X Factor's Vino Alan "I Realize I Could Have Fought More"

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You’ve got to read this interview Lyndsey Parker from Yahoo Music had with ousted X Factor contestant, Vino Alan. He never entertained the thought that his mentor, LA Reid would throw him under the bus, until she explained it… Via Yahoo Music

Vino laments NOT fighting for his song choices. After the show, last year’s runner-up, Josh Krajcik, said he had to fight A LOT for his song choices. (granted, his mentor was Nicole Scherzinger–I can’t imagine she was difficult to buck).

This week, you had a last-minute song switch, and a lot of your fans think that was the cause of your downfall. Do you think the song chosen for you, or the songs you did in general–which were more old soul than modern rock–represented you well?

“I realize, looking back, that I didn’t get to show the diversity of my range. I play a lot of instruments–the original plan was to play piano on my song this week–and I’ve written for years and won awards. But I ended up leaving the show after doing songs from the ’60s and ’70s–nothing that showed my relevance since my version of ‘Sober’ by Pink [at the Judges' Houses]. I didn’t even do anything from this decade, something modern, something that showed where I would be relevant today in the music industry. I realize I could have fought more, after talking to [Season 1 runner-up] Josh Krajcik last night.”

Oh? What did Josh tell you?

“He said he had to fight a lot for his songs last year. He told my mother and me he was a fan of mine, and that I should fight for song choices. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t too late.”

I have no doubt Vino would still be in the competition if he had followed his gut. I can’t imagine why LA would deem Vino’s song choices FOR ANY OTHER REASON than bussing him. I mean….The Rightous Brothers over The Kings of Leon? REALLY?

Why did the show want you to do “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” instead of the song you were originally supposed to do, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”–or another rock song of your choice by Alex Clare or Kings Of Leon? And did you doubt that decision at all?

“I wasn’t fake and I didn’t just suck it up, but it’s L.A. Reid, and it’s a TV show. So I had to trust that there was something to what they were saying. They kept telling me it was the most-played song of all time. And it wasn’t just L.A.; by no means can I put this just on L.A. So many people were in his dressing room with me saying, ‘This is the song to do. Do you want to just sing and show what you can do, or do you want to win?’ When they put it that way, I was like, ‘Well, I want to win, I guess.’ I still like the version I did. I think Simon was being a bit extreme to say that it was time to go home because of it.”

So, Vino placed his fate in LA’s hands, because after all, he’s the big time record executive who knows what he’s doing. Vino could even allow himself to think his mentor meant him harm until…

Several contestants on this show besides you–Arin Ray and Lyric 145 especially–have said that they got song choices that didn’t accurately represent who they are as artists. It seems to be a common complaint on this show. Do you agree?

“What I will say is I think everybody you just mentioned, it was their first ride on this train too, so there was some part of them that was like, ‘These people know better, and they’re trying to do the best for us. These people know what TV viewers want and what will get votes.’ So there was a level of trust, and there was a matter of, how much are you gonna fight the system? I wouldn’t say the show was doing that on purpose, or that there was some conspiracy theory, nothing like that. But yeah, if somebody is telling you, ‘You do this and you’ll get more votes, and then you can do what you really want later,’ you listen to them. But L.A. would never throw me under the bus. Still…here I am.”

Many of your fans out there are sharing conspiracy theories, and do think you were thrown under the bus. It does seem weird that you went from being in the top three to going home within the course of just one week–especially after that last-minute song switch…

“Wow. You’re pushing me to cross my ‘Mr. Cool’ line, because that makes a lot of sense when you lay it out like that. I mean, I wouldn’t know where to point at that. I know that inside the ‘X Factor’ camp, they knew what I could bring. To drop me down that far and send my a** home is kind of strange. But I am not one to say whether it was on purpose. But that talk does get my spine tingling…

WOW.

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  • teekee

    I wonder if Vino has ever watched these shows. Busing is pretty common.

  • springboard2

    People who follow these shows closely like we do are aware of busing and manipulations, but it is not certain that the casual viewers are.

  • blackberryharvest

    If I were Simon, I might hire extra security for the studio for the next few weeks…he seems to have a bit of a temper.

  • Incipit

    They kept telling me it was the most-played song of all time. And it wasn’t just L.A.; by no means can I put this just on L.A. So many people were in his dressing room with me saying, ‘This is the song to do. Do you want to just sing and show what you can do, or do you want to win?’ 

