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simoneI’ve been watching X-Factor USA, on and off, in between keeping up with the UK version. This week I tuned in to see the first live shows, which was also the week each of the judges (L.A Reid, Simon Cowell, Nicole Sherzinger and Paula Abdul had to eliminate one of their own acts, just like Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and co had to  in the UK versions, a couple of weeks previous.

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gladiatorsBefore X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, before even Stephen Mulhern’s Animals Do The Funniest Things, Saturday nights on ITV were ruled by one show – Gladiators.

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Bright hair, fancy dress and a happy go lucky attitude; no we’re not talking about Katy Perry’s latest video, but the wild and wonderful world of ‘Good luck’ Trolls.

With their constant smiling faces and bright eyes filled with wisdom, they pretty much dragged Barbie down in the dirt and kicked Ken’s ass in terms of coolness; or perhaps that was just in my eyes.

Even though these adorable dolls originate back in 1959 (the handiwork of a Danish fisherman, too poor to buy his daughter a gift, instead carving for her a little troll from wood), and became a phenomenon in the 60s, they enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity in the 90s, and most of today’s fans first discovered them in this era.

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jlsMost people who know me know that I am  a fan of UK boyband JLS, the runners-up of 2008’s series of the X-Factor. Afterall I have always been a sucker for the underdog, particularly when it is teamed with talent, hard work and humility. So I love seeing these guys have number one hits, get mobbed by thousands of screaming girls wherever they go, and announce arena tours, because, who would have thought it, right?