The show may not be intellectually stimulating but it doesn't pretend to be anything other than pure entertainment for the masses. Are all these contestants really deluded, fame-seeking no-hopers? Or maybe they realise they don't want a 9-5 job stuck behind a desk, or saddled with debt after a university education in an uncertain economic climate with no guarantee of a job. Some are currently living that life and dream of a better life, while some are genuine singers looking for a way into the recording industry after conventional routes proved unsuccessful.
What the X Factor and shows like it offer is an easier and quicker route to the big time. It's ready-made audiences are ready to buy into genuine talent, as they go on their real life journeys progressing and developing each week, and rooting for them like their favourite characters in movies or novels.
There are some talented people out there who just need a platform like this to shine and move them ever closer to that elusive recording contact. Leona Lewis, One Direction, Olly Murrs, JLS and Alexandra Burke owe much to the show. As do other singing talents such as Charlotte & Jonathan, Susan Boyle and Paul Potts, whose lives have been transformed for the better by being on these talent shows.
There are no written rules to the fame game and it's hard to predict what the public will take to. In some cases it can be very lucrative if you also have a gimmick to sell (Jedward), and there are many instances of movies, singles or acts defying pompous critics and going on to become hits with the public. So why not put yourself in the shop window and see if people want to buy into you as a product. Why not try and take a short cut to your dreams if there's an opportunity every year on these shows. These contestants realise they have nothing to lose but a little pride, whilst there's everything to gain such as a new career, fame and fortune. You never know what's round the corner until you go and take a look - there maybe nothing, there maybe something or there maybe everything.
Some may regard the X Factor shows as mind-numbing entertainment, but it also creates jobs, transforms lives and entertains millions. So come forth young and old - show up and give it your best shot.