    W0W, Indeed. And this is why I find no entertainment in XFUS, can’t point and laugh at the wretched show. There are contestants on that show who think it matters if you win….and they can be pushed into a lame song choice (the most played song of all time? that people are sick of hearing!) because they trust what the staff and judgementors are saying. Because this is their ‘first ride on this train’ and they don’t even realize what is going on. Of the two options, ‘wanting to win’ is the totally wrong choice.

    A shame that Josh Krajcik’s advice came too late – and Vino wound up “doing songs from the ’60s and ’70s–nothing that showed my relevance since my version of ‘Sober’ by Pink [at the Judges' Houses]. I didn’t even do anything from this decade, something modern, something that showed where I would be relevant today in the music industry.”  But that’s what was being said here all along – and probably, not just here.

    IMO.

  • springboard2

    It looks to me that the contract gagging clauses may me less strong in the US  than they are in the UK.
    I don’t think that contestants could even express that a negative view of how the show has handled them makes sense in the UK.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    It’s ridiculous that the producers/judges (I won’t call them mentors) foist these unwanted song choices on these contestants. Let the contestants choose their own songs and kind of onstage production, as both of those reveal their musical sensibilities, and a lot about them as artists and who they want to be in the musical universe.

    Of course, the X-Factor (or at least Simon) doesn’t want that kind of contestant. Simon wants pawns who will bow to his wishes (see Emblem3), no matter how misguided, and that’s why this show is a joke, filled with trainwrecks and can’t possibly be regarded seriously in any way. Not to mention the disingenuous judges who cannot be trusted to do the best for their charges.

    As much as I criticized P2 while he was on AI, now that I’ve heard a bit of his post-show music, I can see that on the show, he was trying to reveal the kind of artist that he was when he mangled songs beyond recognition, and in a weird way, I can respect that as an authentic effort to “be himself”, and to succeed or fail based on that. There’s nothing about the X-Factor that deserves any kind of respect, and the only feelings that I have are for the victims (otherwise known as the contestants) who betray themselves in trusting those who they look to for experienced advice, not a figurative knife in the back.

    Now, back to pointing and laughing at this show. lol

  • kmd23

    The thing that makes the busing of Vino so obvious is not letting him sing a more current song. mj is right. Making sure that Vino performed the Rightous Brothers song over The Kings of Leon or the Alex Clare song he really wanted to do just proves it. Simon made sure that not just LA but even the production staff encouraged Vino to sing it. He had no choice. Yes these shows do it all the time but it does not make it right and this time if was just too obvious as Vino was smart enough to know the type of song he needed to perform to advance. I did not think he would win but he should have not have left so soon. Clearly Diamond should have left the show. I bet the viewers votes he was getting  will go to Tate now. Hope Vino gets a record deal(maybe an indie label) and releases new music as there is no way he should be working with LA anyway.

  • kmd23

    It is clear when you read the interview that Lindsey Parker, the interviewer, was the one that brought up the obvious busing not Vino. Vino was just agreeing with her and I don’t see how he would not of as it was obvious. He still supported LA and the show as much as he could have. Vino is not stupid.

  • kansasfemale

    When I read people’s assumptions that Vino’s votes will probably go to Tate now, I shake my head and go no way….maaaayyyybe the casual voter??…but no way the true Vino supporter, and here is why.

    Say I love Vino and I vote like crazy for him each week…..now I witness LA screwing his chances of being able to win…I get pissed OFF….NOW comes the sudden realization after listening to interviews, that Vino plays instruments (but wasn’t allowed to play them), that Vino has written (but wasn’t allowed to show that current flair), that Vino wants to sing current songs (but wasn’t allowed to do so) etc etc….and now I am soooo TOTALLY pissed…there is no way in **** that I will allow LA Reid to have the pleasure of getting one of his acts to the top.

    If this show is all about strategy and not about finding the best person for the job….so will be my voting strategy.

    Here is how it plays out.

    If I don’t want LA Reid (Tate) to win…how do I keep that from happening?  I vote for the person who I think has the best chance of beating him.  Obviously Carly, but I know from playing this game with Simon in the past, he has other tricks up his sleeve, so Emblem3 may be manipulated to move higher.  I also feel sure that Simon had a part in the Vino bussing….so I’m also pissed at him, so forget trying to support HIS group.

    It then becomes clear to me that it’s Carly who I will vote for….and I will vote like a crazy person.  Sad that my votes will be anti-LA-votes and not pro-anybody-else-votes…but that is what this show has forced me to do….play the game….and a judge is just as much a key player in this thing (sadly), as the artists are…my goal now, as a strategist,  is to remove LA Reid as a competitor.

