In the dream, Gary was upset. Not only had he discovered a red M+M among the green ones – he was trapped in a glasscaseofemotion with a load of kids who had Great Energy but couldn’t sing.
Poor Gary lost it and stormed backstage to give the auditionees a little piece of his mind.
‘Pull it together you idiots. Sing like you mean it. AND MAKE ME CRY’.
You can understand his concerns – but it didn’t seem like the best way of handling the situation. Luckily I know something of the music business, thanks to a childhood steeped in Dadrock , (a potent combo of Chris de Burgh, Dire Straits and Chris Rea). So I decided to step in.
‘Gary’, says I, gently leading him to one side, ‘I know how it feels to be a power ballad away from meltdown. But this is X Factor mate – it’s not about the music’.
From the way he was looking at me, I could tell I had hit a nerve. (That or my natural animal magnetism – seriously, it’s like an electric forcefield).
But more was to follow. Wisdom gushed up in me like a river breaking its banks.
In beautiful slow motion, I hear myself saying:
‘Gaaarr—eeeeeeeee… (imagine the rest slow)
‘You gotta’ be soft to be strong’.
I’d rescued the X-factor and uttered the seven most profound words ever spoken.
But despite being the Best Dream Ever, maybe my diagnosis says more about me than it does about Gary.
I know nothing about singing.
I’ve never met a celebrity, let alone one with the X Factor.
My personal philosophy is less ‘strength in softness’ as ‘shoutyshoutyshouty, hidehidehide’.
But despite this, I’m convinced I can step in where Cowell fears to tread.
You see, other people’s problems are pretty straightforward. It’s easy to see where they’re going wrong. And to tell them the changes they ought to make.
I on the other hand, am a complicated sphinx. Who can plumb the depths of the spendour that is Emma? I don’t need help – and let’s remember one thing: You and I: we are not the same.
When I diagnose your issues, I remind myself of that.
And it keeps the scalpel facing out.