What is Simon Cowell’s X-Factor?

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.

About mj santilli 32181 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!