Even while the entire nation was gathered round ITV on Saturday night, Elton John was insisting he was above The X Factor:
Performing at Greenwich’s O2 Arena on Saturday night, the flamboyant singer told the crowd that he would rather have his “cock bitten off by an Alsatian” than watch the ITV show. Without going into too much detail on a family website, he also said he would be happy to lose his testicles in the process.
So: the X Factor is a terrible, terrible thing. Right, Elton?
Across the capital at The X Factor’s studios in Wembley, a stunned Burke, in the arms of judge and music mogul Simon Cowell, was being told that as well as securing a record contract, her win meant she would share the 02 stage with Grammy magnet John in two-and-a-half weeks time.
Revellers at John’s concert heard the news shortly afterwards. As they were exiting the stadium, a message over the loud speaker announced Burke’s imminent performance with the man who had just blasted her route to fame.
As The Times points out, John has tried to navigate this awkward 'it's not who you are, it's what you've done' double-standard in the past:
"The X Factor is a cruise ship show. I've got nothing against the people who go on - good luck to them. But I hate how they're treated.
"They're given an awful sense of stardom and pressure straight away but they're only successful until the next series. The record companies sell a lot of records and those people are gone. It's cruel."
Which would seem to be a fair position - except, clearly, John had agreed to do the duet without whoever won the competition, suggesting a deal cut with the show's producers rather than the contestants. If the programme is so cruel, why would you be shaking hands with the producers to be part of the prize?