Need a primer on X-Factor?   People magazine has a pretty good one HERE and MTV HERE.

A summary: X Factor has no upper age limit, and kids as young as 14 are eligible.   Groups are also eligible.   Contestants are put into groups: Girls, Boys, Over 25 and Groups. Each group is assigned to a judge who mentors them.   The judges decide who goes home between the bottom 2 vote getters, who sing for their lives on results day.   There’s a recording contract, cash and prizes for the winner. Often, non-winners are signed anyway. Leona Lewis (“Bleeding Love”) is the most successful X Factor winner.

I watched the most recent season of X Factor that wrapped up a little before Christmas.   But I only started tuning in seriously beginning with the Top 12.

A few things that struck me watching X Factor (Or why I prefer Idol to X Factor)

  • The talent on Idol is better. Although you could blame the smaller talent in pool in the tiny-by-comparison UK, I don’t think it matters.   The emphasis on personalities and backstory, an integral part of Idol, is even more pronounced on X Factor.
  • The judges mentor the contestants, and typically make their song selections.   There is also a fierce competition between the judges, and a ton   of manipulation.   Simon isn’t always honest.   I mean, he’s not always truthful on Idol either. But, it was amazing to watch   Simon, on X Factor,   give standing O’s to performances he would have called rubbish on Idol.
  • The competition between the judges is a major component of the show. In other words, X Factor is definitely not all about the kids.
  • The auditions happen in a very staged environment–in front of a huge, primed audience with auditioners singing to backing tracks.   A far cry from the intimate a’cappella auditions we get on Idol.
  • X Factor is way cheesier than Idol.   Performances are often huge, staged affairs with background dancers and jazz hands.   I mean, I love my cheesy shows, but it’s a bit much.
  • The singer with the big voice is valued over the musician.   Idol in the past couple of years has become a showcase for musician/arrangers like Blake Lewis, David Cook and Kris Allen. The ability to re-arrange songs is not a valued talent on X Factor.
  • X Factor does 2 things better than Idol:   Vote totals for the entire season are published after the finale.   Performances, included judges remarks are posted to You Tube with hours of the telecast.   Watch some X Factor HERE.

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  • Keel

    X Factor is way cheesier than Idol.

    LOL How is such a thing possible? . . . Oh wait, I’ve seen America’s Got Talent and that is the cheesiest, schmaltziest, most cornball thing I have ever witnessed. And yup, the talent is definitely sub-par. If X-Factor is indicative of what Simon’s taste in competition reality shows is like, then I’m feeling bad for America having not one but two Simon Cowell produced shows. Americans will probably lap it up like lemmings though, ‘coz that’s how we roll.

  • Valentin432

    You covered a lot of the differences Mj.

    The other significant one for me is the format.
    Idol has semifinals that starts with 24 or 36 contestants, the audience votes for their top 12. In the X factor each of the 4 judges select the 3 acts that they want to see perform on the live shows.

  • terps

    See I like the judges involvement… it eliminates huge fan bases and tweens from controling the competition

  • bjames

    Yuck. This show sounds like bad news.

    Why must they ruin Idol??

  • justantonio

    This show should be great…especially when you figure in America’s population….or it could just be another America’s got talent.

  • unique28v

    I actually will like X Factor for the reasons you will probably dislike it MJ. I like the fact the judges mentor the contestants. Idol contestants need it as we see with song selection, performance style, etc. The judges steal the spotlight anyways and will again this year on Idol so you may as well give them something constructive to do. Also, I like group singing. Bring me another Boyz II Men any day. Plus, I think Idol is starting to put the “musician” over a good singer. It shouldn’t be a competition on who arranges a song better to me. The same type of contestants/winner is boring.

    I think X Factor could bring more variety, which will be a good thing.

  • sallysimmons

    I like the idea of the judges being more involved – and I’m not sure that some of the cultural and musical differences won’t be changed when the show gets here.

  • soccerboi

    MJ, I could not agree more with you more. X-Factor is a pure Velveeta.
    Watching Simon on X-Factor is like watching a totally different person. He dresses up for the show, actually pays attention to the contestants, and lies to all of us by telling them that they are great when they are terrible. The mentoring on X-factor would be a good thing if it weren’t turned into a competition between the judges that totally changes the dynamics of the show. It turns it into a show more about the judges and less about the contestants. Bottom line X-Factor is NOT better than Idol…not even close.