  • Incipit

    Now, back to pointing and laughing at this show. lol

    *snerk* – OK – but I’m just gonna point and laugh at Cowell…not the sadly much-too-trusting and inexperienced hamsters.

    As much as I criticized P2 while he was on AI, now that I’ve heard a bit of his post-show music, I can see that on the show, he was trying to reveal the kind of artist that he was when he mangled songs beyond recognition, and in a weird way, I can respect that as an authentic effort to “be himself”, and to succeed or fail based on that.

    My word, fuzzywuzzy, that’s one way to put it – and you have a point! Heh.

    All any of these contestants can hope for is a National platform for a brief amount of time to show who they are as artists. XFUS doesn’t even give them that. And brandishing the ‘do you want to win’ stick obscures the truth – they can’t all win, but they could all use XFUS to ‘just sing and show what they can do.’ IF the show would allow that, in return for the ad money they make.

    I recall in ’08, DC felt he might be leaving Idol on that third week…and Nigel was pushing for him to sing the almost monotone Robert Palmer “Addicted To Love”for the ’80′s theme. He said something like if he was going to leave, it would be doing music that represented him – and we got “Hello” instead. That could have been a very different story.

    The ‘different story’ for most of the XFUS contestants is one we won’t be hearing.

    IMO.

  • chillj

    This show galls me; it is a vehicle for abuse.  Asking people desperate for an opportunity to fight for their songs with their “mentor” is not reasonable; it is like asking a woman to argue with her abuser:  the power differential is too great.

  • kmd23

    Interesting that Vino just sent this tweet out about releasing an album in Jan. Don’t know what it means:@VinoAlan

    Flying to my Sky:) landn in tha lou , releasing album in jan. #madeMan #vinoMusic.

  • WestiesRule

    It appears (on the surface) that AI allows the conteastant to represent themselves when they put their foot down. I have never gotten that feeling from X Factor, any show, any season, any country. I could not figure out the relevance of Vino based on what he was singing. I like some country but Tate doesn’t do it for me. Dbag 3 can make Simon lot’s of $$ (and for me the one who is not the brother is the biggest D bag). In their defense, they represent the So Ca entertainment industry sorta kids. Most of us don’t live near or in that world so there is no appeal. I didn’t get 1D initially, but actually, like others, have a new found respect for the lads. Simon will continue to pimp 5th Harmony after the show and they might produce something play worthy. They certainly are all talented enough. Again, he did it with 1D. That leaves Carly and Diamond… they both need coaching and development that comes with maturity. I have no idea how Disney hones their artists but they certainly have had success. Carly, is the most talented of the group. With proper marketing she (and Diamond) can be tween sensations an on…. Simon is the master of making $$ and their is a bigger plan to these 3rd rate talent shows. No matter what, they have all produced some talent we may never have been exposed to and for that I am grateful for.

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianLady2 CanadianLady

    Um, the only problem with this theory is it’s going to hurt Tate, not L.A. 

  • tucker davis

    I agree totally with your comments! I admired P2 for choosing artists that he felt most like (Lang, DM, Rice) even though his young fans probably didn’t know them. I felt that some other contestants should have fought harder for songs for themselves. It goes back to your maturity as an artist. P2 always said he didn’t care if he won as long as he got national exposure doing his thing. Jimmy knew who Phil was as an artist long before the final!

  • Garrett Clayman

    I hated Nicole Scherzinger and do not miss her AT ALL, but she did handle Josh and LeRoy REALLY well last year. Josh’s performances last year were much better than his performance on thursday

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I am wondering how aware the younger contestants are of Simon’s control?

  • kmd23

     Good Question.

  • Incipit

    It appears (on the surface) that AI allows the conteastant to represent themselves when they put their foot down.

    That ‘used to be’ the rule on Idol, WestiesRule. (re DC on 2008 Larry King Live Group interview) TPTB or any of the staff could suggest and try to influence, but they couldn’t flat out pick a song. I have no doubt there was pressure, but the contestants had the security of not being put in an untenable position, though they could follow the advice if they wanted to.

    I never heard that this rule was rescinded (I would love to know), but when Iovine came aboard, they just…stopped observing it. Now, Idol contestants have to fight as well, but at least they have a chance. It just takes the young ones a while to work up the nerve to say no…”the power differential” and all, and I think that’s wrong enough. The XFUS situation is practically impossible.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “He said something like if he was going to leave, it would be doing music
    that represented him – and we got “Hello” instead. That could have been
    a very different story.”

