Since then, I've watched half of every series that has followed. I say half, because it's only the auditions that make good sport. Once you get into the live show, the fun stops, and the terrible karaoke show begins.
From what I understand, 99.9% of the hopefuls never see Simon Cowell and Co. There are literally hundreds of judges sifting through them first, weeding out the mediocre... so the only ones who make it through to see the 'celeb' judges are either really good, or really shit (I'm assuming they don't tell the contestent which category they have been put in, but I guess most of the deluded naturally assume they have been picked because they are 'amazing'). But as much as I love watching the bad auditions, there are always a few that make me feel a little TOO uncomfortable... I don't know how to put it tactfully, but lets just say, some of those who turn up may not be quite the full ticket. A cocky teenager is one thing, but publicly humiliating someone who may not fully appreciate they are being ridiculed feels a bit low and nasty.
Take 43 year old pizza delivery man, Alan Penfold from tonights show (the last of the audition episodes). I could be wrong, but you can almost see the lead up to this one... I imagine people have been sniggering at his singing and dancing for years, whilst telling him how good he is, and how he really should apply for the show... I mean, it IS funny, but should we really be laughing? Does TV consider this sort of humiliation as 'fair game' these days? or am I just being too sensitive??
Last year it was Emma Chawner that had me squirming on the sofa. The programme managed to make fools out of the whole family on this one, and oh, isn't that the theme tune to 'The Flumps' backing up the arrival of this rather portly family?! I kid you not! Watch it to the end if you can, to see the family barge into the audition room to challenge Simon Cowell... Uncomfortable is the word.
The year before it was Robert Unwin, a chicken factory worker, who no doubt couldn't quite work out why he became a laughing stock....
As they say in the business..... That's Entertainment!