Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik will vie to become the first winner of X-Factor in its inaugural season. The three singers will compete this week with the winner being announced on Thursday, Dec. 22.
The best singer remaining in the running, for the coveted $5 million recording contract, in my estimation is Melanie Amaro. My personal favorite is Chris Rene, since he has overcome many obstacles, to be competing to be the winner of the X-Factor. Going from being a garbage collector with a serious drug problem, to the brink of winning a $5 million recording contract, makes me want to root for him.
However, I expect to see either Josh Krajcik or Amaro take the top prize on Thursday night, on finale night. Krajcik has a powerful voice, but his mentor Nicole Scherzinger did nothing to change his stage persona or his appearance during the season. Rene changed his look during the season, due to L.A. Reid’s advice or did it on his own. Either way I think it increased his appeal. He commands the stage and seems to be enjoying entertaining the audience. Rene is by far the best entertainer, remaining in the running to win X-Factor.
Krajcik looks as unkempt as he did during the auditions and has made no attempt to clean up his look. Who would want to buy an album of his with his look, unless he changes it this week? It is sad to see a singer with such a great voice, look like he bought his clothes at a Goodwill store, with scraggly looking hair, that looks like it hasn’t encountered a brush or comb in months. I apologize to his fans for my criticism, but am only pointing this out, to say that a singer’s appearance is crucial to their success.
I look for Steve Jones to announce Amaro, as the winner on Thursday night. I still can’t believe that Simon Cowell chose four other female singers ahead of her.
Speaking of Jones, there are rumors that he will not return for the second season. He is opposite of Ryan Seacrest who seems to run a tighter ship, without all the drama. Jones has several times asked questions to singers or judges, that were emotionally distraught and refused to talk to him.
Jones seems to be obviously reading from a cue card, during X-Factor. I can’t see X-Factor bringing him back and will find a host, who is less annoying.
The most shocking elimination this season was when Rachel Crow was sent home, due to Scherzinger not being able to make a choice between Marcus Canty and Crow. The judges are paid to judge and her refusal to judge, resulted in Crow going home, since it was her only chance, to remain on the show.
Drew seemed to be a lock for the final three along with Crow, but Cowell’s insistence on her singing in a chair, for an entire song resulted in her being voted off the show.
The animosity between Cowell and Reid speeded up Drew’s departure from the show.
Summary of first season as of today: My personal opinion is that X-Factor went overboard, on the big production numbers. I can’t remember this many big production numbers, on American Idol. Their focus was more on the singers and not the staging of the songs.
X-Factor did well in the ratings, but didn’t come close to approaching the ratings numbers for American Idol. I look for American Idol to continue draw more than 20 million viewers in its 2012 season. Cowell had predicted 20 million viewers for X-Factor, but was 9 to 10 million off most of the season.
Jones, the host was a major distraction during the inaugural season. Know he was being hurried by producers, but then those same producers slowed down the show, by the dead air when announcing who was staying on the show.
X-Factor did alright for a first season, but it seems like they could have come up, with a better final three, than that competing on Thursday night for the big prize.
The fighting between the mentors, took the focus off the singers and onto the judges. Cowell and Reed were particularly disrespectful to the singers, in the other mentor’s tutelage.
One of the singers will have a $5 million recording contract, after the show on Thursday night. Amaro to me, has the best chance of becoming a recording star.
X-Factor has had a penchant, for making news this season. The latest controversy involves LeRoy Bell, singing with his mouth closed, on X-Factor this week. He broke the cardinal rule of lip-syncing, by not holding the microphone in front of his face, showing X-Factor fans, that he was not singing live. The incident occurred during a group ensemble song.
Then the Stereo Hoggz evidently were lip-syncing too, during their last chance, song which gave them a chance to return next week. The following article shows videos of both lip-syncing incidents.
X-Factor needs to stop all lip-syncing immediately, whether other singing competition shows are doing the same thing or not. It is all about X-Factor needing to establish some credibility.
We have seen the tears of Stacy Francis, Dexter Hagood and saw LeRoy Bell talking, about one last chance to make it. X-Factor has ventured away from reality, in not mentioning that all three singers, have had some level of success, in the music business. The tears may be real, but their backstories are not real, since they leave out the times, when they were a success in the past.