    The contestants need to realize that the $5 million prize (which may not even be what it has been claimed to be) is being used to try to sway them from being true to themselves and it appears to be working.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “P2 always said he didn’t care if he won as long as he got national exposure doing his thing.”

    I can respect that authenticity and self-respect, even if I really, really disliked his performances on the show. lol

  • Incipit

    Sure, the prize is the dangling carrot on the stick – but they never had the option of much song choice to start with, fuzzywuzzy, not even the limited cleared list that Idol supplies. And they can’t do their own arrangements either, so how would it help them? Everything is picked by the show….unless they can fight, and win. It all bites.

    IMO.

  • b_james

    I don’t know.  I don’t have anything against the guy, but he was probably my least favorite left of the bunch.  (Cece at least entertains me.)  Vino was just a little boring and always came across as really aggressive and angry in his songs.  Everyone at my house was totally fine with him going home this week.   

  • http://twitter.com/mwk89 Matthew Kitson

    This is why Idol is so much better

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianLady2 CanadianLady

    Scotty has said he had to fight for the songs he wanted – in part because no one there knew much about country.

    I think ultimately the ones who do best will be the ones who know who they are going in, and are willing to grow and learn without jumping onto bandwagons that don’t really fit them.

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianLady2 CanadianLady

    One of the various reason i don’t watch this show, although I do check out some videos here. I’m not interested in manipulation, publicity for its own sake, emotional and verbal abuse, etc.

  • Jimmy Mackey

    That is an excellent interview.  I respect Vino’s integrity and how he doesn’t disrespect the people who put him on stage all of those weeks.  That will take him further when others look at investing in his talent.  I do however think Simon (who will end up with the recording contract for the winner) finds ways to get less marketable people out of the competition, like Vino.  I still want to see Carly and Tate sing to the death though and I watched the results show this morning before I picked up my DISH coworker; we griped about Vino’s elimination on the way there.  What I love about watching The X Factor with my DISH Hopper DVR in the morning is that I start watching in the bedroom, pick up in the same place in the kitchen while I’m eating breakfast, then finish off with coffee in the living room, which makes going to work seem more like my day off (LOL!).

  • girlygirltoo

    Contestants get bussed on all the reality singing shows, but at least on Idol some contestants (Cook, Kris, Philip, etc.) have been able to win fights to perform songs they think will represent them as artists as well as about their appearance, staging, etc., rather than just go along with whatever TPTB suggest. I’m not sure how much control the contestants on The Voice have over their song selection, but on XF it just seems like they have no control over anything at all. Josh says he had to fight really hard to pick his songs (I don’t remember anything he sung, but since he finished 2nd he must have made some decent selections) — and that’s what these contestants need to do. Don’t worry about pissing off the mentor — they don’t care about the contestants anyway. If you are going to go down, at least go down by trying to represent yourself as the artist you want to be.

    This is why I hope Emblem3 break out the original music and their instruments. Right now, Simon is trying to position them as another 1D type group, yet they claim that they aren’t anything like that. Same thing with Diamond — does she really think she’s the next Whitney Houston (if so, she’s in for a huge shock) or is that just what TPTB want to present her as?

    At some point in time, these people will have to be able to stand up for themselves in order to have a real chance to make it in the music business. Might as well start now. Sure, they don’t want to risk making their mentor an enemy for life, but there are ways to stand up for yourself and win these battles without doing that.

  • nncw

    Current popular “reality shows” are produced – are manipulated. Simon chastised Demi when she said she couldn’t see a place for Vino in the current marketplace (Susan Boyle was an exception not the rule)  but I think he feels exactly the same way – and therefore there is no way he would have allowed Vino to have an impact on Emblem 3′s chances in the competition. But if he continues with these shenanigans it will hurt the show. I think AI’s manipulations were more obvious whereas Simon’s seem plotted out from the onset. At least with AI there could be a rebound effect with votes, whereas poor Vino actually was tossed out before he could have it sink in what had been done.

  • durbesque

    After ‘Sober’, LA was saying “the package, the package, I don’t know”.  Obviously, they decided to get rid of this particular package. 

    I think that was their purpose in the first place… They need a lot of packages to get rid of, while leading the public to the one or two they really want.  Pawns are meant to be toyed with and sacrificed at will. 

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I don’t know if its really about “maturity as an artist” or knowing yourself. Vino is an experienced guy who has been performing and writing for years. He knows who he is. I would argue Emblem 3, who as a band who writes their own songs, know who they are as well. I wouldn’t call either immature as artists.

