The best thing about X Factor starting is that it puts an end to that long running promo Channel 7 have been flogging, featuring teenage contestant Michaela, whose father passed away shortly before her audition. I know, I know… it was her choice to go on a talent show and share such a personal story but to be fair, she couldn’t possibly have predicted her sad story would become the billboard for the upcoming season of the show.
Michaela lost her father a week before her audition as Chris Isaak explains with a furrowed brow in the ad. ‘What you will see is truly unforgettable’ he promises. To make sure, Channel 7 put the ad on high rotation. I wonder if the producers ever stopped to consider, for a moment how this teenage girl might feel seeing herself reference her late father over and over again during ad breaks on Channel 7 for the last couple of months.
When I was in primary school I had a friend next door whose older sister appeared on a kids game show called Ridgey Didge (poor cousin to the more popular ‘Double Dare’) and regretted every minute of it. She must have been given too much red cordial in the green room because she was just way too enthusiastic. It was such a cringeworthy performance, she eventually destroyed the family’s only VHS copy. The drastic action did not put an end to her embarrassment though. Knowledge of the fact that the ‘Ridgey Didge’ hand gesture (aka ‘hang loose’) really got under her skin was not lost on us.
Michaela’s tragedy will likely become her ‘Ridgey Didge’ moment. It’s unlikely she will ever receive this kind of media exposure again in her lifetime and there’s no VHS tape to destroy.
Channel 7 should do better. Use your X Factor judges in the promo, they’re the only ones who are getting something out of the show anyway.
Do you think Channel 7 have exploited Michaela’s loss? Leave a comment below…
picture: www.virtualclassmedia.com and Channel 7