X-Factor contestants literally cannot stop crying: Here's our Science of Sadness

You'd be forgiven for thinking it was a talent show for the best ability to cry your eyes out.

But it's just the X-Factor continuing its 10th series in sobbing-all-the-time fashion. We were treated to a trip around the Judges' Houses this weekend as the contestants continued to be whittled down both emotionally and in numbers.

It was basically two hours of this interrupted by singing. [Copyright: WENN]

Everyone sang (a little) and cried (a lot) and now they're been reduced to twelve potential winners who will go on singing and crying every weekend until one of them dies of dehydration or wins the competition - whichever comes first.

This weekend's waterworks began raising some questions for all of us at home such as: Why are they still crying? Didn't they just win? How many TPM (tears per minute) has this show been running at so far? Is Giles a.k.a the Crying Boy actually capable of any other emotion besides wet panic?

And with that in mind, we decided to don our waterproof lab coats and golf umbrellas to stand in the rain of tears, just so that we could return to you with THE SCIENCE OF SADNESS FAQ.

What was last night's TPM (tears per minute)?

Last night we had a record breaking TPM rate of 53.4, or about the equivalent of three months rain fall in the Amazon during Monsoon season while it's going through a bad break up.

Who cried THE MOST:

On camera? Hannah Barrett.  Off camera? Gary Barlow.

Is there a system we could use to warn our friends and loved ones about the level of tear flooding they can expect from tonight's X-Factor?

We're so glad you asked. Our patented and easy to use Crying Code chart can be found below so you'll know whether you're in for dangerous crying levels or just sniffles:

What about the rumours of an 'X-Factor Crying Dome'?

These rumours are patently false. It's more of a square chamber than a dome. Contestants are required to spend four hours a day in the chamber watching an endless video reel of drowning puppies, sick kittens, and THAT episode of Futurama. During the Live Shows, crying chamber sessions will be extended to six hours, with onion fumes and Requiem for a Dream entering the general training schedule in the lead up to the final episode's Cryathalon.

Is there any risk of catching 'the sadness' from watching X-Factor?

Just the opposite. Recent studies have shown that over exposure to the high levels of sobbing on X-Factor will actually make you less sympathetic to your fellow human beings.


What can I do to help the contestants?

You can start by sending them as many boxes of tissues as you can. Cards featuring cute teddy bears are also welcome but must have general 'Time to Man Up' undertones. Boxes of chocolates are acceptable but less original. The best choice of action is following them down the street wearing bright colours and blowing vuvuzelas, though we appreciate not everyone will have the time for this kind of investment. Just remember that every little helps!

Is this the end of the world as we know it?

Not if we take action. Write your local MP today about harnessing the tears of X-Factor contestants as the next step in eco-friendly hydro power. Together we can turn tragedy into energy!

[X-Factor 2013: Meet the Finalists]

[X-Factor: Miss Dynamix star Sese Foster is PREGGERS]