Thursday, 10 August 2017

X Factor

 X is for X Factor

I was watching an interview yesterday on the Australian Today Show. Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson were interviewing Paul Burrell who was Princess Diana's butler. Karl was in hot debate with Paul over Paul's divisive statement that, 'Kate Middleton does not have the X Factor that Princess Diana had'.

Karl disagreed and there was a heated discussion between the two. Facebook went into overdrive with people taking both sides of the argument.

This is the link if you are interested in watching the interview:

I couldn't stop thinking about this interview.  

So what exactly is the X Factor? Who determines who has the X Factor? Is the X Factor all about perception?

 I googled the definition of X Factor and the following came up:

X-Factor in very general term means the unknown factor or the unexplainable thing which adds a certain value to that object, element or a person. In relation to a person it is defined as the unexplainable element of a person's attractiveness or sexiness.

I thought about the TV show, X Factor. What is it about? I think most people have seen the show or heard of it - it's a competition that searches for a person who has an incredible voice and on-stage presence. In this context the X Factor is a special talent.

In another interview I read, Richard Wilkins stated that he thought the X Factor was, 'an indefinable quality. It exudes confidence, success, money, power and an inner glow of self-satisfaction.' There is no mention of 'incredible talent' in his definition.

These three definitions are different. Does this mean that there is no consistent agreement of what the X Factor is?

I decided to go deeper in my research and asked google, 'Who has been identified as having the X Factor?'

There were mixed results.

Paul Burrell explained his thoughts on this: “I met Mother Teresa — she had it, Pope John Paul II had it, the Queen has it, Diana certainly had it. Kate doesn’t.” interviewed various notable Australians asking them who they thought had the X Factor. A number of actors, actresses and singers were identified. For example, Prince, Lady Gaga, Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon. What I found interesting was that there were no philanthropists in the list. There were no charity workers or missionaries. There was no mention of royalty. And I must admit that when I read the list of people who were identified, I didn't see the X Factor in them. For example, I don't see the X Factor in Madonna... I don't see the X Factor in Robbie Williams. So what does that mean?

I must conclude from the differences in opinion regarding what an X Factor is, that the concept is open to interpretation. It is perception. Being an intangible quality, the X Factor is mixed up with how we feel when we are around a person, or how we feel about their lives. Paul Burrell obviously spent a great deal of time with Princess Diana so he felt close to her and she was special to him. He saw the way she interacted with people. He knew things about her that no one else knew. It would be justifiable to say that Paul doesn't have that same connection with Kate. He hasn't spent the same amount of time with her. He isn't her personal butler. I bet if you asked people who have spent a significant amount of time with Kate, they may well say that she does have the X Factor. I imagine Prince William believes she does.

Do I know anyone who I would say has that special quality?  That X Factor? Yes. Over the years I have met teachers, nurses, people in the church and out in the community who were so lovely and kind. I'd marvel over them as they seemed to be like angels walking on the earth. They'd shine their unique special light everywhere they went. I personally don't think the X Factor is just reserved for celebrities or 'special' people. I think if we looked around us, we would see many people who have the X Factor.

Do you know someone who has the X Factor?

And... What do you think the X Factor is? 
My new children's novel, Land of Britannica, is coming in September!

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