Posts tagged ‘syco’

Critique Of A Cultural Industry: ‘Syco TV’

iconic scene from Hitchcock's 'Psycho' (courtesy of '')

‘Syco’: an informal word for psychopath, psychopathic.

See also:

  • crazy
  • insane

Sound familiar?


What if I were to tell you that 11 million of the Great British public go crazy (or ‘psycho’) for warbling one-hit-wonders each week, controversially ‘brainwashed’ by the likes of much the same definition (give or take a few letters!)

Hello ‘Syco TV!

Still none the wiser?

How about now?…

Yes, i’m afraid so…it seems as if we have been going ‘syco’ (excuse the pun) for ‘Cowell Culture’ since his first appearance as the ‘sharp-tongued’ judge on Pop Idol in 2001. Since then the music mogul has continued to take over our TV screens, with programmes such as: X FactorBritain’s Got Talent, and American Idol as well as bands including: Westlife, Sinitta, Five, Robson & Jerome, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Alexandra Burke, & most recently Joe McElderry.


As mentioned above, 11 million of us reality TV revelers tune in and vote on programmes such as the ones Simon’s very own ‘Syco TV’ franchise churns out.

But are we all simply ‘brainwashed’ into voting for certain contenders?

It’s well documented that the British public love an ‘underdog’, but we seem to be so predictable these days that the bookies are now cashing in on ‘how’ we will vote. Is this an example of standardisation?

Are You Really Getting A Choice?

und: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 freeze final
13 13 13 10 17 16 34 37 42 52 61
6 11 9 13 13 10 10 19 20 28 39
13 15 11 8 11 26 18 20 19 20
27 7 8 36 20 16 16 13 19
6 15 8 6 12 10 12 12
John &
5 6 9 7 9 15 11
9 14 11 9 10 8
11 8 11 6 9
2 4 15 5
4 4 5
3 4

Above are the %s of the results from each show of the most recent X-Factor series. As you can see each week an act is knocked out of the running, leaving the public with less options to choose from all the way up until the final stages, leaving us with ‘dippy’ but ‘attractive’ Stacey Solomon, ‘Robbie 2’/’ladies man’ Olly Murs … and Joe! (bless)

But did we really have  a choice as to who we would inevitably vote for in the final leg of the ‘simon show’??

Now I’m an avid watcher of the Derren Brown shows that are always on Channel 4, and he’s always rabbiting on about ‘subliminal messages‘ and how ‘humans can’t really be ‘random” … so this got me thinking about the subliminal messages at the time of the show…

The magazine covers above are just a selection of the ‘Cheryl Craze’ that was going on at the time (following the news that her adulterous hubby Ashley had cheated on her).

Cheryl was the most popular judge on the panel of the X-Factor.

Simon blatantly flirted with her on every show

Joe McEdlery was the ‘shy’ ‘gordie-type’ = UNDERDOG if ever i saw one!

So in summary… are we really ever given a choice by franchises such as ‘Syco’?? Are we as a nation so predictable in consumer trends and our love for the underdog that bookies are now making a shiny penny or two based on this presumption?

We are constantly surrounded by the media, and whether or not we are conscious of ‘taking it all in’…we must be…or simply following the ‘trends’ I.e ‘whos hot’, ‘what you should be wearing’ … ‘who you should vote for!’.

Either way, I think I’m in the wrong profession. I think I’ll become a bookie!