Bell being part of the Bell and James duo, has never been mentioned, or that Bell and James recorded a single, in Livin’ It Up that sold a million copies in 1979. Dexter Hagood was a member of Xavion, the first black band on MTV. Stacy Francis has been singing for many years professionally. She may not have had the big break, she talks about all the time, but it is not like she has never had a chance to be successful.
In their eagerness to create drama for the three singers, they have neglected to tell the full story, about these singers. Unless X-Factor is more truthful, about the backstories of these singers and any others, viewers will start looking, for other shows to watch. If you can’t trust the producers of X-Factor to be honest, then all their credibility is gone, along with viewers tiring of their dishonesty.
It was no surprise that InTENsity was the first act, that was sent home, this season on X-Factor. They were doomed from the start, by having such a large group. Throwing ten singers together and expecting them to jel, in such a short time was asking too much of the group. It is hard to identify with a group that large and probably sealed their fate.
Steve Jones No Ryan Seacrest
Steve Jones proved beyond a doubt during the results show, that he is not in same league with Ryan Seacrest, when it comes to hosting reality singing competition shows.
He just does not come across well, to the X-Factor fans. Maybe we are just used to the more relaxed Ryan Seacrest, who is more low-key than Jones, while on stage. Jones seems to be yelling over the crowd noise, most of the time on X-Factor.
The overlong pauses by Jones, before revealing which contestants would return next week, drove me to distraction, making me want to say, for him to get on with it and stop trying to build up so much drama.
Jones needs to tone down the drama and speed up telling who was going on, to the next round of X-Factor.
Today’s poll asks who is the better host, Steve Jones or Ryan Seacrest.
Judges Bickering Real?
I can’t help but wonder if the bickering between the judges is real or scripted to create more drama. Simon seems to be intent on criticizing the other judges, more than the singing acts.
The other judges seem to be concentrating, on judging the singers, but Simon seems to be judging the other judges, by criticizing the song choices, for the acts they are mentoring. Simon has said some good things about Paula Abdul, praising her ability to work with the groups so well.
There was no doubt that X-Factor host Steve Jones wasted time, with his long pauses between announcing contestants, that would be safe, or were in the bottom three. He milked all the drama he could and almost made the show run over.
Then to make up for the long pauses, he rushed up the judges in making their decisions, on the final two acts. The worst of all was when he acted like he was going to announce the next act to return, paused for a long time, then said the show would return, after a break for a commercial.
American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest does the same thing, but he never did it ten times in a row. X-Factor producers need to do some fine tuning, to eliminate so much wasted air time. I can see a five second pause, but the ten and fifteen second pauses, were way too long.
It sounded ridiculous for Jones to hurry up L.A. Reid, in making his decision on the final two, after he had wasted minutes with all the long pauses.
Are Voters Forgetting About the Groups?
It was a shock to me that two of the bottom three acts, were the groups Stereo Hoggz and InTENsity. We weren’t told in what order the acts received their votes. The group acts may be at a disadvantage, since fans seemed to identify more with the solo acts.
The fact that Simon voted to keep InTENsity makes me question his knowledge. He seemed to diss the Stereo Hoggz, because their showdown song was slower, than the song sung by InTENsity. It was almost like he was voting for the flashiest act, not the best singing act.
Stereo Hoggz were clearly a better group, with better singing and better choreography, so it worries me that they came two votes from being eliminated by the judges.
Stacy Francis may have problems advancing, after finishing third in the fans voting. She may even be another step closer to being voted off the show, with the departure of InTENsity.
Melanie Amaro and Drew Advance
It is now clear that Melanie Amaro and Drew are the best singers in the competition. The question is do they have the fan base, who will vote for them week after week, or will one of them leave early like Pia Toscano did on American Idol last season?
Wish we would have known the exact order in the voting. Am particularly wondering about the older singers, who may have smaller fan bases.
I can see Josh Krajcik going late into this season, but wouldn’t be surprised if LeRoy Bell and Stacy Francis are voted off, in the first month of the live shows. It is not that they aren’t good singers, but I can’t see them garnering much support from the voters.
Paula Abdul was caught in a bad position last night, having to choose which group went home, after being their mentor. So after round one of the elimination shows, Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger still have all three of their singers for another week. I have a feeling Paula and Nicole will come out on the losing end by the end of the season, with Simon and L.A. having singers in the finale.
