X-Factor No Longer Factor In Singing Competition Battle

Simon Cowell may be giving the thumbs up but
Fox may be giving thumbs down on his X-Factor
USA singing competiton show in May of this year.
Simon Cowell had dreams of his X-Factor USA becoming the top-rated singing competition show, but instead it has been solidly in third place behind The Voice and American Idol. Cowell predicted that X-Factor USA would draw 20 million viewers a week. Instead the show has never attracted less than 13 million, in its most watched episode in the three-year history of the show. The Fox network will make a decision in May, on whether to bring the show back for a fourth season.
It has been recently announced by Examiner.com, that even if X-Factor returns for a fourth season, that the hours will be greatly reduced. The show which has aired for four months in the first three seasons may be cut back to one or two months due to the low ratings garnered by the show.
Cowell is even selling his mansion in LA, which is another sign he will be spending less time with the show. Another option is that the show may cut back to one night a week. Fox only has two hours of programming, for each night of the week, so when X-Factor takes up both hours and delivers low ratings, so Fox will have to make some tough decisions.
There is speculation as to whether Cowell even be a judge, if X-Factor does return. The judging panel has shown no continuity at all. Cowell is only judge that has been on judging panel the first three seasons. The show has already used nine judges in the first three seasons.
Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger left the show after the first season, then Britney Spears and  L.A. Reid left after Season 1. Demi Lovato a holdover from being a Season 2 judge returned for the third season, along with new judges Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland.
Demi Lovato has already announced she will not return for Season 4, if there is a Season 4 and Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland may not be returning either. It may be that Cowell is waiting to see if the show is renewed in May, before making any decisions regarding the judges.
Melanie Amaro Mystery
Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro still has not released her debut album, even though she was declared the Season 1 winner, in December of 2013. The original advertising for Season 1 promised a $5 million recording contract to the winner. Evidently X-Factor USA producers didn’t think her album Truly would not generate much income, so its release has been postponed indefinitely. Meanwhile Season 2 winner Tate Stevens, who won in December of 2012 released his debut album four months later in April of 2013. His album has received very good reviews at Amazon.com with 61 five-star reviews and only 2 one star reviews. However, the album is listed 33,133rd in music sales at Amazon.
So right now Amaro is in limbo waiting for her album, to be released 25 months after winning Season 1. It would be interesting to know the back story on the delay, in releasing her album.
It will be interesting to see how soon Season 3 winners Alex and Sierra release their album and if it does well in sales.
Host Changes
Steve Jones who hosted Season 1 was an unmitigated failure as host, as he looked on edge most of the time he was on-screen. Then Season 2 had Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian sharing hosting duties. Kardashian was apparently given the ax, after Season 2 ended.
Season 3 found Mario Lopez taking over the hosting duties alone. I look for him to return if the show is renewed for another season.
Ratings Disaster
X-Factor USA has been a ratings disaster of the first magnitude. The show averaged 12 million viewers the first season, then fell to 9 million in the second season, then tumbled to 6 million in the third season. The show has lost half of its viewers from Season 1 to Season 3.
The ultimate insult was when A Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon show aired for the 46th time, but still attracted 6.5 million viewers, while the Season 3 finale of X-Factor drew only 5.8 million viewers, during the time both shows were on the air. Season 3 finale showed a drop of 50 percent in viewers compared to the Season 1 finale.
Ratings For The Voice, American Idol and X-Factor USA On Finale Night
American Idol…….14.31 million
The Voice…………..14.01 million
X-Factor USA……..6.22 million
American Idol narrowly won the battle of the singing competitions, when comparing number of viewers on finale night. The Voice lost approximately 1.5 million viewers for the Season 6 finale, when comparing it to Season 5 finale numbers.
Future of Singing Competitions
American Idol starts Season 13 on January 15 and the judging situation should be much better, than that of Season 12. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were constantly at each other’s throats during Season 12 and it distracted from the contestants. American Idol has three judges who should get along well this season with Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. comprising the judging panel. We will miss Randy Jackson’s judging comments. No more comments like “You blew it out of the box”, “Yo-dawg”, ‘That was too pitchy for me”, That didn’t do it for me” and  “You are in it to win it”. However, he will still be on the show replacing Jimmy Iovine as the mentor.
The Voice had their best season, for me at least in Season 6 and will be returning for Season 7 in February. The judging situation has been stable with Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo and Blake Shelton being seen as the judges in five of the six seasons. Shakira and Usher are apparently returning for Season 7 after being on the panel for Season 5. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will be on the panel for the seventh straight season.
X-Factor USA really has no future, until Fox discloses in May if the show will return for Season 4. Nothing can really be decided, until the announcement is made in May, since we may have seen X-Factor USA for the last time.
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X-Factor: Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul Leaving the Show

Three of the five X-Factor cast from the 2011 season won’t be returning for the 2012 season, since Steve Jones, Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger have been told by Fox that they won’t be part of the 2012 show leaving only Simon Cowell and L.A. Reed from last season.

