X marks Macca's career low point
The X Factor Final TV3/ITV, Saturday and Sunday
Next Sunday, yours truly will be among the lucky thousands thronging the O2 in Dublin for Paul McCartney. There will be whooping. There will be cheering. There will be singing and screaming and waving and thumbs-up aloft, the likes of which you've never seen from a ripening father with a dodgy knee (that's me, not Macca).
There might even be manly tears spilled at the awesome wonderfulness of being in the presence of a living legend on what could well be his last full-scale world tour. Last night, though, there was only the soft, sad weeping of the soul as the great man took to the stage as the special guest on The X Factor final.
The panel -- Cowell, Cole, Minogue and Walsh -- were on their feet applauding. Forget the feet; they should be on their knees, bowing and scraping and pleading for forgiveness.
Especially Walsh, who laughably touts Westlife's karaoke covers sales as proof that they're nearly as big as The Beatles. In your dreams, you egg-shaped irritant.
Macca was predictably brilliant, belting out Drive My Car and Live and Let Die -- although there was something fathomlessly wrong about letting The X Factor muppets join in, bawling cluelessly. But still . . . why, Paul? Why did you have to do this?
Why, when there is no conceivable need, did the man who helped change the face of music -- who smashed down the boundaries of what it's possible to do on a pop or rock record -- appear on a show dreamt up and vomited out by the arrogant, talentless, flat-headed twit who, in less than a decade, has singlehandedly tried to undo the achievements of The Beatles and every other great artist that followed them?
What would John and George say? Has anyone asked Ringo what he thinks? For that matter, what went through McCartney's head when finalist Olly Murs took the classic Twist and Shout (one of John Lennon's most astonishing vocal performances) and minced it into bland, middle of the road gunk, while pathetically wiggling his hips as if something nasty had crawled up his trouser leg?
To be fair to McCartney, he handled the after-performance fawning with condescending aplomb. Dermot O'Leary asked him what he thought of the finalists. "They're both good. One of them's going to win." And then he was out of there as quickly as possible.
One of them did win: Joe McElderry, a pleasant teenager with a big but nondescript voice and zero charisma. Maybe he'll vanish within a year, like most of the other winners.
Or maybe he'll hang around a little longer, like Leona Lewis, a mannequin of a woman so passionless and motionless you suspect there might be a little man hiding under the folds of her dress, working her with pulleys, pedals and wires.
Whatever. Welcome to the apocalyptic future, where even living legends are sucked into the void at the heart of Simon Cowell's three-ring circus. Depressing, isn't it?
FOR TOMORROW: Pat reviews the final of The Apprentice (TV3) and gets terrified by The Age of Stupid (BBC4)
The X Factor Final ** (both for Paul)