only enjoy these first few weeks.


  1. and he was the main reason I watched
  2. Irish definition of brutal, as in terrible or horrible

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2 Responses

  1. Nome says:

    You ever watch Project Runway? It's the ultimate in Schadenfreude. I dunno when the new season starts in Ireland, but here it's September 4th. I am a complete addict.

  2. Fence says:

    I don't think I've ever seen that one. Is it a reality show looking for models? Or for designers?