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Comparisons to American Idol Abound for the X Factor and Not to the Good
Here's an author who launches into a breathy explanation as to why Simon Cowell's new project, the X Factor, isn't doing as well as American Idol. This writer thinks that X Factor is every bit as good as Idol but please, please, that notion offends my sensibilities.
For sure the X Factor offers something and who would want a repeat of American Idol anyway?
Before the ruminations, let's do a review of the final three and make some remarks about this first season of this competetive reality show.
We had some drama, heh.
The finalists are:
Other X Factor acts are covered by me HERE and HERE.
As for my predictions of a winner, for the longest time I was leaning towards Melanie. By far she has the best voice. But Josh is my choice for now. First, Josh does not fit into the American Idol profile as does Melanie. Josh is part of the over 30 contingent and he would never even have a chance to audition for AI, much less win. I don't know if America would consider that with their call in votes but I would. Josh also sings in a genre and with a voice that probably wouldn't make the top 20 in AI. I'm going for Josh to win this thing.
The judges in this contest have been entertaining although once again Paula Abdul defies common sense. She will often up and just totally leave the judge area, just like that, poof, just walk off. Paula and Nicole are really a dopey pair. Throughout this entire series those two sobbed their eyeballs when came the time to vote off a contestant. "I can't do it," the sob-sisters mourned. Sheesh, wasn't that what they were paid to do? Who hired these two?
Here's an MTV writer who tries to make the case that X Factor is better than American Idol. Comparing the X Factor with American Idol is the hip thing to Blog about nowadays and hey, I'm as hip as any.
First, come on, the talent offered on X Factor is nowhere near the calibur of American Idol. If I'm a youngish, pretty/handsome up and coming star with a great voice, I'm not going on X Factor, I'm going on American Idol. This does not make AI a better show but AI came first, AI built up the reputation, and AI benefits by it.
The MTV writer asserts that not many AI winners have done much after their big win. This might well be but it's not a good argument to make against X Factor. X Factor does have a stable of former winners for comparison so it's an apples to oranges comparison. Come back in about ten years and let's look at all the former X Factor winners then making millions in the record business.
I think X Factor does entirely too much staging too early in the show. AI has a longish build up, beginning with bare bones up until only the top 20 benefit from any kind of big stage effects, background singers...that sort of thing. X Factor began with the contenders on stage with huge sets and entertainment frou-frou not even remotely appropriate for the scarce talent then being framed. Audiences tend to like a build up, the opportunity to look forward to something.
There was evidently some scripting to bring up the drama between the judges. Even the contestants exhibited a lot of drama that we'd never see on AI. So much of it was silly and often insulting to the viewers. Rachel and Drew's stupid meltdown after their elimination might have been meant to ramp up the audience sympathy for the contenders who'd come so far but hey, we get that out in la-la land. We also understand about good sportsmanship and acting with a little maturity. By me a lot of that emotional crap was purposefully scripted and it was just plain dumb. They came, they performed, they either moved on or not. We're watching a talent contest here, not Love of Life. Add to all the angst we got those nutty judges crying because they so loved their proteges, sheesh, enough already.
There is one major difference between AI and X Factor and it's a good thing. X Factor does offer an edgier choice of music than AI and this is a benefit. Rapping is not a music genre beloved by much of America. There is definitely a market and audience for it, however, and X Factor could become the talent show to bring it on. AI offers these sorts of music genres but you'll seldom see a rapper land in AI's top five. It might well be the same for X Factor as it is America across its fruited plains voting for the finalists and Americans like what Americans like.
Today there is such a variety of talent type shows available I can see the many offerings eventually settling into a niche. AI would be the all-American type, with the Kelly Clarkson or Scotty McCreary singers leading the pack. X Factor might someday have an Astro or a Stereo Hogzz winning the title. The Voice might be the place for country/ballad type singers to take their chance. America's Got Talent will be the place for all the miscellany that doesn't fit anywhere else.