As you may already know there’s a new singing competition in town. The X Factor is starting this month and the only thing that most people know about it is that Simon Cowell is back. I, for one, have missed Cowell. Yes, American Idol had a very successful season without him, but the new judges are no Simon. Another thing that you may have heard is that Paula Abdul will also be a judge on The X Factor, along with music veteran LA Reid and former Pussycat queen Nicole Scherzinger. The X Factor is basically American Idol on steroids, it’s bigger and with more intricacies than the 10 year veteran. Will it trump Idol? I am not sure, but it has the potential to make a big splash. I have watched several seasons of The X Factor and was at one of the US tapings and really enjoyed the format, going by that I will quickly tell you what to expect.
It’s not just “The Voice”
Having watched the first season of The Voice (and actually enjoying it) I noticed that singing voice is not the deciding factor here. This show is about that special something that some people have, they may not have the best voice but there is something that just pulls you in. The have IT. And you will see, even in the audition process that the judges will put through people that are not necessarily Christina Aguileras or Jennifer Hudsons but there is something that makes you want to see them again, and again.
No Age Limit
One of the things that you will notice is that The X Factor has no limit of how old a contestant can be. With an age range from 12 to 200, you may see a fantastic contestant who is 13 years competing with another amazing one who is 55, who may have not had the chance in life to be famous but is a diamond in the rough.
Once the audition process ends, the real fun starts. The last 24 contestants are separated in four groups: Young females, Young males, Groups and Adults(Over 25). Each judge will have one of these groups and will carefully select the best six of that categories to be a part of his group.
The Judges do More
Not only will the judges personally choose six people to be a part of his/her team, they will mentor them, assist them in song selection(big plus), choreography, style, etc. This goes a little further than Idol because, here, the judges have the ability to have favorites and root for who they think deserves it more. It then becomes not only a competition between contestants but also between judges, which may irk some people with the mentality that “It is about the talent” but in reality, the judges are just rooting for who they think deserves it more.
The winning singer or group will get a recording contract of 5 Million dollars. Which is said to be the biggest prize given on a reality TV competition.
What I saw at the Live Taping
As I said before, I was able to be at one of the live tapings of the show and it was really enjoyable. The atmosphere was electric in some of the performances. As I said before there were some people that really didn’t have an impressive voice, but there was something that made me want to watch them every week on my TV. You may not know who Cheryl Cole is, she was one of the judges on the UK version of the show and I really liked her. After being brought in by Simon to take part of the panel of judges in the US version, it all fell apart. There are rumors that her accent was hard to understand and other reasons, but she got the boot. She was then replaced by former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger, who has been doing the rounds on TV. She was a winning contestant on Dancing With The Stars and has performed on Idol and other shows. Here is what I saw live. Nicole cries a LOT. She got emotional about performances all night, and she was very repetitive on her comments to contestants. Yes, the show I went to was one of her first as a judge, so hopefully by the time the live shows start she has her act together. You may not even notice this because they will, for sure, edit that a lot. The chemistry between judges is very nice and it has the potential to get fiery since you can tell they all have strong personalities. And what else, Simon and Paula are back to their usual hijinks.
What do you think? Will you be watching The X Factor? Do you miss Simon as much as I do?