  • http://myspace.com/susanatfox sumidol

    The one good thing in the list you have up there is the judges helping in song choice, I think that is a good thing, I always thought they should on Idol, instead of just badger them about the wrong choices. We dont have to hear some of the very dumb choices and sit through them but I am still thinking about the rest.

  • sma11ie

    A few things that struck me watching X Factor (Or why I prefer Idol to X Factor)

    I’ve never seen X Factor, but based on your bullets, I hate it already. Also, I really can’t stand the Leona Lewis style of singing, so if she’s the best thing that’s come out of X Factor… no thanks.

    Sorry, but I’m with Kelly Clarkson. Boo on X Factor, let’s go Idol! (Someone tweeted to ask if she would judge X Factor and she said she wasn’t a traitor and jokingly rooted for AI instead)

  • http://www.irish-wolfhounds.com Buderschnookie

    So it sounds to me as if each judge chooses his/her favorite acts, tells the acts how to present themselves and perform, then competes with the other judges to see who can manipulate America into voting for their people?

    ‘Scuse me but it sounds like a judges competition with the acts as even bigger pawns than they are on Idol.
    Lord I hope I don’t get sucked into this one.
    Sounds like a vortex of mediocrity.

  • Sassycatz

    The one good thing in the list you have up there is the judges helping in song choice, I think that is a good thing, I always thought they should on Idol, instead of just badger them about the wrong choices.

    How are the judges’ song choices so much better? Especially the group of judges we’re bound to get, like Simon and Paula. Simon who can’t stand songs about birds, doesn’t like country music, and is stuck in a 1980′s time warp.

    Now, so many fans have talked about how they love it that Idol contestants have some experience under their belts and aren’t fresh off the farm. These same people make the best Idols, supposedly, because they know their own minds and have a musical point-of-view. Many of them are more current than the judges.

    So, how does that mesh with judges knowing what’s best? The only people the judges might benefit are the clueless, not anybody you’d actually want to win. The more knowledgeable contestant would be at a disadvantage! It’s like the worst possible combination: more judge influence over contestants who are better without it.

  • wand3rful

    so basically ALL the things we viewers HATE about Idol wrapped into one new package. The judges manipulation, the empahsis on back stories and the big voice/diva wailing over real artistry or musicality…….awesome (insert eye roll). sad to say, but i hope he fails.

  • jonsdol

    I have to disagree with a few of you that think we should have the judges pick the songs for the contestants on idol: remember Danny’s song that Paula picked for him? Yuck…just yuck!

  • auntieaimee

    Well, this sounds horrible.

  • Miss Chaos

    Americas got Talent yuck. X-Factor all about the judges, but do kinda like the judges making the final decision who goes home. Simon has too much control, tho, and as back in AI beginning picks he wanted to send some of the potencial winners home. The only thing about AI I dont like, is that it is moving away from the singing, but it is about who the public likes as a singer, and the style of singing. but being the first show the public was involved in I hope it can survive.

  • kt_cle

    ‘Scuse me but it sounds like a judges competition with the acts as even bigger pawns than they are on Idol.

    I’m getting the same vibe. Also, the judges/producers don’t have a great track record in picking songs for the contestants. I’ve never seen XFactor, but from what I’ve read today it sounds way more about the drama of being a tv show rather than finding true talent (artists, not puppets). Given what we all know about the manipulations on Idol, that’s saying something.

  • wand3rful

    See I like the judges involvement… it eliminates huge fan bases and tweens from controling the competition

    riiiiight, cuz the judges have a history of picking good talent. sorry but when they tell me allison isnt personable, lil is a star in the making and danny gives singing masterclasses , its hard to believe the tweens and huge fan bases wouldnt fare better in deciding the winner. mind you simon passed on cook and daughtry, and wasnt enthused about adam or kelly in the begining. the ONLY person he has gotten right is Carrie. thats not a good track record after 8 seasons. the man is out of touch with the present state of the music world, and his show will be a reflection of this.

  • Sassycatz

    Americas got Talent yuck. X-Factor all about the judges, but do kinda like the judges making the final decision who goes home.

    And since it’s Simon’s show, you know it will be what Simon wants. So, say an aborted goodbye to the potential Kelly Clarksons, Chris Daughtrys, and David Cooks because he nixed all of them.

  • Reflections On Life

    See I like the judges involvement… it eliminates huge fan bases and tweens from controling the competition

    Not so… last season’s xfactor domination by lloyd and the flopsy twins was nothing but huge fan bases & tweens controlling the competition!