    I think it’s about the way you see these competitions, and the degree to which you are aware of the ins and outs of performing on these things. If you buy the line Vino was being sold, then you see your job as to get votes so you can do what you want to do “as an artist” later. It’s not that Vino didn’t know who he was, or was not mature. People who think that way will do what they have to in order to get votes/record deal.

    Some people may have a different belief, that they don’t care as much about winning as well as showing an accurate image of themselves. If that’s your goal, then you will fight to be authentic.

    I think there are people on Idol who have done both and gone on to success. It’s not like Kelly was a pop rocker during her run or Jordin sang any cute pop songs. Carrie and Daughtry were on the other end of the spectrum.. they sold themselves pretty much as what they ended up recording as artists.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    He always had poor song choices and he was always in third place. Song choice wasn’t the problem. The problems were: change the song on the last minute, which made him sound like crap, criticism from the judges without put him on danger (“pack your bags”, “you could be on the bottom tomorrow”) and performing on the death spot. I mean ,the manipulation was perfect and it would come soon or later for him.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDQP2Y46M5B3OHOKALDDGDHQCM Leandro

    Tell me more about DISH Hopper DVR …

  • chillj

    I think the five million dollars as prize makes it much harder for contestants to go for authenticity over winning.  When you get close to that amount of cash, it is easy to think,”These people have gotten me this far, so I may as well do what they suggest without complaint.”  It would be easy to rationalize that you can rewrite your image later.

  • cmom

    Reading this reminds me of my first reality show wake-up call.  I was so naive. Finally it hit me in the head when Paula Abdul gave David Archuleta the song “Longer” to sing on Idol. I knew she was trying to throw him under the bus. I also read that they really tried to talk him out of singing “Imagine” which he really wanted to sing early in the show.  

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    That’s a good point. 5 mil is a lot of money.

  • kansasfemale

     yep you are right…it will hurt Tate, which is why the entire way the show is set up is stupid.  I am not a fan of either really….I’m not voting…I was just pointing out that if I was a rabid Vino fan, I probably would not want Tate to win, as that allows LA’s plan to undermine Vino to be successful, and as a rabid Vino fan….I want his back and to keep LA from gaining what he was hoping to, is a latent way of achieving that.

  • Latin2

    I remember Kris saying he wanted to sing “Falling Slowly” during movie week on Idol, and it was not on the Idol song list. So Idol got the OK from the writer of the song and that was a great moment for Kris on Idol, and a turning point for him. 

  • mjsbigblog

     This isn’t the time nor place to sell your wares sir. Please keep to the topic. Thank you.

  • Klaine

    Simon wants to win again and he wants Emblem 3 to be the new 1D or would even take the 5th Harmony as the US answer to Little Mix.  There is a void in the market place for US boy/girlbands..But the Vino thing feels icky.  This again is another problem of this show.  First off, like DWTS, viewers often vote for the mentor and not necessarily for the contestant.  Second, you have the judges often playing games with each other or trying to vote someone out or give bad comments strategically.  Third, it definitely seems the mentors are having too much influence with song choices…whether the mentor really chooses or producers do, I dont know.  The mentors seem to only pop up once for that conversation we have on TV and one for the dress rehearsal.  Im not so convinced the mentor is choreography and wardrobe, dancers etc.  Producers want a balance and they want some songs to have no dancers so its easier to swicth between contestants.  The whole thing sucks.  The double eliminations every week is a huge turn off for me.  I also dont like the weekly rankings.  While Vino was surprise ; the final 3 seems pretty set with Emblem3, Carly Rose, and Tate….Everyones surprised Paige got sent home but I thought she once again was off key – but these judges arent calling people out on that…Not that Im a CeCe fan but she did seem better this week.  But no suspense…carly or tate wont go home this week..and the sing off is just weird cuz you always have 2 judges who wil vote for their own…In any XFactor around the world, have mentors ever voted out their own contestant?  And some judge by history , some judge by that performance, and others judge by who can be a popstar (regardless of whether they can sing)

  • shell29

    This is why Idol is so much better

    Is Idol really so much better when it comes to stuff like this? I don’t think so. Idol probably wrote the book on producer manipulation and “bussing”-X Factor is just taking it to another level.  David Cook was mentioned earlier-just in his season alone I still remember Alexandrea Lushington getting saddled with “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago.  That song choice made less than no sense for a teen girl to sing and it showed in her performance (she ended up getting eliminated that week). But how much “fight” can the young ones put up versus the producers when they handpick a song for them knowing full well that it won’t work.  Top 3 week: the producers give Archie “Longer”.  Again, that song choice made no sense for a teenager but the producers knew what they were doing when they chose it for him (and the infamous “Happy Feet” song for Syesha).  The producers tried to throw Taylor Hicks under the bus multiple times during his season but nothing worked (the “Soul Patrol” wouldn’t be denied LOL) so they finally gave up in the end.  There are plenty of other “bus” jobs in Idol’s history.  No, I don’t think Idol is much better than X Factor in that regard-the “bussing” still happens on that show and it will continue to happen for the contestants they want eliminated. They don’t trust “America” enough to let things play out naturally. 

