Do shows like X Factor & American Idol play a big part in the music industry?

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Olly Murs attends the 'Scott Pilgrim Vs The World' European film premiere at The Empire cinema, Leicester Square on August 18, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Oh Bruno Mars, not only are you the ultimate gentleman (lyrically anyway), but you’re oh-so wise.

Bruno Mars, the man behind hits such as Just The Way You Are and Grenade. When it comes to the music biz he’s gotta know what he’s talking about, right?

“It plays a big part in the music industry.” Bruno said of TV talent shows in a recent interview.

“X Factor and American Idol give you a show, variety, a back story. I grew up watching American Idol and worked with Alexandra Burke, so I know how the system goes.”

Some truly awesome stars have come out of such shows (as well as a few stinkers) and for that, we’re grateful.

It’s interesting, but it’s not always the winners who go on to rock the music world. Take the X Factor for example. Winners were as follows: Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, Matt Cardle. All undeniably talented, and the likes of Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke have gone on to do huge things. You almost forget they were a part of the show, now full-blown popstars in their own right.

However, it’s the runners-up who triumph in our eyes. Just look how well JLS are doing (runner-up to Alexandra) and it’s no secret that we’re officially head-over-heels for Olly Murs (who came second to Joe).
As for variety, you certainly get that. Every now and then an act that’s, shall we say, questionable, gets through the net and into the live shows. We’re talking about you Jedward and Wagner Carrilho. But it’s all part of the show isn’t it?

With American Idol, sadly – unless you watch the show – the acts don’t often make their way across the pond, and even the truly talented ones who actually release their tunes over here seem to go under the radar which is a crying shame. Kelly Clarkson, the very first winner, we know and love in the UK. After that, off the top of my head I couldn’t even tell you who the winners were. One absolutely fantastic act to come out of the show is Adam Lambert – again, it’s the runners-up who are having the last laugh. Sadly underexposed in the UK, but at least we “have him” in a sense that he releases music and tours here. Never have I heard a track of his played on the radio and I have seen him grace the music channels on just one occasion with Whataya Want From Me – I digress.

What this shows us is that these shows ARE worth while, and at the end of each series we do end up with at least one act who goes on to enjoy a successful career. Yes, there are the snobbish folk who slam the shows and hate on the contestants, but at the end of the day it’s a good old fashioned talent show, and Simon Cowell and the likes DO actually know what they are doing. The shows give you the power to make or break stars-to-be, which has got to be better than a bunch of artists following whatever trend is knocking around, being signed and releasing the same old same old.

We agree with Bruno on this one, but what do you guys think? Vote below.