  • LadyBeBop

    One other difference between American Idol and X-Factor:

    American Idol you have to be….well American.

    X-Factor…you can be from any country and compete. Although I don’t think any Americans have made the final 12 in the UK, I think some Americans have auditioned. The winner of the last X-Factor from Spain (2008) was not Spanish, but Cuban.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a Canadian presence in the American X-Factor next year. I just hope they don’t select a finalist from Newfoundland. He’ll be bound to win.

  • Sassycatz

    X-Factor…you can be from any country and compete. Although I don’t think any Americans have made the final 12 in the UK, I think some Americans have auditioned. The winner of the last X-Factor from Spain (2008) was not Spanish, but Cuban.

    There was an American in the running for the “top 12″ — or whatever they call it. He would’ve been in the boys group.

    As for non-Americans on American Idol, were Carly and Michael citizens or did they just have green cards?

  • jammasta

    I’m hoping for some changes to the format. I like X Factor, but it IS even less about the contestants than Idol. I prefer actual instruments and arrangers over the cheesy dance numbers of X Factor.

    It also benefits more amateur types and people who can already put on a show. I’d think if the top 13 of season 8 were on X Factor, Adam, Danny, and Lil would’ve made the top 3. Adam would’ve of course trounced every single week, because these bombastic type performances would’ve been really good. Lil would’ve done a LOT better with the judge’s mentoring instead of her. Megan, Anoop, and Scott would’ve gone a bit farther too. Kris, Matt, and maybe Allison would’ve taken the biggest hits in the X Factor format. Kris and Matt get their instruments and arrangement skills taken away. I have a feeling Allison would’ve just gotten shafted.

    My top 3 would’ve been KILLED by X Factor in favor of Danny, Adam, and Lil. Eep.

    I can’t say I’m disappointed with the way X Factor Series 6 ended (my favorite won), and even though I mostly watched Joe’s performances, I couldn’t help but feel like he was making some mistakes that the judges rarely called him out on. Seemed the same for Danyl.

    However, the spawning of a new reality show HOPEFULLY gives others a chance. I wonder if Felicia Barton, Ricky Braddy, Jesse Langseth, etc. would be able to get a shot at this.

  • emmuzka

    X-Factor’s talent has actually a potential to be way better than Idol’s, if only because of the lifting of the age limit. There must be a huge amount of potential in United States, with the unfortune to be over 28.

    Another thing is how America will take in the older or plain looking singers. I don’t think that America will appreciate a great voice in a plain package. You have to be either easy on the eye or so old/ugly/whatever that it’s publicly seen as a hindrance to overcome.

    X-Factor tolerates more variety, and in that way, it is so much more European show. (Just think of the original mother of all televised song contests, Eurovision; that’s variety!) It will be seen if USA will tolerate X-Factor.

  • maturin

    I like the judges involvement… it eliminates huge fan bases and tweens from controling the competition

    Maybe but why would I watch a show about a bunch of entertainment business hacks and producers picking who ever is the favored “type” and eliminating musicians and those who can arrange their own music or innovate?

    Although apologies to the individual singers, because they have their own good points, but sounds like a recipe for seasons full of Archies and Jordins endlessly repeating Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Over the Rainbow, and a Moment Like This, releasing one Ryan Tedder single, and disappearing. With a few Sanjayas and Jedwards thrown in so voters can unite agains the OMG it’s a travesty! contestant.

    Grumble.

    As a Fantasia > Bo Bice > David Cook lovah, I revolt! In advance.

  • movin2thabeet

    Well, I like the idea of a wide open age range and diversity of country representation. The few times I watched the show, though, I was royally turned off by the manipulation, cheeze factor and overall showiness. This show is much closer to a karaoke competition than AI as they don’t really value re-interpretation and don’t allow the contestants to play instruments.

    Of course, it remains to be seen what kind of changes they have in store for the American version, but maybe this could actually benefit Idol. The shows will need to be significantly different from each other. Trying to look on the bright side, maybe the judge manipulation, increasing irrelevance of the music options the kids have and the overall cheese factor will follow Simon as he tries to get another franchise off the ground here. After all, Simon has been a big factor in influencing people’s votes on Idol, both positively and negatively. If the shows each go in different directions, that could be a great thing for Idol. Maybe Idol will more be about the kids and the music while X Factor can be about the spectacle and the judge rivalry. Could be interesting, if so.

