Boot Camp Begins on X Factor 2012. Some Predictions and Some Snark.

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According to the Baltimore Sun TV writer, X Factor's not all that hot so far as the ratings can measure.

In fact, her column, and a whole lot of other TV type reviewers seem to think that the competitive singing reality show might have reached its nadir.

Of course this sort of speculation has been made for ages yet every year yet another talent contest is introduced and the existing ones grow in popularity.

This past year we had "Duets", a singing competition with yet another angle involving sharing the stage with established artists.

"America's Got Talent" is a talent show that has grown almost geometrically since its early beginnings. "The Voice" has this year clobbered "X Factor" by going head-to-head and by beginning with a plethora of episodes that will be hard for the viewers to miss.

Which is not to say that Simon Cowell's new invention is doing lackluster. But X Factor's not another "American Idol", don't tell Simon Cowell.

As of this writing X Factor is culled down to 60 contenders. The pattern on X Factor is for 120 contenders to be chosen from the crowds of the destinations.

X Factor begins with the same sort of cheering crowd scenes from the many destinations, scenes seen at the beginning of American Idol or America's Got Talent. 120 contenders are chosen from the crowds over a period of a couple of weeks. The early shows are designed to draw in the viewers so that when those chosen are down to a more easy to handle few and the viewers begin to pick and follow their favorites.

This year there's a formidable amount of talent now fighting for a chance to go to the judge's homes.

Yeah, the thing about the judges' homes is a bit odd but I've been told Simon Cowell likes it that way.

The judges, for their part, are assigned a specific sub-genre, like "young girl singers" or "groups". The judges then coach, mold and configure their charges for their on-stage competition and presentation to America.

I've seen some very interesting contenders but obviously, for now, honing in on possible winners is a bit difficult.

Keep coming back to this Blog because in due course we'll be watching carefully, predicting as expected and, of course, peppering the discourse with a little bit of snark.

Below all posts on this Blog on this subject.

X Factor 2012-A First Look. Britney Spears As a Judge? Let's Discuss.

X Factor airs on Weds and Thurs Fox 8pm/7c

Click here to go to this Blog's main menu and see what other TV series we're covering.

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Drivel: The Day After

I have survived the ordeal. Actually, it wasn't that bad. It's a
toss-up whether I most hated the no-food prep day, or the insertion of the IV...

The morning before, I was allowed a light breakfast and the prep sheet recommended cereal, toast and juice. I had Cheerios and a Starbucks bottle of Frappuccino. That was my compromise because my usual morning caffeine is in the form of Diet Dr. Pepper, but on this day I was not allowed anything with red or purple dyes. Since I don't know what's in the soda, safer not to drink it. I did *not* want to have to re-do this just because I had soda.

Only a light liquid lunch was allowed; I had chicken broth and orange Jell-o. At 2pm I started drinking that 3 or 4 liter container of stuff designed to clean me out. I think there's a reason that thing doesn't tell you what size it is, but it's bigger than a two-liter Diet Dr. Pepper. The goal is 8 ounces of the stuff every 10 to 15 minutes. They say about an hour after you start it will begin working, and not to be too far from a bathroom. Harry set the timer on my phone and every ten minutes I guzzled a "squat" glass of the stuff.

An hour went by and nothing. Two hours went by and nothing... but I began to wonder where it all was going. I felt bloated and full. At two and a half hours, drink number 12, I think, the stuff finally
kicked in.

The first thing she did was dump IV fluid all over me and the bed.

I began to get a headache, no doubt from lack of caffeine. I readily admit I'm addicted.

Drinks 13 through 16 were done between runs to the bathroom, no pun intended. Drink 18 finished off the container, but not the trips to the bathroom. Eventually, though, things calmed down. I felt empty and famished.

Harry and I arrived at the hospital around 6am. The procedure was scheduled to start at 7:30. I signed in, answered questions, filled out a form, got a cool blue wristband, and we sat around in the lobby
and waited. Finally a nurse came and escorted us upstairs. There were two other sets of folks in our group; an elderly man and woman, coming for something heart-ish, and two women, one of whom was having the same thing I was. I think.

For the day of, a good friend gave me this advice: "I suggest in the interest of self protection, you declare your own wuss status, and scream bloody murder if need be! I think that sets a much better
precedent for later happenings." Of course I promptly forgot it in the rush of the hospital staff getting me ready.

Upstairs, we waited some more. I think I was taken back into the depths of the hospital at around 7:15. It seemed kind of late to me and I remember I didn't kiss Harry goodbye.

In the room, I was given a hospital gown which I couldn't tie, then walked to a bed in the middle of a wide-open area. There was a TV screen next to the bed. A fleet of nurses attacked me: one had me read and sign a paper; one put oxygen nipples in my nose; one attached electrodes to monitor my heart; one attached a blood pressure cuff; and one came at me with an IV needle.

The first thing she did was dump IV fluid all over me and the bed. "Oh, spilled," she said and continued to work.

"A new one?" I asked. "Shouldn't we worry about sterility if it was already open?"

She looked at me like I was a Martian, but after a moment said, "I can get you a new one if you prefer."

"I prefer." I said, and "Thanks."

When she returned with an IV that didn't drip until told to, she attempted to find a good vein in the back of my right hand. I think she was digging for gold in there, because it HURT and just when I
thought she was done, she dug in further. While I had forgotten I was supposed to declare my wuss status, my emotions did it for me. With the third or fourth jab in the back of my hand, I started to cry,
silent tears rolling down my face with each jerk of the needle. IT HURT! No doubt this was her revenge for making her get a new IV.

When one nurse noticed the tears and gently wiped them away with a tissue, the one with the needle moved to my right forearm. The jabbing didn't hurt quite as much there, but she had no better luck.
Horrified, I heard one say "It's bubbling up, there." I didn't dare look. They abandoned their efforts on the right arm and a different nurse had to convince me to allow them to dig into the back of my left
hand. They can't use the big elbow vein (and I have nice ones) because of the bending of the arm when you roll over. Grudgingly I gave permission and she managed to get in with the first try.

I still didn't trust that it was working until they gave me Demerol through that IV and I soon felt dizzy. "Dizzy." I remember telling one of them. "Is that the Demerol?" They told me yes and I was okay, knowing the IV was in place and working as designed. They asked me to roll over on my left side and I found myself facing the TV. "Oh, I get to watch," I said. Then a nurse took my glasses away. "I guess I don't get to watch," I said.

The rest is a blur. I think I remember whimpering and saying "wait" when they hit the bends in my colon, but it's a faded almost memory that doesn't bother me. The next real memory I have is Harry being brought into recovery and my dozing off, waking up, dozing off, wishing I could stay awake because I knew until I could I wouldn't be released.

After release, all I wanted to do was sleep so while I've heard people say the stopped for food on the way home from a colonoscopy, I wasn't one of those people. I slept for about four hours after arrival at home.

Once up, Harry made me some soup that wasn't just broth, I called some folks to let them know I was alive, and watched some TV. A couple of hours later, I was done again and napped a second time. A little more TV in the evening and I called it an early night.

Today, I'm okay. My morning soda finally got rid of the headache I'd had throughout (except when I was on Demerol).

They removed one polyp and I go back in two weeks to see what the doctor has to say. Likely I'll have to do this again in five years instead of ten.

The only casualty? The back of my right hand which is horribly swollen and starting to turn blue. And it still hurts. :-( The paperwork says to call if it's still bad after 48 hours, and I do think it's a
bit better than it was last night.

Overall, while I don't recommend it as a hobby, it wasn't as bad as some things I've gone through.

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise

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