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Saturday Night, X Factor & Happy Endings….

Counselling — admin @ 1:05 pm

I’m wondering if anyone goes out on a Saturday night anymore. It seems that the X Factor has captured the attention of many of us (11 million viewers tuning in last Saturday night to the live shows) and that weekends are now centred around this essential viewing. Let’s take a look at what it may be about the show that captivates and entertains us.

It’s not just the singing we’re interested in…..we’re curious about the sort of people we’re dealing with and voting for. There’s Mary Byrne, the Irish woman from Ballyfermot who up until a few weeks ago was singing her way through her day as a cashier in Tescos. She hasn’t had it easy in life, a single Mother struggling to bring up her daughter and working away to make ends meet. There’s something in us that makes us feel she deserves a lucky break. I’m reminded of the fairy tale ‘Cinderella’ and the Rags to Riches element to the story. Bruno Bettelheim, a Viennese Psychoanalyst who wrote about the psychological meaning of fairy tales (1991) believes that an intrinsic part of their message is to get across that difficulties in life are unavoidable but that if one keeps trying, she will be victorious in the end, just like Cinderella who after a difficult life got the man, the money and the castle! (Winning out over her two ugly sisters). So a happy ending for Mary would sit well with a lot of people, particularly those who can identify with her life to date. And to be fair, she can surely sing.

Then what of ‘Gamu’, an African girl with a great voice and a sad life story who didn’t make it through to the live shows. There was hysteria among the general public and a campaign to ‘Save Gamu’. We find it difficult when the fairy tale is axed half way through and doesn’t make it to the happy ending. It’s like reading Cinderella up to the point where she can’t go to the ball and leaving it at that. No fairy godmother, no carriage, no glass slippers and no prince!

Watching shows like the X Factor allow us to hope and dream of having a better life. It’s within the grasp of the ordinary person and we are certain of the ending……..a happy one for one contestant who dared to dream.

So if you’re a fan of the show, sit back and be entertained on Saturday night and let your thoughts drift to your own hopes and dreams and how you might go about making them real….

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