Richard McComb: Stark choice of Diva Fever
Oct 22 2010 By Richard McComb
Only on the X Factor could a presenter get away with such abject, hyperbolic, borderline insulting, nonsense.
This was the undramatic scene. An old bloke with pink hair called Storm Lee had just been voted off the show for being rubbish. As the episode was a “double eliminator” the heads of another act were on the line.
Thus it was that the mighty, camp, non-harmony male duo Diva Fever went into pop-howling battle against girl band Belle Amie (which everyone pronounces Bellamy, as in – cue Lenny Henry impersonation – David “Gwapple Me Gwape Nuts” Bellamy).
The boys sung; the boys cried. The girl sung; the girls cried.
Simon Cowell was acting as mentor to both acts. What a dilemma for him. Fortunately, fellow judges Louis Walsh, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Curl unanimously voted to give Diva Fever a one-way ticket to Mykonos, thus relieving Cowell of having to make the agonising decision over which of his two acts to save.
It was at this point that X Factor presenter Dermot Someone asked the question we all wanted to know the answer to (even though we all knew the answer, because Diva Fever – unless you like disco-inspired wedding party dance music, and I do – have a limited musical appeal): which act would Simon have saved. Dermot said: “I have to ask, it’s Sophie’s Choice, but who would you have gone with?”
It was at this point that the audience and most of the production team started to scratch their heads. Hmm, Sophie’s Choice. Was there another girl group everyone had forgotten? Sophie’s Choice was a fab name for a band. Right on the money, as Simon would say. Very relevant. Very now.
But no. Dermot was being clever, but not really very clever, by invoking the choice faced by Sophie Zawistowska, William Styron’s fictional Holocaust survivor – whether to save her son or daughter from annihilation at Auschwitz. Would Simon have sent Diva Fever or Bellamy to Crematorium Two?
Stung by the literary allusion, Simon refused to turn up the volume on the hysteria control. He wouldn’t say how he’d have voted. It wouldn’t be right. “They’ve gone,” he said, crestfallen. Gone to the great disco in the Aegean.