  • GreenHippo

    Last year’s GB X-Factor had way to many news about Simon fighting with his contestants about song choices. Maybe that makes for good tabloid news, but it really showed the X-factor’s downfall. I believe Neither Kris nor Adam would have made it on X-factor, because they both had their own individual idea on what and how to sing.

  • dior

    It means more acts like Jedward will make the top 10 on Xfactor than they ever would have on AI. It’s going to be like America’s Got Talent just as bad.

  • terps

    riiiiight, cuz the judges have a history of picking good talent

    And America’s is any better. Come on, America has only picked 2 real stars (Clarkson and Underwood).

  • terps

    Neither Kris nor Adam would have made it on X-factor
    Adam would of loved it, he could of had big staged performances every week :)

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    I think Simon over the years realized that you need more than a good voice to create a popstar. A popstar needs great voice combined with stage presence and star quality. The X Factor. X Factor is a search for a vocalist/performer type of a pop star. They are not looking for real artists who just sing and play instruments.

    The basics of both franchises are the same. They are looking for a popstar. Just remember the official name of the first season of American Idol. However, American Idol evolved from pure karaoke contest (first three seasons) to song arranging competition (seasons 7 and 8). I actually think seasons 4, 5 and 6 were the best. It was less karaoke than in seasons 1-3, but it was still only a singing competition, not a song arranging competition. I personally adore big, easily recognizable voices. My favorite singers usually don’t have to completely turn the arrangement of the song around to suit them. They are able to make songs their own with their voices alone.

    Now AI contestants have to look for new arrangements on YouTube or iTunes. And then they go to Ricky Minor, Michael Orland and other professional musicians to get what they want. A few of them have a little bit of song arrangement ability (and they usually play instruments) and because of that, they are suddenly the only true musicians and better then the others who only sing?

    Reality singing competitions are what they are – reality singing competitions. Annoying judges, backstories, pimping… it’s all part of the game. IMO X Factor judging panel is way less annoying than American Idol judging panel. Yes, we all know that X Factor judges all support their acts no matter what, but again, it’s all part of the game.

    The X Factor is a better TV show than Idol. It’s more entertaining. Casual viewers don’t care about song arrangements that much. They want to be entertained. They want to hear some good singing and possibly see good performances. And some personality from the contestants. Serious musicians don’t participate in these kind of shows. You know what Simon said about artistry on AI last year…

  • GreenHippo

    Neither Kris nor Adam would have made it on X-factor
    Adam would of loved it, he could of had big staged performances every week

    Hmmm… but would have Adam be able to pick his own songs/arrangements. We surely wouldn’t have had a Ring Of Fire performance.

  • bananafish

    You left out the biggest reason I dislike the X-factor MJ. Until the contest reaches the final 5, it is the judges that decide who goes home. The viewers vote for who they like (lines are open for 24 hours), and then the judges listen to the Bottom 2 sing again and decide which should be sent home. Only when the judges can’t agree (and they are never impartial – they always vote to save their own acts), it goes back to who had the lowest votes.

  • jammasta

    Hmmm… but would have Adam be able to pick his own songs/arrangements. We surely wouldn’t have had a Ring Of Fire performance.

    Well, it was based on Dilana’s, right? I’m pretty sure even the X Factor judges had SOME leniency with their song choices. I forgot which performance it was, but I remember Simon telling one of the other judges that they kinda “cheated” with the theme because they chose a song that didn’t entirely fit, so there’s bound to be leniency, maybe enough for Adam to have done that performance (although maybe it would be even more like Dilana’s and less like the one he did that night). Also, I think Adam would’ve won and Kris wouldn’t have gotten past boot camp since this show seems to play more to Adam’s strengths and to none of Kris’s.

  • standtotheright

    A few of them have a little bit of song arrangement ability (and they usually play instruments) and because of that, they are suddenly the only true musicians and better then the others who only sing?

    When the prize for winning the show is a recording contract, and the winner is going to need to be able to evaluate and connect with original material that should be at least in the same universe as the persona shown on the show, then yes.

    Song Arrangement Idol is the biggest leap forward AI has had in showing the viewers what kind of record these kids might actually make when left to their own devices.

    Of course, I’m one of the people who doesn’t vote very much, and not at all if a performance hasn’t shown me something about what the original musical output might be. If I appreciate a good cover of a good song but it hasn’t done that, I buy the iTunes download and call it a day.

