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Home to talk about ‘X Factor,’ week two

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How do you like L.A. Reid as a judge?

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I’m on vacation but I wanted to give the regular followers of “Idol” to kvetch (or even praise) “X Factor” during its second week on the air.

Ratings last week both nights were 12.5 million viewers. That was clearly a disappointing figure for Fox officials and creator Simon Cowell after all the publicity and build up over the months. “Criminal Minds,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Person of Interest” and “Modern Family” drew more viewers. Both comedies drew more 18 to 49 year olds.

The only clear upgrade from “Idol” so far that I can ascertain is record executive L.A. Reid. He has gravitas and a track record that outweighs Randy Jackson. Otherwise, we have two personality black holes in Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones, neither of whom have distinguished themselves yet. And even Simon himself seems oddly diminished. So far, what used to be his classic wordplay has been rather tepid. And the show itself focused absurd amounts of time on bad and mediocre singers, giving them even more time on stage to sing than “Idol” would.

Plus, the “naked” guy last Wednesday was a complete fake out. TMZ reports the guy wasn’t even naked! He was wearing a leopard print thong! It seems Simon courted the controversy by letting the guy stay on the stage a ridiculously long time and then airing the entire sequence. Simon wanted people to be outraged and talk about it. The Parents Television Council fell for it, saying it was an abomination and plans to file copious complaints to the Federal Communications Commission. Sure, there is a school of thought that controversy like this might fuel viewership but I thought it was a complete and utter turnoff. I’m 100% sure Nigel Lythgoe and Co. at “Idol” would never have allowed the guy to have done that for more than three seconds before security folks hauled him off. Even Piers Morgan would have buzzed him on “America’s Got Talent” before he had even gotten his pants off.

Maybe week two will be better. Maybe. At least the audition episodes only last two weeks, as opposed to four for “Idol.”

Other folks who write about the show were not any kinder than I was.

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126 comments Add your comment

JTesla

September 28th, 2011
3:58 pm

LA Reid is one thing I really like about X-Factor. He shouldn’t even be compared to Randy Jackson, because unlike Jackson, he has a real background in the industry.

Harriett

September 28th, 2011
4:18 pm

Agree with JT. I am gone for the day, so happy evening to all.

JTesla

September 28th, 2011
4:42 pm

I should also add that he has style. A sophisticated style as opposed to Randy’s unsophisticated style.

Rickster

September 28th, 2011
4:58 pm

I should also add that LA Reid has a much more varied and impressive vocabulary that Randy. Not a “dawg,” “dope” or “pitchy” that I’ve heard.

Rickster

September 28th, 2011
5:01 pm

Have a great evening, everyone. I’m outta here.

Deirdre

September 28th, 2011
5:57 pm

I agree on LA Reid. He is the one person on the panel who might actually be able to save the show.

And re the naked guy…I also agree that, what Simon thought would be controversial, is just icky and, as you said, a turn-off. I can’t imagine anyone actually enjoying that bit of circus-y sideshow.

I think this show had better come up with something soon if they want my loyalty. And I think a lot of people would agree with me.

BTW, thanks for the new thread.

Rodney Ho

September 28th, 2011
6:34 pm

Just came back from snorkeling! Staying in a cabana behind the home of the treasurer of Aruba, who is a supremely nice guy who took us out to dinner last night. Though the Aruba TV offerings include ABC, NBC and CBS, there is no Fox. So no X Factor for me!

Highlander

September 28th, 2011
6:35 pm

I don’t think it’s fair to say Randy Jackson doesn’t have a ‘real’ background in the music industry. He has worked with and produced albums with some major artists (and he never fails to remind you of it!).

But he definitely has NOT been the driving force behind those artists the same as L.A. Reid has been.

For my money, that makes L.A. an upgrade from Simon, too!

Highlander

September 28th, 2011
6:37 pm

“Just came back from snorkeling! Staying in a cabana behind the home of the treasurer of Aruba, who is a supremely nice guy who took us out to dinner last night.” – RH

Wow, can we refer to that as RoHo having a “Randy”-like moment?? :D

JTesla

September 28th, 2011
6:40 pm

Yes Highlander, we can. Snorkling and hobnobbing with Aruba big shots. I don’t think Rodney is all that disappointed that he can’t watch X-Factor.

[...] more Home to talk about ‘X Factor,’ week two at Radio & TV [...]

Branch Loveless

September 28th, 2011
7:28 pm

I missed all but just a few minutes of “X Factor” last week so I’m not yet prejudiced against it. Will give it a fair shot to capture my attention. If nothing else, there is definite “pretty” (Nicole) to keep me entertained!

Rodney in Aruba? Really? Does he not follow the news? :shock:

Deirdre

September 28th, 2011
8:50 pm

Branch, I made him promise not to let Helen wear a blonde wig.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
7:00 am

Morning!

I watched XF last night and…it was better. At least we didn’t have to wait 2 hours to see someone who can sing.

