Bjorn Ulvaeus has slammed reality TV shows such as The X Factor, saying that they kill all originality in the music business.
The founding member of hit 70’s super group Abba, has claimed that he never watches the X Factor and says that for groups to enjoy longevity in their career, they must grow organically and not be auditioned for a role.
Adding that reality TV shows kill of all creativity in the music scene, Ulvaeus told The Daily Mail:
‘Such shows want to polish off anything that is original. They want to polish off the corners to make them all smooth and mainstream. I think that’s wrong.’
‘There was nothing mainstream about The Stones or The Beatles, who were our big influence when we started out as Abba.
‘This way of picking people by audition is very different from how Abba started out in the music industry. We grew organically.’
Ulvaeus formed Abba with Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Norwegian-born Frida Lyngstad in the early Seventies. They became famous worldwide after they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with their catchy tune ‘Waterloo.’
‘We just happened to get together and we found that we had common interests,’ he said. We started to play and sing together. We were not auditioned and that’s a big difference.
‘None of the talent of today go out on the road and learn their craft like the bands of the Sixties and Seventies would.
‘Look at The Beatles, how they struggled, how they worked in order to become such a good little band. And that’s why they had such longevity and are still admired today.’
Bjorn admitted that he boycotts shows such as The X Factor and American Idol, saying that he finds them cruel and objects to judges who know nothing, trying to shape new talent. He said:
‘It is very cruel and very often the contestants are given the wrong sort of advice’.
‘I don’t like the way a young person is standing there and is sometimes humiliated.’
‘And then they are given advice by someone who is not an expert in any way. Maybe they get the impression that this is the way it had to be, which is wrong.
‘Everyone should pursue whatever is original in oneself. That’s the way for a long life in music.
‘Who are the artists who are still with us from a long time back? Those are the ones that are so original that they stand out.’