    Vino’s bussing was one of the all timers.  It was executed so perfectly and there is no doubt in my mind that L.A. was in on it (he threw Jason Brock under the bus too IMO).  I feel bad that Vino couldn’t really be himself and show viewers more of what he’s about but I’m glad he’s now recognizing what X Factor is really all about.  Vino had to go because Simon (Mr. “I’ve sold over 300 million records”) is bound and determined to prove that a group can succeed and win X Factor US and that he can duplicate the success of One Direction with Emblem 3.

    Watch your back Tate.  Your “mentor” might be getting ready to “bus” you next.

  • fantoo1

    Yes idol has manipulation(so does the voice), but not nearly as bad as X Factor’s. When was the last time Carly went on the first part of the show? When was the last time Diamond performed after Carly? Yeah, never.

  • girlygirltoo

    Big Time Rush is a US boy band. They fill that void, if there really is one. :)
    And girl groups have never been all that popular in the pop world. There have been a lot of r&b girl groups like Destiny’s Child, TLC, etc, or country ones like The Dixie Chicks, but I’m drawing a blanking trying to think of successful girl groups in recent years who were pure pop (the last ones I can remember are The Spice Girls and that was (A) years ago and (B) they weren’t American. Maybe the Pussycats Dolls? Although they were r&b/pop, not really pure pop). So maybe that just isn’t something the music buying/listening public isn’t interested in?

  • Karen C

    Is Idol really so much better when it comes to stuff like this? I don’t think so. Idol probably wrote the book on producer manipulation and “bussing”-X Factor is just taking it to another level. David Cook was mentioned earlier-just in his season alone I still remember Alexandrea Lushington getting saddled with “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago.

    The other factor, though, is that someone can get a song that doesn’t really fit them, and  arrange it in such a way that it does fit them better.   Just about any song David Cook got, he was able to arrange it in a way that fit his style of music, same with Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, and others, even Phillp.  The contestants seem to have some more control over arrangementof the songs, especially during S4- S9.   On X Factor, it seems like even if the contestants do their own arrangement, it is still somewhat controlled by the mentors, and that if the mentor doesn’t like what they did to it, they could make them pick another song, but not in time to do their own arrangement.   Josh Krajik was able to do some interesting arrangements, and it is interesting that he had to fight for them.

  • Karen C

    I think it really is a problem with this show that so many are saying that they couldn’t show themselves as artists.  I think this is one of the things that isn’t translating over from the Uk version.  I think that the US audiences, and even the contestants have seen AI where artists do have some more control, and have done well afterwards. Or maybe that’s just what US audences prefer.

  • shell29

    Yes, I think X Factor takes the manipulation to another level.  I do think X Factor is worse (and I agree about the obvious Carly pimping when it comes to her placement in the performance order each week), I just don’t think Idol is that much better.  Idol isn’t above pulling some of the same tricks in order to get the results that they want.  Sometimes the tricks work, sometimes they don’t. 

    The other factor, though, is that someone can get a song that doesn’t really fit them, and arrange it in such a way that it does fit them better.

    That’s true, but most contestants won’t have the ability to turn lemons into lemonade like a David Cook or Blake Lewis (and the producers know this).  It does feel like X Factor is even more manipulated and more controlled than Idol, especially this season.  After seeing what happened with Lyric145, Beatrice, Jenell, Arin and now Vino it’s like they are purposely preventing them from showing who they really are and not allowing them to perform songs that better suit their style.  This whole season has been a mess IMO and all the manipulations might get Simon the winner he wants but at what expense?  If X Factor US season three is anything like this season, this show is in trouble IMO and I think the ratings will decline even more.

  • Karen C

    This really comes to mind right now:

    “LA told me, you’d be a pop star, all you will have to do is change everything you are ” – Pink

    Maybe it’s not just X Factor contestants that have to fight for what they want, because Pink really did have to fight LA Reid to do what she wanted, and she was right.  