The following poll question asks which category, will have all of its acts voted off first.
Simon Cowell was in a good mood last night, as he announced during the USA version of X-Factor, that the show has been renewed for a second season.
It was clear last night, that we may not be hearing the snarky comments, we heard from him as an American Idol judge. He may be mellowing in his old age, having observed his 52nd birthday on October 7. His worst comments were reserved for his fellow mentors on last night’s program. We didn’t hear the catty comments, we heard during nine years of American Idol.
No comments were heard last night about karaoke singers, cruise ship singers or singers sounding like screeching cats. One reason is that this is a group of singers, has no flaws glaring enough for Cowell to heap abuse on them.
Trend Toward Kinder Judges
There has been a trend toward kinder judges this year, from American Idol to The Voice and now X-Factor. The American Idol judges, in one show had 26 positive remarks out of 27 remarks during one particular show.
The Voice had almost all positive remarks about the singers, but seemed to be reticent about criticizing the other singers, since it would reflect on the mentors. There was more criticism of the other mentors, who were Ce-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Even that criticism was in a joking way, that let the viewers know, there was no personal animosity between the judges.
Part of the kinder judges mentality, may be because the producers are focusing on the singers more, since they are what drive the shows.
America Votes For First Time on X-Factor
It will be very interesting to see how X-Factor handles the results show tonight. It may also give us an indication of what singers have fan bases and which don’t.
The last thing the producers want is a Pia Toscano situation, that occurred during American Idol. Melanie Amaro is clearly the best singer, but it remains to be seen if she has a strong fan base.
Another interesting thing to watch tonight is how X-Factor, will let us know who drew the most votes. They will probably come up with a new way to reveal the votes, to avoid copying the bottom three of American Idol.
No Comment Made About Bell, Francis Past Success
X-Factor producers decided to not address, the LeRoy Bell and Stacy Francis articles on the internet, saying they had both had success in the past. Instead the producers continued to pursue the last chance storyline for both singers.
Josh Krajcik outperformed both of them anyway last night. It wouldn’t surprise me to see LeRoy Bell or Stacy Francis voted off the show.
The younger singers probably will draw more votes, as usually happens on these singing competitions, that allow voting by the fans.
Not Good as American Idol
There is a missing ingredient on X-Factor, that keeps the show from being good as American Idol. I think having groups, is part of the reason, since it is harder to identify with a group than a solo singer.
Steven Jones, the host of X-Factor doesn’t seem to have the command of the stage, Ryan Seacrest had with American Idol. I noticed he cut off Paula Abdul, while she was talking again. Abdul was infuriated when this happened last week, saying Ryan Seacrest had never cut her off.
There still is enough drama on the show, to keep me watching till the conclusion on December 22. It will be fun tonight, watching how X-Factor handles eviction nights.
Now that the American version of X-Factor has selected their 12 contestants, for their debut season on Fox, it is clear that American Idol should still be the top singing competition show in the United States.
One big difference that stands out, is that X-Factor is featuring big production numbers with dancers, while there is little dancing, that I recall from American Idol.
Another difference is that the American Idol judges, got along with each other much better, than the X-Factor judges. It may be too early to tell, if the drama between the judges is contrived to draw higher ratings, or if they genuinely don’t get along.
Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid seemed to be jousting with each other, making digs at the other judge for their song selections, etc. Nicole Scherzinger was also criticized by Simon Cowell for the way she handled the Over 30′s singers. Paula Abdul and Simon got along for the most part during the show that pared down the contestants from 16 to 12 for the remaining live shows.
Nicole has the toughest task, having to work with the older singers. It won’t be an easy task to mentor them, since the older singers probably won’t have a lot of support from voters, since the youngest fans are the ones more likely to vote.
With three singers 14 and younger, in Rachel Crow, Brian “Astro” Bradley and Drew Ryniewicz (who will be known as Drew) it makes me wonder if America, would want to see someone that young, win the $5 million recording contract which could mean problems with parents, who would not want to see the money put in a trust fund, where they couldn’t get hold of it.
The same goes for the older singers in Josh Krajcik, Stacy Francis and LeRoy Bell. Krajcik at 30 might be the favorite, because he is the best singer, in the Over 30′s group.