    Nothing about X-Factor sounds remotely appealing. I don’t care for any songs I’ve heard from Leona Lewis and I couldn’t tell you any of the other contestants’ names. (And I do follow some UK artists and bands, so it’s not regionalism talking.)

  • terps

    They can change the arrangements

    Hope (Simons Group a couple years agp) changed the arrangment of Umbrella
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVNvI3jOfBQ

  • Valentin432

    And America’s is any better. Come on, America has only picked 2 real stars (Clarkson and Underwood).

    Those are high standards for “stars”. There are not that many new artists that have several platinium albums in the past decade.
    I don’t think any contestant on the x factor qualifies, not even Leona and you could say the same for Susan Boyle.

    Ruben, Clay, Fantasia, JHud, Daughtry, Jordin or the Davids are all stars that came out of idol for me.

  • GreenHippo

    yep – I don’t think Kris would have made it. AND the UK X-factor doesn’t allow instruments. At least I haven’t seen any. That can still change though.
    Well, all the “would have-could have-should haves” are not going to help us. But I will be paying even more attention to the X-factor UK at the end of this year, so we can really see what to expect. I am happy that it is easy to watch on youtube.

  • terps

    Ruben, Clay, Fantasia, JHud, Daughtry, Jordin or the Davids are all stars that came out of idol for me.

    America didn’t pick Daughtry and Hudson, and compared to the amount of press Kelly and Carrie recieve on a regular basis, no one else come close. Plus Leona’s first album did reach platimum in the US

  • wjmtv

    Ick. XF sounds nasty.

  • Valentin432

    America didn’t pick Daughtry and Hudson, and compared to the amount of press Kelly and Carrie recieve on a regular basis, no one else come close. Plus Leona’s first album did reach platimum in the US

    IA that Kelly and Carrie are one level higher in terms of success and peers recognition but if that’s the standard, there are not that many new artists in the last decade that compare to them and I don’t think Leona or any other X factor contestant qualifies.
    You could make an argument that Kelly is on par with any of the biggest female pop stars and Carrie is probably the biggest selling country artist out there.

    In the end, I give the Idol formula a slight edge in terms of finding and showcasing talent. The X factor focuses way too much on the judges and their interaction for my taste.

  • lrt

    Why are the ‘over 25′ people separated out? Does that category include duos/groups who are over 25 as well?

    How far has anyone in this category gone on this show?

  • Valentin432

    Why are the ‘over 25′ people separated out?

    They created the over 25 in season 4 when they added a new judge.

    Does that category include duos/groups who are over 25 as well?

    No they are solo acts over 25, duos/groups are all in the groups category

    How far has anyone in this category gone on this show?

    There are a couple who have gone to the final 3 (another thing I don’t like about the X factor, I prefer a F2) but none have come close to really winning it IMO.

    The show has been dominated by the boys/girls categories since no group has won either.

  • Duke

    The only parts i HATE….and i mean HATE about Xfactor:

    1) Contestants dont get to pick their own songs
    2) The conflict of interest between judges & voting off the better of the2 bottom singers based on competition

    other than that, i love xfactor. and regarding the talent pool- Xfactor UK 2 years ago (alex Burke winning) was THE BEST singing competition i have ever seen on TV. Sadly enough tho, a LOT of the acts went home too early.

    The show is going to THRIVE in the US. All the extra performance aspects i think the US will flove.

  • Sassycatz

    The X Factor. X Factor is a search for a vocalist/performer type of a pop star. They are not looking for real artists who just sing and play instruments.

    How many pop stars has the X-Factor found? I’m guessing Idol has found more. But that being said, I love that Idol is bigger than just pop stars. It includes all genres, so that you can have former contestants who are R&B artists, rock, country, soul, etc. I love that diversity. Having it just be pop singers bores me.

  • karenw

    Not sure what the entry rules will be in the US but this year the lower age limit was put back up to 16 this year on the UK version rather than 14 which it had been the previous years.

    The bit I hate about the X factor is that it’s more about the judges competing against each other rather than the acts .. the judges can’t be honest and vote for the better act if one of their acts is in the bottom 2 and is shit .. they always vote for their own act to stay, regardless of whether they are the most talented or not and the majoirty of the critiques are infighting with the judges .. the contestants are superflous.