  • Karen C

    That’s true, but most contestants won’t have the ability to turn lemons into lemonade like a David Cook or Blake Lewis (and the producers know this).

    Most contestants don’t, but for the most part, this has put the ones that can ahead of the others, and some have done well afterwards. 

    The UK version of X Factor does have the same amount of control as the US version, but I think that the US audiences and contestants have come to expect a degree of originality from these shows because of those that have been able to do this on Idol, but the UK shows have not has this to the extent that the US has.  

  • kmd23

    What I just love about this interview with Lindsey that Vino did is that he is so refreshingly honest in it. He is not trying to bash Simon and the show but he is just being genuine and honest in his responses. You just don’t find that much anymore in music artists on these talent shows as they don’t dare to be honest. Sad. I hope Vino gets to make the album he wants. This is his response to this question and mj did not post it but I am:
    So you thought “The X Factor” was going to be less of a pop-centric show?

    “Yeah, I thought it would have been cool for Simon and the show to
    make a statement that for older artists, who might have gotten lost in
    the industry, there’s still an open door for them. So to me it was so
    keeping it in the machine, and people are tired of that. That’s nothing
    against the music that’s being put out by the machine, but I thought
    this show was different. It definitely was not set up to be an inspiring
    atmosphere, and I’ve told them that they have to work on that in the
    future, if they want it to be more artist-friendly. It did seem to lean
    more towards every other show that’s been out there that’s tried to
    create something that’s packaged and marketed, but maybe doesn’t move
    the soul. I mean, if Jimi Hendrix came out today, what show would he be
    able to go on? What the hell, what would they do? Is he not pretty
    enough? Now I think these true great artists out there will be gun-shy
    [about auditioning for 'The X Factor'], because they’ll see maybe what
    happened to me or how people treated me. I think Simon had a chance to
    create a different monster of a show, and that is really the only thing I
    find disappointing.”

  • Karen C

    I thought this part of the interview was very interesting, especially the part about it not being an inspiring atmosphere.   This might be the major difference with Idol, that the artists were encouraged to figure out who they are and improve themselves,  rather than being dictated.   Even though they have been more controlled the past couple of years, with Jimmy Iovine.  And I know Idol is more controlled than most of the public knows, but it does seem they have more flexibility. And he’s mentoring everyone, so it’s a little more impartial.

    It might be the team atmosphere that causes the contestants to not push as hard if they don’t agree with their mentor.  Maybe they feel they have to do what their mentor says because they are on a team, and they think the mentor is looking out for their team.   Though it’s possible even if they did try to fight their mentor they wouldn’t get to do what they want anyway.   

    If this show is that manipulated, and this becomes known, it kind of destroys the whole concept pf the show having the teams, and the mentors wanting to win for their teams. That would mean the contestants can’t trust the mentors to do what is best for them to do well in the competition.

  • girlygirltoo

    Vino must not have seen any episodes of XFUS or XFUK if he thought it wasn’t going to be a show for manufactured pop acts. He would have been better off trying out for The Voice.

  • Montavilla

    I thought this part of the interview was very interesting, especially the part about it not being an inspiring atmosphere.   This might be the major difference with Idol, that the artists were encouraged to figure out who they are and improve themselves,  rather than being dictated.   Even though they have been more controlled the past couple of years, with Jimmy Iovine.  And I know Idol is more controlled than most of the public knows, but it does seem they have more flexibility. And he’s mentoring everyone, so it’s a little more impartial.

    Anoop Desai said something that always sticks in my mind, perhaps because of the way he phrased it.  He said that Idol had an atmosphere, “conducive to success.”  

    By which he meant that the producers, vocal coaches, stylists, and musical director were all trying to help him look at good as possible onstage.  I’m not saying that there isn’t any bussing going on.  The Happy Feet song is proof positive that it happens.  But I do think that, until those final weeks when the judges and producers actively pick songs, the idea is to support the contestants in their choices as much as possible.