Stacy Francis and Melanie Amaro are the only remaining female solo artists who are 19 and older. Both of them have power voices that can stand out, but I think Melanie has the edge because of her age, not knowing if the 42 -year-old Stacy can win.
The two rap singers Chris Rene and Astro do some rapping, but think Astro stepped it up with his rapping on Wednesday’s show, while Chris sang a more subdued song. He will have to do more rapping, or Astro will probably outlast him on the show. On the other hand, not sure either can win the $5 million.
The Stereo Hoggz should be the best group, since InTENsity and Lakoda Rayne have been together a very short time. Not sure if the categories format is working, since they had to make two groups of singers, who had been eliminated. I think the show would be better, if the producers would take the top 12 singers, regardless of category.
However, that would ruin the competition between the judges, so the category concept will probably return again in 2012.
Right now, it is looking like a Melanie and Josh finale, but that is almost two months away, so a lot can happen in that time. Melanie, Josh and Stacy are the power voices of this season.
The show is missing any country singers, which could hurt X-Factor in the ratings. Most country music fans probably won’t bother tuning in, knowing there will be no country music on X-Factor. Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina showed the power of the country music fan voting in Season 10 of American Idol.
The following poll questions should give an idea of how popular X-Factor is:
This poll asks who you think is best singer on X-Factor among the 12 live show contestants:
This poll asks which show is your favorite with a choice of American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor
Simon Cowell had walked away from American Idol in May of 2010, to launch his own reality singing competition the X-Factor which debuted on Fox last month.
The 53-year-old Cowell known for his sarcastic comments, when judging American Idol contestants showed a softer side in Sunday’s episode. Each judge was to pick four acts for the live show of X-Factor. Cowell made his four choices, then realized he made a mistake, so he went to Florida to tell Melanie Amaro, a singer who he had sent home, that she was still going to be on the live shows.
Melanie was shocked to see Simon at her house. I give Cowell credit for admitting he made a mistake. However, it wasn’t really fair to the other three judges that he has five acts while they have only four each.
Fought To Keep Tiah Tolliver
In his nine seasons of American Idol, there was not a time that I recall Simon, fought to have anyone on the show. He became perturbed earlier in the auditions, when Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger refused to vote for Tiah Tolliver. Cowell became agitated and finally got his way, when Tiah advanced.
My personal opinion is that Caitlin Koch deserved to be on the live shows. So when he said he made a mistake, by choosing to keep the wrong singer, I was hoping he would give Koch a second chance, but instead he chose Amaro to continue in the competition.
Rachel Crow Kept for Ratings
Rachel Crow is a cute kid, but I have a feeling that she was voted onto the live show, more for her personality than her singing ability. She is very likable though, which could help garner higher ratings.
So his team will consist of Rachel Crowe 13, Drew Ryniewicz 14, Melanie Amaro 19, Tiah Tolliver 19 and Simone Battle 22. Personally I liked Caitlin Koch more than any of the other four singers, but Simon apparently doesn’t like easy listening music. The surprising thing is that Cowell was complimenting her to his assistants after sang at his house.
Rooting For Over 30 Singers
It was easy to root for the over 30 singers, since I am 67 and am especially rooting for Stacy Harris 42, and Dexter Haygood 49, since they seem to be the worst off financially. However Josh Krajcik 30, may be the best singer of the above 30′s, while LeRoy Bell 60 could also give the other three, all the competition they can handle. Stacy Harris 42, has the saddest back story of the over 30′s having been told, by an ex, that she would never make it in the music business.
Chris Rene the Singing Garbage Collector
The most financially troubled of the bunch seems to be Chris Rene from the boys group, who collects garbage for the living, plus has quit a drug habit for about three months now. I am hoping that he can stay away from drugs, so he can advance in the competition.
Disappointing Ratings Hurting Fox
Simon Cowell was expecting 20 million to tune in X-Factor this season, but the show is drawing about 12 million viewers a show. This development caused Fox to drop their advertising charges, resulting in savings for the advertisers, but causing the show to lose money.
It may have been a mistake for Fox to show X-Factor during the World Series, which is on Fox. X-Factor has been shown on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at least once this season, due to conflicts with major league baseball playoff games. If fans have too much problem finding the show, it could result in even lower ratings.