However…there was enough to annoy me that I still not even chasing the bandwagon, never mind on it. Paula and Simon started their 12 year old middle school crap again. It’s stupid, not even a tiny bit entertaining and another “been there done that” which XF doesn’t need.

Also, the last singer that Simon insisted was so good…wasn’t. He fought tooth and nail to get her on the show and she wasn’t worth it.

The philosophy major who uses both sides of his brain and still has no clue was sweet but not particularly talented.

There were a couple of very good people last night but I’m not inclined to think the girl who loved Justin Bieber was one of them…although she did deserve to g to the next round.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
7:07 am

Been there, done that moments:

The crowds of auditioners outside yell We hav the X Factor. Idol

Paula and Simon acting like middle schoolers. Idol

Cheering or booing audiences. AGT

Awful singers. Every show

The judges becoming coaches. The Voice

Old singers AGT

I have yet to see this show do anything that sets it apart from those who got here first.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
7:25 am

Personal note. Francesca Duncan, the girl who we saw(very briefly) singing Hero is the student of a friend of mine. If I hear any insider stuff, I’ll let you know.

Highlander

September 29th, 2011
7:56 am

Yeah, while I have seen a couple talented hopefuls, there’s still way too much “fluff”.

Impression thus far: Looks like the show could have been called “America’s Got Talent: The Vocal Edition.”

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
7:56 am

Morning!

I liked the XF much better last night, but thought of you, Deirdre, when Paula and Simon started their schtick. Distracting, to say the least. I did not understand for one moment Simon’s going to bat for that last girl. He would have laughed her off the stage on Idol. In fact, there were several acts I thought did not deserve a second look and was surprised when Simon voted them through. That guy who did the poor Sinatra thing was awful and why they let him through I simply do not know. But, all in all a much better show than last week’s. More talent showing, anyway.

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
8:01 am

In some Idol news, here’s the latest from the Charlotte, NC newspaper on Scotty:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/29/2648177/idol-scottys-big-week-begins-in.html

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
8:27 am

Harriett, agree on the Sinatra guy although I didn’t think he was any worse that the Sinatra guy who won AGT. There were a few people who got through that made me wonder about the judges. However, I did really like the guy who sang At Last although I think the judges were over-enthusiastic about him. The only truly, amazingly talented person I’ve seen so far is that girl from the end of Thursday’s show last week.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
8:28 am

Melanie Amaro…I had to go back and look up her name.

Sam-A

September 29th, 2011
8:40 am

Well, the “talent” really wasn’t any better last night, and I sat agape at some that went thru (the nut case who just made sounds in particular).

And regardless of the “banana hammock), I don’t care to see a ding dong with his slong in a thong flopping around the stage – still totally inappropiate and unappealing especially for childred and TV (and me)!

Just really don’t like anything about the show with the exception of the newly calm and charming Paula.

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
8:42 am

I liked the guy who sang At Last best of all last night. I am just incredulous at what Simon is putting through. We’ve all said “Simon would have never put that one through,” or “never would have made it past Simon,” in referring to contestants on both Idol and AGT and now th is? What the heck? Totally agree about Melanie Amaro. What a talent!!

Sam-A

September 29th, 2011
8:43 am

And even childreN

Woodpappy

September 29th, 2011
8:45 am

I saw some of X factor last night as well. I too was wondering what Simon saw in the last girl. It just wasn’t there in my opinion. Plus, you know that Mother (70+ yrs old) and daughter with the bleached blonde hair and red lips were both mentally challenged (I’m being nice) to have even thought that was singing.

Sam-A

September 29th, 2011
8:45 am

There’ve been maybe 4 people total (at least that we’ve been shown) who should have gone thru. The “At Last” guy was ok, but probably seemed better than he is because his looks made us think he’d be dreadful. (Do any of you older Atlanta area kids remember Bestoink Dooley who hosted the midnight scary movies on Sat nights on a local station – dude could play BD in a movie!)

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
8:46 am

Unless they’re holding back on us, I saw better talent on season 9 of American Idol…and that’s not saying much.

Nana

September 29th, 2011
9:17 am

Morning.

Agree that LA Reid is better than Randy. I too, thought Paula and Simon were back to being childish in the behavior last night, especially when she knocked the bowl of peanuts from his hand after the last singer was finally put through. And why is beyond me. I think both Paula and Nicole were right in saying no and should have stuck to their opinion and NOT have agreed with Simon.

Also, after watching both weeks of XF. I will say that last night was some better than last week. At least we did get to see better singers. So far, my faves would have to be Melanie and the guy from last night who sung “At Last.” Of course, I’m sure my faves will change just like they do on Idol (with the exception of a few).

Gotta go and bake my dad a birthday cake. He’s celebrating his 95th today!!!!

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
9:28 am

Happy Birthday to your dad, Nana!

