This Sunday the finalists of Channel 4's Mobile Act Unsigned were decided.
The four bands who made it to the semi-final were Hijack Oscar, Revenue, The Bad Robots and early drop outs in on a wild card Envy and Other Sins.
Throughout the competition The Bad Robots have been acknowledged as the best song writers and Hijack Oscar as the best musicians and yet Revenue (a band all the judges acknowledged are incapable of writing songs) and a band who were knocked out of the competition early on for being dull end up as finalists.
How did this happen?
Maintaining a sense of community involvement and excitement about the winners requires that the final comes down to a public vote. In the era of the X Factor the audience expect nothing less, but this is the last thing that the label want when they have a million quid riding on the winner.
The answer to this problem? ...
Envy and Other Sins were parachuted into the competition the week before the semi final where they performed a mediocre cover of Video Killed the Radio Star. People who haven't been watching from the start probably haven't heard a single song they have written.
Even the public vote to reinstate them was a con. The 6 bands with the highest votes were brought back into contention, but when you consider that this was from a list of 12 with 3 still in the competition and one disqualified you realise that the judges got to pick who to bring back from a list of 6 of the 8 bands who were eligible. The only reason for them to be in the competition is to ensure whoever they are up against wins the public vote.
So why Revenue?
Two moments in the series might provide a clue. The first was when the singer managed to get Lilly Allen's phone number, but perhaps the most telling was the scene in the semi final where Simon Gavin informed the band that they had no song writing ability, but that was ok because he would find them a producer who could help them with that.
Excuse me what?
I thought what producers did was make recordings sound good. I think the what he was trying to say was "We can find you a Guy Chambers style hit maker who can write your songs for you".
So what do we get?
In the absence of a real stand out talent in the competition they have decided to go for a bunch of guys who aren't too smart, but they can guarantee will make it onto the pages of Bizzare in The Sun who they can sign to a shitty no money one album deal and write some hit factory songs for.
I'm hoping some kind of fluke happens and they get stuck with Envy and Other Sins, but I wouldn't put money on it at any odds.