Sting slams X Factor as ‘preposterous karaoke’

Sting; X Factor

The Police frontman claims the popular ITV show has put British music back decades

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 10:10 ON Thu 12 Nov 2009

Music business types are normally loath to attack The X Factor for fear it shows them out of touch with popular taste. But Sting has decided to break ranks and say publicly what many believe - that the ITV show has "put music back decades" and is little more than "televised karaoke".

The contestants' only talent is to be able to mimic genuine stars, he said. "They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint."

Sting, who has enjoyed more than three decades in the spotlight since he broke through with The Police in the 1970s, said real musical flair was to be found today in pubs and clubs, rather than on a "preposterous" talent show.

He also attacked the show's judges - Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue - claiming they had "no recognisable talent apart from self-promotion".

Most of all, he hated the show's voting system and culture of humiliation when contestants are sent home. "How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection," he told the London Evening Standard. "It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades."

Sting also claimed that the lack of originality meant the show did nothing for the economy. "The music industry has been hugely important to England, bringing in millions. If anyone thinks The X Factor is going to do that, they are wrong."

He was on thin ice here, given that Leona Lewis, the 2006 winner, has sold 6.5m albums and Alexandra Burke, the 2008 winner, had the fastest-selling single of the year with her recent release, Bad Boys. · 

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