The X-Factor seemed to start off on a bad note when it dropped British judge Cheryl Cole. Replacement judge Nicole Scherzinger didn't seem to me like a good fit during auditions. But now that it's clear the judges' role is not just to vote every week, but to train their assigned group of contestants, I've changed my mind. I can't see Cheryl Cole coaching any of these teams to musical super-stardom. Nicole may be lacking in the magnetic personality department (as she was on DWTS, which she won) but after watching the judges' home segments, I think she'll be a winner as a coach.
It was definitely a struggle to stick with the show through the weeks of auditions. L.A. Reid and Simon were the only reasons I kept watching. For the most part, the contestants were either very physically unappealing or far too young. But in the end, with tonight's selection of the final 17, it was worth it and made for pretty riveting TV.
The X-Factor is not the same as American Idol. To say it’s more emotional is an understatement. It’s like Queen for a Day on steroids. There's the homeless guy, the garbage collector/recovering drug addict (sober now 70 days); the emotionally battered wife/mother; the precocious 13 year old going on 30; the 14 year old reincarnation of Taylor Swift; the baby rapper; the hot likeable tart; the overweight, stringy- haired white guy with acne who makes burritos and has a voice that blows away most of the competition, and the 59 year old “sleeper”.
Aside from the non-exciting group category the show handed off to Paula, for entertainment purposes, I think the show got the finalists right tonight. It's not just about the voice but creating a star. What makes a star? The undefinable X-Factor, of course. That intangible quality you can’t define but you know it when you see it. The finalists are all talented, but in addition, they either have a compelling sad-sack story or are immensely watchable. Continue reading