  • gingerly

    Thank you for pointing out the suckiness of X Factor, MJ. I actually have no use for it. I think a huge part of AI is and has always been song choice (even within their horrid constraints). Even if you can’t rearrange, the choice shows that you know who you are as a vocalist and what you can or cannot sing. I’m also quite partial to MY opinion (I have ears and brains). I want to help decide who goes through or not. Choreographers may help SOME contestants, but those are typically contestants I am not interested in. I’m interested in the voice first and foremost, and it never has to be the “best” singer. The voice and the performer needs to resonate with me.

    Ultimately, the manipulations on American Idol are the worst thing about the show. I can’t see how a show built on manipulation is going to work.

    I read an interesting story (can’t find it now) about the difference between the U.S. and the U.K. It was based on soccer (football) which is actually something I also follow religiously. The gist of it was that the U.S. loves the underdog while the U.K. loves the proven thing. I think in some respect, that’s the exact difference between American Idol and X Factor. I just can’t see how Susan Boyle fit’s into this premise.

  • karenw

    Another down side is that you don’t get the best 12 acts through to the live show .. each judge can only pic 3 people to represent their category and you often find that in general when the judges have to pic their final 3 they have to reject some acts who are better than those picked in another category .. the only reason they don’t get through is that all the spaced for that particular age group/category have been taken.

    For instance there weren’t many decent groups to pic from this year but there were quite a few good over 25′s but they could only pic 3 .. so there were some decent over 25′s rejected and yet a couple of naff groups got through as there was no competition for places in that category

    if that makes sense .. lol

  • Justin8602

    Here’s my 2 cents. I think the X-Factor will do really well in the US. I’ve watched some of the seasons of X-Factor UK online and the format although a bit cheesy is no worse than Idol. In fact some of the things people here are saying that they will hate are things I think make a lot of sense and are an improvement. I think it is a good thing that the judges will be mentoring the contestants. This eliminates total blame on the contestant for poor song choice. And although yes, the judge gets to pick the song, if the contestant chooses they can ignore their mentor’s song choice and do their own. I know this for a fact from watching season 5 of X-Factor, I can’t recall her name but she chose to ignore Danni Minogues song choice in favor of her own selection. As for the judges having the power to choose who goes home up till the top 5 point, I don’t really have a problem with that. Most of the time the people in the bottom 2 early on in the competition have no real chance of winning anyway. (I know this is not always true, just in general) As far as judges bias on the voting thing , it doesn’t even matter. Each judge is only going to be loyal to one group, so if their performer really does suck, more than likely the other judges will outnumber the vote. And in many cases the vote is deadlocked and it goes down to the public vote anyway. The only downfall I see from the judges having this power is that I noticed in watching the UK version, some judges are highly susceptible to sob story sympathy votes instead of who they think actually has a good voice. But on the flip side America is that way too a lot (See Danny Gokey and Scott Macintyre). I am also in love with the way they get choreography and a show when they perform each week, It’s like watching a concert rather than a singing contest, sure it’s cheesy, but in a good way. About the only real thing they need to change for the US version is to have the allowance for instruments, which I’m not sure if it is or isn’t allowed in the UK or what, just saying for the US version it should be allowed. Anyway I for one a excited for this, it will be a nice change from Idol. Now I just hope that Simon brings Paula on board as a judge along with Cheryl Cole from the UK. I do have a feeling though that even if Simon doesn’t bring Paula on as a judge, he will make her the shows choreographer. Cheryl Cole is a pipe dream though, I think she would do fantastically over here and it may actually launch a US career for her. It would also bring in a young male demographic because she is really hot. I say give it a shot before you say you hate it. I used to “hate” idol before I ever gave it a shot, but I actually did sit and watch it and love it now, so never say never on X-Factor being a hit.

  • gangreen29

    So it sounds to me as if each judge chooses his/her favorite acts, tells the acts how to present themselves and perform, then competes with the other judges to see who can manipulate America into voting for their people?

    ‘Scuse me but it sounds like a judges competition with the acts as even bigger pawns than they are on Idol.

    Exactly!! The contestants are basically meaningless on this show, they are just tools for the judges. It is Idol with all the contestants free will stripped.