Once the World Series ends, the show should gain some of the viewers, who tired of finding it in different time slots. It will also help, once the viewers find a favorite or favorites, to root for and start watching the show on a consistent basis.
My personal thought about the show, is that it will be a good show, with some very talented singers. It will be interesting how X-Factor will end the season on December 21, since there are 17 singers remaining in the show. That should mean we will see some double eliminations, during the season to pare down the competitors to two for the finale.
The remaining X-Factor contestants have now been separated into groups of eight. The groups are Boys, Girls, Groups and Over 30. When it was determined that there were only five talented groups, the X-Factor producers decided to create three more groups from deserving singers, that had been eliminated.
The Tuesday October 25 show, will reveal the 16 acts remaining for the live shows. Each of the four judges will have a celebrity to help them choose the final 16 acts.
Rachel Crow has shown she is not intimidated by large audiences, at the auditions and at least one online articles, mentions that she could be in a television show. However, right now she is focusing on being one of the final 16 singers. She reminds me of a modern-day Shirley Temple, that has a huge likability factor in her favor.
I am finding myself rooting for singers like Chris Rene, who earns his living as a trash collector and has fought drug addiction. He is not only a good singer, but an entertainer who really seems to feel the songs, that he is singing. He is best at rapping, but not sure how he will do if he is required to sing a ballad.
My personal favorite is 49-year-old Dexter Haygood, who was given a second chance in his first audition, after the judges didn’t particularly like him channeling James Brown in his performance, so he sang another song and wowed the judges and has a 50 percent chance of being chosen for the live show. This is probably the end of the road for Haygood, unless he makes the final 16 acts.
Stacy Francis lost her father since auditioning for X-Factor. He first audition received many words of praise, from the judges. However, in her boot camp audition, she held a note way too long. Instead of impressing the judges she received criticism, but like she said, she had very little vocal training and should be able to work with the voice coach, to iron out any problems.
LeRoy Bell is the oldest contestant still in the competition, as far as I know. He has one of better voices in the competition. It all comes down to whether the judges want a 60 year, to receive the $5 million recording contract. I have a feeling he may not even make the final 16, since he is at an age where he could suddenly have medical problems.
It was a huge shocker that Simone Battle was chosen as one of the final 32 acts in X-Factor. Before singing in her last boot camp performance, she was going on and on, about how she was a special entertainer and stood out. Then she hits the stage and forgets ALL the words of her song, which to my knowledge has never happened, in any singing competition ever.
Despite her horrific performance, she was chosen by the judges to continue in the competition. To me, it isn’t fair to the other competitors who remembered their words.
What happened to Simon Cowell’s admonition to contestants, when he was on American Idol, to not forget the lyrics or they were gone?
Tiah Tolliver can thank Simon Cowell, for being one of the final 32 acts chosen during Boot Camp week. Simon sees in her something, that the other judges don’t see. I can’t recall Simon ever fighting for a contestant on American Idol, the way he has fought for Tolliver.
Tora Woloshin, has something about her, tells me she could go far this X-Factor season, but with the competition she is battling, she may not make the final 16 acts. The heavily-tattooed singer wowed the judges in her first audition.
Tim Cifers could be the only pure country singer, to make the final 16, since his voice stands out and made an impression on the judges.
It would be a complete shock if the The Stereo Hogzz don’t make the final 8 groups. I look for them to stay on the show, deep into the season, maybe even as late as December and the finals.
Those shown above are just a few of the remaining acts. It was just a sampling of the remaining acts.
Judges Called And Given Categories
A highlight of the last X-Factor show last Thursday, was when the judges received a call, telling them what categories they would judge:
Simon Cowell – Girls
L.A. Reid – Boys
Nicole Scherzinger – Over 30
Paula Abdul – Groups
Learning the Contestants
Most of us are still learning the names of the remaining contestants. This list of acts at the X-Factor website shows photos of remaining acts, plus an interview with the contestants if you click on their photo, prior to the opening of Boot Camp.
Complete X-Factor TV Schedule
This complete schedule should be closely watched, since there are some Tuesday shows included this season, because of the World Series being shown on Fox.
The final show will be shown on December 22, so we should know the winner of X-Factor by 10PM ET on that night.