"Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty." Marilyn Monroe
I don't know whether to be depressed or cheered that The X Factor is back on our screens; depressed because it inevitably brings with it the onset of winter; or cheered, because frankly, Saturday nights aren't the same without it. (My life will only be complete once Harry Hill's TV Burp also joins the party.)
There is always controversy and it kicked off early this season with accusations of auto-tuning (coulda fooled me) and now; the "glamorisation of prostitution". Newspapers expressed shock that Simon Cowell wouldn't kick Chloe Mafia out of the competition purely because of her "profession". Simon insisted that The X Factor is open to everyone, and wasn't it a good thing if she was trying to better herself and get off the game?
No, because apparently she was glamorising the profession. Call me a big meanie, but that's like saying that the rest of the auditionees are glamorising bad singing and lack of self awareness.
Unfortunately there has been a "normalising" of the sex industry and young girls actually do idolise women like Jordan – because in their eyes, money equals power and it doesn't matter what you had to do in order to make your millions. Some "feminists" claim that being a sex worker is the ultimate in empowering feminism – but even Belle du jour Brooke Magnanti couldn't convince that she was perfectly normal and well-adjusted after coyly confessing that her dad "helped women", and it turned out he "helped" them by paying them for sex.
Frankly, the patronising edict that prostitution should be legalised for the sake of the women (with not a passing thought to the men, obviously) needs to be, er, put to bed. Should we really be condoning it as an acceptable career choice for women?
In the meantime, I'm not sure there is anything to be gained by shunning these women from society and singing competitions. Frankly, Simon Cowell is being the sensible one here, probably because he knows he doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to the business of buying and selling young people and their dreams.
On a lighter note, now we can begin the X factor drinking games in earnest – one shot for every time Simon says "I really like you", Louis says "They're good, Simon!" or our Cheryl says "You're a proper little popstar!" I tried to include one shot for every time Nicole Sherzinger whooped and danced to mediocre warbling, but there is only so much I can take.