  • terps

    Now I just hope that Simon brings Paula on board as a judge along with Cheryl Cole from the UK. I do have a feeling though that even if Simon doesn’t bring Paula on as a judge, he will make her the shows choreographer. Cheryl Cole is a pipe dream though, I think she would do fantastically over here and it may actually launch a US career for her. It would also bring in a young male demographic because she is really hot. I say give it a shot before you say you hate it. I used to “hate” idol before I ever gave it a shot, but I actually did sit and watch it and love it now, so never say never on X-Factor being a hit

    Not such a pipe dream, there has always been the rumor he would bring her to the states with the show and possibly Loui also

  • Mark

    I’m not sure why people harp on Idol having issues criticizing song selection. Excuse me, but then why do we even bother with an extended competition? Why not go to the Got Talent model with one or two songs that highlight the strengths in one’s vocals? I’d actually like to see, you know, some form of artistry. Even in the early seasons, a lot of the game still was song choice, and the show was so much better for that.

    That part of the game, with the X-Factor, simply gets deflected to the judges. Which keeps the annoying aspects of it, but now we just blame the judge, and we’ve cut off the individuality of the artist at the knee. And this is a show which manages individuality to a fault anyway… so we want more of that? I don’t see it.

    (And, no, in practice, the contestant can’t really overrule the judge. Last season, a whole lot was made of those conflicts, and the judges usually always won. The one exception when the judge’s own choice flopped at rehearsal, though the other song wasn’t great either.)

    I read an interesting story (can’t find it now) about the difference between the U.S. and the U.K. It was based on soccer (football) which is actually something I also follow religiously. The gist of it was that the U.S. loves the underdog while the U.K. loves the proven thing. I think in some respect, that’s the exact difference between American Idol and X Factor. I just can’t see how Susan Boyle fit’s into this premise.

    SuBo’s story isn’t so much an underdog story as it is something of a triumph over pity narrative. So it’s not a neat comparison in that respect.

    Well, it was based on Dilana’s, right? I’m pretty sure even the X Factor judges had SOME leniency with their song choices. I forgot which performance it was, but I remember Simon telling one of the other judges that they kinda “cheated” with the theme because they chose a song that didn’t entirely fit, so there’s bound to be leniency, maybe enough for Adam to have done that performance (although maybe it would be even more like Dilana’s and less like the one he did that night). Also, I think Adam would’ve won and Kris wouldn’t have gotten past boot camp since this show seems to play more to Adam’s strengths and to none of Kris’s.

    Not exactly. Note that all of this required Adam making choices. Believe me, Simon Cowell or any of the X-Factor judges wouldn’t have found the Dilana version, and the contestants don’t have a lot of input that way. It’s a one-off thing rather than the means of the game, at best. The question there was more a judge skirting the theme, but not innovating the arrangement. Think Bo Bice choosing “Vehicle” for what was essentially disco night.

    Realistically, X-Factor produces less artistic, less interesting contestants. I’d say goodbye to Cook, Adam, Kris, Blake, and maybe Bo and Chris D. (the former certainly wouldn’t have hit second; the latter’s smarter song choices for a post-Idol career wouldn’t have happened, and he quite possibly would have been ham-stringed). It’s choices in differentiation tend towards overly representative of the genre in an almost stereotypical way at times (think Amanda Overmyer) or toward the overly corny (think Taylor Hicks, but note I’m not invoking him as a bad word; these contestants can be fun and truly entertaining. Olly was a minor favorite last season for me)

    (Edit, for stupid memory)

  • wand3rful

    Realistically, X-Factor produces less artistic, less interesting contestants. I’d say goodbye to Cook, Adam, Kris, Blake, and maybe Bo and Chris D. (the former certainly wouldn’t have hit second; the latter’s smarter song choices for a post-Idol career wouldn’t have happened, and he quite possibly would have been ham-stringed).

    yup, this is the reason im not welcoming x factor with open arms. those guys who just listed? some of my alltime faves. i think xfactor format works for the UK talent pool bc there isnt much there to begin with, but here in the states we have enough and these kids dont need the judges to stand in their way.

  • wand3rful

    And America’s is any better. Come on, America has only picked 2 real stars (Clarkson and Underwood).

    let me be a bit more clear…america tends to get the the top people right (top 5 and so). after that point, its all a matter of preference and voter complacency. its not about just the winner. cuz we can argue all day who is better (ruben vs clay, davids, kradam, etc). the fact that simon didnt see kelly, cook, or daughtry (even Jennifer) as a real contender makes me question his judgment. for gods sake, they put Jasmine in the top 13 this year and kept talking about her marketability. think of it like this, if it was up to simon prior to the top 13 to let allison or jasmine through (assuming Allison didn’t earn her spot), he would have picked jasmine. No question about it. that’s how out of touch and deft he has become.

