Last year, it seemed as if broadcast television met a max capacity for singing competitions that appeared to exclude X Factor. Cowell’s X Factor made its way over sea’s from the land where cars drive on the other side of the road, in hopes to produce big stars like Leona Lewis, One Direction, and Cherl Lloyd. More importantly, it was treated an American reboot to produce big ratings. The first season’s premiere opened to 12.49 million viewers, seen a severe disappointment in FOX’s eyes. After Cowell aXed half the judging panel, host, and revamped the series to appeal more to American audiences (AKA HEAVILY SCRIPTED), season two seemed like it would resonate well compared to its previous incarnation.
Before we dive into the ratings, lets discuss the awesomely scripted singing competition/reality singing show that is really more about the judges than the talent.
The show opens with a huge self-indulgent montage, discussing how successful the series is…….in England. It reminds us they are responsible for the one-hit wonder Leona Lewis, the men responsible for stealing Justin Biebers fan-girls, One Direction, and the snarky British brat: Cher Lloyd. All of that is great but really, let’s get back to the U.S.
The judges then are given their little introduction to the world while, of course, leaving the holy Britney Spearit last. The show goes into an epic montage of various Britney videos really making it clear that FOX has recruited a legend. (I would post this most epic, spine chilling montage, but it’s no were to be found on Youtube…why?!?!). The show then jumps into the first audition: Paige Thomas.
Thomas is a single mother, making her way through nursing school while aspiring to be a singer. She completely blew away the judges with her version of “I’m Goin Down”. Her talent allowed LA to name drop the very first second he got (Rhianna), Britney was immediately drawn to her through the maternal connection, Simon saw an opportunity to cash in with this girl, and Demi simply loved it (but lets face it, she was probably zoned out the whole time thinking about one of the One Direction boys with their shirt off).
The show went on to be more or less of the stereotypical singing competition. There was more drama however, capitalizing on the contestants backstage. This “drama” came off a little scripted, but we all know that doesn’t stop from things being entertaining (looking at you, The Hills). Things did get awkwardly amazing when Don Phillip (an old friend of Brit’s who happened to do a duet with her 10 years ago) came on stage and sang as well as any broken blender could do. Britney told him he essentially lost all of singing capability while he cried, probably realizing he’s going to have to work at In-N-Out for the rest of his life.
Overall, X Factor America is a much more solid show this time around. However, it’s clear the show is much more about the judges than anything else. Demi is a clear leader of the judges panel. She’s honest, gives constructive critiques, and charms the pants off everyone. Britney is definitely the hardest to please of the four. She wears her emotions on her face, and if she doesn’t like, it will show. If she does like it however, you will get smiles and these patent worthy side claps. Simon is the same old Simon, just taken down a few notches. He has stepped back this season in order to let the other judges step up. As for LA, he knows his place on the panel as the record label executive. He simply critiques on how well contestants will perform in the industry; nothing more, nothing less.
X Factor may have performed more poorly than expected, but I think more will continue to tune each week making X Factor a solid smash by the end of its season. The show has a lot of potential but the question is, will you keep watching?