I like Lady Gaga a lot. She is probably my favourite female artist of all time.
She ticks all the right boxes of daring to be different, and not being afraid to be challenging and push the envelope.
So, I was fascinated to watch footage of her breaking the rules on the X Factor.
This week on the X Factor, Lady Gaga had been a guest performer, doing a fantastic version of her latest song, dressed as a scary headless woman, ahead of the ritual of voting off one of the X Factor contestants.
The voting off ritual is a long one. It starts by the public voting. The two with the least votes are then thrown against each other in a ‘sing off’. Each has to pointlessly sing a song to try to impress the judges. The sing off, of course, does nothing to challenge minds that are already made up in advance, so it is just a way of drawing out the agony. It’s part of the cruelty of the whole ritual.
Once the judges have taken an agonisingly long time to stammer out their ‘decisions’, the act that has been rejected is then left on the stage trying to hide their complete devastation to the show’s main presenter.
The main broadcast then ends and immediately a secondary ‘behind the scenes’ broadcast commences with different presenters. Once again the failed and rejected artist stands in the middle of the stage whilst inane presenters ask even more impossible to answer questions about how they are feeling.
Last weekend the rejectee was a singer called Kitty Brucknell. Kitty, whilst having a very good voice, had the extra, er, factor of having wild and original ideas about how to stage and mesmerise during her performances. She made no attempt to hide her influence being Lady Gaga. In fact, before the X Factor she had also tried being a Lady Gaga tribute act.
So, as Kitty was standing on stage undergoing her second helping of ritual humiliation, Lady Gaga couldn’t take it any more. She pushed her way onto the stage and interrupted the proceedings much to the alarm of producers, presenters and those who control the stage. She put her arms around Kitty and gave her a genuine and extremely long hug. Kitty was able to burst into tears and let out all her emotions. Try as they might, the presenters couldn’t separate them. The presenters tried asking questions but neither responded.
Yes, a top selling international super-star had turned the tables on the entire show. She had removed the victim from the baying presenters and had comforted her. Taking her hand after the hug that seemed to last forever, she said, “Come on, let’s go and have a drink,” and marched Kitty off the stage and to her dressing room far away from the torture that was supposed to be continuing in the main studio. Here she consoled Kitty and spent time encouraging her and insisting that she had to follow her dream and do whatever it took to become who she wanted to.
Before Sunday I really liked Lady Gaga for thinking outside the box. Since Sunday she has elevated herself in my eyes to super-hero for making such a statement against the Simon Cowell cruelty machine and reaching out to rescue this week’s victim.