The former Police frontman calls the shows "appalling," and says that they promote "bland, soulless music."
In an interview with The Evening Standard of London, Sting says that these variety of shows have set music back, and that contestants have little hope of making it.
"I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly," Sting said. "They are humiliated when they get sent off. How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection. It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical."
Sting further said that the show promotes stereotypes and conformity, forcing kids to become clones of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or boy bands, while encouraging little uniqueness. From managing a contestant's sound to the way they dress, he calls it is all appalling.
"The real shop floor for musical talent is pubs and clubs, that is where the original work is. But they are being closed down on a daily basis. It is impossible to put an act on in a pub. It has become too expensive through excessive regulations. The music industry has been hugely important to England, bringing in millions. If anyone thinks the X Factor is going to do that, they are wrong."
• • •
Chris Brown may have apologized for his assault on former girlfriend Rihanna, and even come to terms with being sentenced to community labor, but one thing he isn't ready for yet is dating. Brown tells MTV News that he's "just chillin' " right now when it comes to the ladies. "My whole dating thing, I've been kinda chillin'... [G]irls are gonna be around. I love women. But I would say I've just been chillin'. I haven't really been trying to get into a relationship or trying to date anybody. I've just kinda been working on me. Like I said, just really getting me straight."
• • •
In an unusual move, a bailiff working a Las Vegas court prevented reporters and photographers from leaving the courtroom where Dr. Conrad Murray was appearing, after proceedings were done. After the judge left the stand and Murray and his team left the court, an armed, uniformed marshal refused requests by the journalists covering the hearing to leave. The court marshal said he was following orders, and a spokesman for the Clarks County courts system speculated they were detained to keep a level of decorum and safety. A lawyer for the AP says that a government cannot prevent a journalist from pursuing a story. "Whoever ordered this improper and possibly unlawful detention has some explaining to do," said.
• • •
Susan Boyle, who became a household name after her appearance on "Britain's Got Talent," gave an interview to The Mirror in the UK where she revealed that she was beaten daily by teachers and bullied by classmates. "You're looking at someone who would get the belt every day. 'Will you shut up, Susan!' - whack!" Boyle said. She said she was a little slow in picking things up in school, and that it was one of the worst times of her life. "There's nothing worse than another person having power over you by bullying you and you not knowing how to get rid of that thing."
• • •
Brooke Shields spoke of her post partum depression at a ceremony in Manhattan where she received an award from the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Shields recounted how, after a miscarriage and 7 failed in vitro fertilization attempts, she was unable to cope when she finally delivered a healthy child in 2003. "I finally had a healthy beautiful baby girl and I couldn't look at her. I couldn't hold her and I couldn't sing to her and I couldn't smile at her ... All I wanted to do was disappear and die," Shields said. Shields sought medical treatment for her post partum depression and credits it with saving her life.
• • •
The Los Angeles city council is trying to get $3.2 million in expenses back from AEG and the Jackson family for providing security for Michael Jackson's memorial service at the Staple Center, as well as providing security detail to the Jackson family in the days following the pop singer's death. A Los Angeles city council member told an L.A. television station that AEG "turned a profit" with the memorial service, and that "taxpayers are getting ripped off." The original estimate of costs were roughly $1.4 million, but the costs swelled.
-- Dave Valenzuela