  • bannanafish

    It seems that the atmosphere backstage, and the whole week between shows is a very tense, frustrating, negative, nerve-wracking experience for the contestants. Just about every week it seems the contestants are in constant conflict with the mentors/producers over song choices, what to wear, choreography, production etc. It’s like they have to fight to put a little bit of themselves in it. They have to trust the advice of mentors that really pushes them in the opposite direction of their gut feelings. But the mentors will go back to their homes in Hollywood and the contestants will go back to obscurity. The scene backstage seems chaotic. They don’t seem to even have a proper dressing room or a space to chill out and calm teir mind for 3 minutes before the are pushed out to perform for 7 million people. Even the video packages before the songs show this, with all the focus being on we have to move up in the rankings this week, I have to hold on to number 1. It’s stressful to even watch. Maybe it’s an illusion, but on Idol it seems a lot calmer, sure they work hard, but it seems like they have a good carmaraderie during the week and a lot less stressful environment and they don’t have a hundred people all pushing them in a hundred differnt directions over what to do.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    This might be the major difference with Idol, that the artists were encouraged to figure out who they are and improve themselves,  rather than being dictated.   Even though they have been more controlled the past couple of years, with Jimmy Iovine.  And I know Idol is more controlled than most of the public knows, but it does seem they have more flexibility.

    Even with the greater level of visible control, I remember in S10 a week when the mentoring packages showed Casey Abrams and at least one of the other guys refusing to do what Iovine suggested. All the rebels held their ground, performed the songs they wanted, and did so unsabotaged (all their equipment worked, the band knew the song, etc.). This may have happened again in S11, but I just don’t remember.

    Idol is willing to have “our artists are so authentic that they draw the line in the sand on A&R” be part of the official narrative.

    XFUSA’s official narrative is “our artists are completely shaped by A&R.”

    Despite Idol’s real weaknesses — this is an instance where I think that Idol groks that what many music-buyers like (a sense of getting an authentic artist) coincides with what makes good TV (conflict with TPTB is possible, and the deck’s not totally loaded) and what makes for a feel-good experience (the nice kid with a vision triumphs over the experts!).

  • Karen C

    This may have happened again in S11, but I just don’t remember.

    I know there was something with Phillip but I don’t think it was as much song choice as it was performance style and appearance.  Tommy Hilifinger told him not to wear a gray t shirt, and P Diddy told him not to use the guitar, and how to walk over to the girls in the audience,  and Phillip did neither of these things, he had the guitar and wore a gray t shirt, and this was noted by the judges that he knew who he was  as an artist.  I remember also Elise wanting to do something and fighting for it, during Billy Joel week.

  • justmefornow

    I remember that week with Casey as well. That was around the time James wanted to sing ‘Heavy Metal’ which Jimmy didn’t like as well. When James called Chris Jerico to get Zakk Wylde on the show was only when Jimmy let him finally have his way.
     
    That didn’t last long however, because later when James wanted to sing Skid Row’s  ’18 and Life’ they lied about song clearance and made him sing that lame Bon Jovi song instead. It was only by accident after the season was over that James met Sebasian Bach and found out the truth.

    So maybe Idol, meaning Jimmy now, will let the contestants have their way more than XFactor, they still manipulate that show a hell of a lot. Those contestants are only as “authentic” as TPTB are willing to let them be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shander.maxwhite Shander Maxwhite

    I agree it is a vehicle for abuse.  First,  they seem to select  a heavy proportion of contestants almost based on having crisis in their lives.  Second,  they exploit the spirit of child labor laws.. sure,  maybe the kids want an opportunity now instead of later, yet it is still warped.  That would take too much labor history to explain andequately here.

    Worst, the show is so heavy with snips of how everyone “feels” and so little discussion of music, it seems designed to make not only the audience, but the costestants too , focus on what people will like rather than what they can do best… which isn’t only a matter of song quality but toys with contestants mental stability suggesting all they should care about is how people vote and take their self esteem from there.

    Then, they teach the audience bad musical habits.. ok I’ll stop there.

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianLady2 CanadianLady

    Scotty also sang something Jimmy didn’t like – and did very well with it. Scotty has said several times he had to fight for who he was, and that none of the producers, etc. there really “got” country.

  • chillj

    I understand the child labor problems, but it is not just the fact of working; it is the exploitation of misery and pain, as well as setting talent up for ridicule.  It sends those intimately involved and the audience all the wrong messages about what is important:  appearance, not substance is what counts.  Yes, it does toy with emotional stability, as self-esteem is predicated on The Shallow, not character.  It is very disturbing to me.  The society is materialistic enough without having externals be set up as a virtue.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B3W4NXWIRRPYUAMLYY4Q3RELBE augusto z.a

    I wasn’t surprise Vino was eliminated. If he would only care to look at himself or his performances at the X-Factor, he would soon realize that with all his tattoos (head, arms and what have you), his posture (like a chimpanzee) while singing and his gestures (arms and feet) – he moves and looks like an alien from the movie “The Battleship”. Need I say more?