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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at

X-Factor. The Results. The Truth.

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Well, this makes for interesting reading, doesn't it?  Shall we analyse it a bit?

Mary collated the highest number of votes in the first week.
Mary was in the top three for the first four weeks.
Katie should have gone out on week one if the results had been left purely to the public vote.
Cher should have gone out in the semi-finals if the original public vote format had been adhered to.
One Direction never, ever made it above third place/
Matt Cardle was always leading the voting stakes from week two, onwards.
The judges appear to have voted against the public each week.

My conspiracy theory for this year: 
Simon fixed it for One Direction to come third so that the public wouldn't think that he'd fixed it for them to win.

  • One Direction should have won the show because the were the best type of singers to be moulded and manufactured.  Especially considering they were a pretend group in the first place.
  • Singers such as Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and Cher Lloyd are better with record contracts that allow them to be the individuals that they have showcased throughout the last ten weeks or so.  Each has a different style and tone that will not survive or succeed within the Cowell Puppet Machine.  It will be interesting to see how Matt fares in the "pop" climate.  I hope he doesn't suffer from The Curse Of Steve Brookstein.
  • I have become tired of seeing the freaks come on in the last show, singing out of tune.  It's boring and humiliating.
  • I don't see the point of showing the crowd support in each of the finalists' home towns.  Although I think that Stacey Solomon has got the best chance of Konnie Huq's job next year.  
  • There is no way Huq can present the Xtra Factor again.  I couldn't bring myself to watch it this year after the first couple of episodes.  Back to children's TV with you, Huq, where viewers don't care/notice if you're shit at presenting.

And 15,448,019 calls at a minimum of 35 pence a time?  That's a whole lot of wonga* for Cowell and ITV.  Nice work if you can get it - especially when someone else is paying it!

*£5,406,806.65 to be exact