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
9:31 am

Hey, Nana! Not bad–95 and a new bridegroom, to boot! Happy Birthday to Dad!

kelly&carriefan

September 29th, 2011
9:44 am

Hi y’all,

I still haven’t managed to catch an episode of X Factor…I have Xfinity/CrapCast and y’all know the limitations as discussed in the previous blog. That said, I do intend to start watching.

D, LOL. Yes, Rodney, no wigs!

Also, I was at the Braves game last night… :cry:

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
10:15 am

Oh k&cf…I’m so sorry. Try to look at the bright side. At least we won’t have to watch the Braves collapse in the post season. They’ve already done it.

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
10:20 am

Yeah, KCF and D, that’s the way I feel. I was almost afraid they’d make it, only to collapse in the post season. They just didn’t have the gas to finish strong.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
12:34 pm

Last week I was bashing Glee and complaining about its deterioration. I just watched this week’s episode and it was FANTASTIC. What a difference! The return of Rachel’s birth mother and the fact that she is also the adoptive mother of Quinn’s and Puck’s baby girl opened a door that needed to be opened. Two excellent stories from the return of one former cast member! Kurt and his dad also had one of those heart-to not sappy heart talks which led to Kurt being more accepting of who he is. “Not a Rock Hudson style gay guy” Add all this to the auditions for the HS musical West Side Story and the episode was even better than anything they did in the first season.

If Glee keeps up this kind of storyline…I’m back in!

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
12:54 pm

XF’s ratings were top for the night but down 11% from last Wednesday.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
12:56 pm

Explaining: Modern Family wolloped it again in the 9 to 9:30 time slot. Other than that XF lifted Fox to No. 1 for the night.

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
1:01 pm

Good to hear that about Glee, Deirdre. Maybe I’ll opt back in!

greg

September 29th, 2011
1:52 pm

I don’t remember the girls name but the second episode last week she sang a Beyonce song. She was INCREDIBLE!! The show is ok. I’m giving it a chance…

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
2:17 pm

greg, her name was Melanie Amaro and she’s terrific. I’d put her voice up there with Kelly and Carrie.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
2:37 pm

I taped New Girl and I’m watching it right now. OMG, aside from the fact that she’s really cute, who was the idiot who first decided that Zooey Deschanel can act????????

G

September 29th, 2011
2:45 pm

I’m late checking in on XF. I actually thought that the talent last night was a bit better than last week. I believe once the show weeds out all the pretenders, we will truly get an idea of how strong the talent on XF really is.

I like the judges. Nichole stepped her game up on the show. People are really going to find out how talented and knowledgeable Nichole is, about music and technical aspects of singing. I’ve had the experience of listening to her judging skills on The Sing Off, and I’m impressed. When she told the last girl that she was singing in various keys, the common person wouldn’t pick that up. All a lot of people heard was that she has a strong voice. Judging is not ALL about the personality they bring, but the “educated” critiques they offer to contestants too.

JTesla

September 29th, 2011
2:50 pm

I don’t get Zooey or her sister. I watched Bones for a while and tried to “get” it, but nope.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
3:03 pm

Re what G said: I must be an “educated” critic then cuz I thought the last girl was awful.

JT, I never got into Bones so I don’t know whether her sister is any better but Zooey’s schtick gets old really quickly.

Harriett

September 29th, 2011
3:57 pm

I am just not with it today. Signing off for the weekend and hoping everyone has a pleasant and enjoyable one.

Simon Says

September 29th, 2011
4:01 pm

X factor is good, Talent is better because of less limits on age, and you have groups.

The guys that did Boyz to Men were good
The guy the makes Buritos was asesome
The girl that sang Justin B song was good, for 14 year old she changed it up real nice
The guy that sang Creep by Radiohead was real good and funny to watch but I really liked how he sounded, that was funny.

Talent is far and away better then AI. I guess there is a lot of good singers over 28 years old.

Nana

September 29th, 2011
4:07 pm

I’m hoping that XF will get better once the competition actually begans and all the bad talent is over. I will have to record it tonight, as we are taking my dad to Red Lobster to celebrate his birthday.

JTesla

September 29th, 2011
4:09 pm

I don’t buy the argument that the inclusion of old people will equal more talent. I think the judges/producers/coaches play more of a role in selecting what we will, in the future, define as talent than the expanded age range will provide. A show could limit the age to 38 to 40 year old singers and the talent could be phenomenal if selected and developed correctly.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2011
4:33 pm

I thought the Boyz 2 Men style group had really weird harmonies and sounded kind of old fashioned.

The only person older that 45 who has been any good at all was a woman last night who had a really nice voice. Other than that, the older singers have been pretty awful.

But yes, the burritos guy was very good.

Sam-A

September 29th, 2011
4:50 pm

Enter your comments here

Sam-A

September 29th, 2011
4:51 pm

Harriett: me too – just had a shock flash that this is only Thurs and not Fri. Poor delusional me!