  • butte009

    Personally I enjoyed XFactor this past season and I’ll be watching the US version when it jumps the pond. I’ll also continue to watch AI, although I must say that it won’t be the same without Simon (time will tell if it gets better or not without him).

    All this comparison between the two shows is like comparing Hell’s Kitchen to Top Chef. Both seemed to coexist ok the last time I looked.

  • wand3rful

    Casual viewers don’t care about song arrangements that much. They want to be entertained. They want to hear some good singing and possibly see good performances. And some personality from the contestants. Serious musicians don’t participate in these kind of shows.

    they might not care if and how someone arranged a song, but they sure do notice it. case in point, allen’s heartless, which received great buzz and probably won him the title. since the casual voters tend to tune in on towads the end, some of his votes were most likely from them. and lets not forget adam’s watercooler moment with ring of fire, that performance put him on the map big time.

    and yes we want to be entertained, but karaoke singing is no longer entertaining. the novelty of it has passed after season 3…thanks to Bo Bice who really started the trend of artistry and bringing some musicality to the show.

  • Grammie Kari

    I think people will view X-Factor if Paula is a judge. Right now, I don’t know that I will become a fan of the show.

  • wolfsbane813

    with all this news of xfactor US and simon being on that show… where does that leave xfactor UK?

  • justjude

    I don’t hate XF and I don’t hate AI. Both could be improved . I think a big flaw for XF is that Simon, in the show, holds the controling interest. This makes Simon much more likely to to control the show and the other judges. On the plus side, he has given nominal automony to the other judges for their group mentoring, song choice and rooting rights for their own groups or singers. Each are expected to be dishonest, but Loyal,…….kind of strange honor code eh! After the public votes for the faves, they take a vote on the bottom 2….Only to be manipulatedby one judge (mostly Simon), or the others by refusing to vote, thus manipulating the out come anyway. So really you cannot trust any of the judges to actually judge They are just playing a “POWER” game!!
    I’ve watched it mostly with a chuckle for that rediculous format and the broadway type backup. It’s fun and just slightly a joke, but sometimes the occasional good singer gets through with their biggest “competiton being the worst of the worst. Suggested name change ” Idiot Factor”!!! or ” IF”!!

    American Idol. You know, I grew up with “thou shalt have no other Idols before me…,” and here is this cheezy show directly confronting my misguided ideology of the traditional Cult. So, can I claim that I never idolize even the winners or runners up, and still maintain a little credibility. . So it’s a silly name too, except for maybe a few BSC Fans who prove the authority of the scripture! Go Kradison!!hee!
    Simon, when you think of it is “much more honest” in his critques here than, he is over the pond!!, then He goes too far…. due to his inner Bully. Still, he manages to remain charismatic, even while saying truthful, but witheringly painful truths. (or just spits out some BS as he was fighting with Paula.),
    Changes I’d like to see on Idol.
    10 votes per/1 number or message( Gives the option to vote for a couple more you really like or pour it all into your “one and only”.
    Borrow the system that Rockstar had for quality control…..Bottom 3 sing for their life and the judges must agree on simple majority principle. With only 3 judges so no manip’s. If Idol is up against OTT XF then move in the opposite direction with promoting and encouraging artistry, but not demanding it… but it may count! Do this until the last 2 standing for the finale then let the public unleash their Good or Bad Taste in a final democratic vote.
    So lets put a stop to giving the tween girls(as sweet as they may be?)
    total control of the POP, ROCK,or COUNTRY music industry!!!!!!

  • hcpoirot

    Just want to addfew things about X Factor:

    1. The big stage of auditions ala American Got Talent with audiences only started in season 6 (2009) Before that, the auditions were like Idol.

    2. The backstories are more intent with X Factor, cause they started with top 12. Compare with Idol who had 24 or 36 semifinalist. (So some semifinalist got backstories and some not)

    3. MJ, you forgot to add one plus point in XFactor, the 12 finalist got (almost) equal screen time. And not like Idol who had 24 semifinalist and usually few of them had very very little or none screen time before the live votes begun. (cannon fodders)

    Minus points are:

    The judges roles are very big before top 5. They can save or send you home if you are in bottom 2 vote getters. And the judges (aka Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh) usually try to cut out a strong finalists from other than their singers.