 

 

Simon Cowell  may have made a huge mistake, when he predicted X-Factor would draw 20 million fans. He may have raised the expectations so high, that it doomed the first season of the show. The show never got past the 13 million mark and mostly drew, between 10 and 12 million viewers for most of the shows.
 
Now with the first season over, the host Steve Jones and a judge, Nicole Scherzinger  have been told they will not be returning and it has just been announced today that Paula Abdul has also received the same news.
 
Jones Departure No Surprise
 
It was not a huge surprise that Jones would be leaving, since he seemed out of his element on the show and seemed discombobulated and not tuned in to what was going on around him. The firing of Scherzinger was not entirely unexpected, since her lack of decisiveness sent Rachel Crow home. She couldn’t make a decision, forcing the judge’s panel to be in a deadlock. The show then had to use the America’s vote, which ended the dream of winning X-Factor for Crow, when it was disclosed Crow had garnered the fewest votes that week.
 
Personally, I thought Paula Abdul did an efficient job as a judge, but apparently the producers wanted a more goofy Paula. She was paid only a million dollars for her work as a judge. She had reportedly left American Idol when she found out that Ryan Seacrest was being paid millions more as a host than she was being paid as a judge.
 
Paula Given Groups To Mentor
 
When Paula was given the groups to mentor, it showed the producers didn’t want her team to win, which was evident in the voting. Groups are an afterthought in singing competitions, since viewers identify more readily with a solo artist.
 
Cowell is wanting to take the show in another direction. With him and L.A. Reid  the only returnees from the 2011 season, it will be interesting to see just what that other direction will entail.
 
My hope is that the group category will be eliminated from next year. How can a viewer identify with a group, especially when the show made groups out of solo singers? It takes time to form a group and make them a cohesive unit and the new groups weren’t allowed the luxury of having that time.
 
Cowell May Scale Back On Production Numbers
 
Cowell, who didn’t seem to go for the big production numbers, may try to scale back on the glamor and glitz and focus more on the singers and their performance. He will definitely need a host who is more comfortable onstage than Steve Jones. I am sure he would like to have Seacrest as his host, but Mr. Seacrest has so much on his plate already, doubt that will happen
 
It will be critical that the new judges  will connect with the audience and be prepared to make hard decisions, without falling apart like Scherzinger did last season.
 
Paula-Simon Pairing Didn’t Draw Viewers
 
The general consensus was that Simon and Paula being together would help the ratings. However, that didn’t seem to be the case with X-Factor drawing 7 or 8 million viewers per show less than American Idol.
 
It is not like X-Factor was a complete failure, since most shows would be tickled to have 12 million viewers tuning most weeks. More viewers mean more money from the sponsors and Cowell realizes that.
 
Cowell has eight months to fine tune X-Factor, assuming the next season will start in September again. So we have to wait till then. to see what direction Cowell is taking the show.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Melanie Amaro Wins X-Factor

 
 Melanie Amaro Wins 1st X-Factor in U.S.
 
Melaine Amaro joins America Idol champion, Scotty McCreery and Voice winner Javier Colon as winners of the three major singing competitions in the United States, by becoming the winner of the inaugural season of X-Factor.
 
I would have been surprised if she had not won, since Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik were not up to her level. I think we can count on hearing from Chris and Josh in the future, if they still sign a recording contract.
 
It is safe to say that Scotty McCreery has been the most successful recording artist, having sold in excess, of half a million albums. Javier Colon released his new album last month, so it is too soon to tell how it will do over the long run. It may be spring before Melanie Amaro’s debut album is released.
 
Back to Melanie….She came close to not even being in the Final 12, when Simon Cowell told her she didn’t make it and sending her home. However, Simon came to his senses and drove to the home of Melanie and told her she was back on the show. I am surprised that Simon didn’t choose in the first place. All is well that ends well for Melanie and we should hear some of her music on an album, in the not too distant future.
 
I am not worried that Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik, will never be heard of from again. They have too much talent for a record company not to sign either of them.
 
Chris is more versatile than the young rapper Astro. We will hear from Astro again, but doubt we will ever hear him sing, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas the way Chris did last night.
 
X-Factor only garnered about half the ratings of American Idol, but it doesn’t matter that much, since both shows are seen on the Fox network. One thing for sure, is that Simon will not make any brash predictions about X-Factor drawing 20 million viewers, which never happened in 2011.
 
We want to congratulate Melanie Amaro on winning X-Factor and the $5 million recording contract that will go with it. May she have great success, as a musician and may she enjoy every minute on stage.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

X-Factor Finalists: Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik

 

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.

Shocking Eliminations

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: LeRoy Bell, Stereo Hoggz Lip-Syncing Incidents Latest Controversy

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.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/11/stereo-hogzz-lip-sync-x-factor.html

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.

InTENsity Doomed

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.

 

X-Factor USA: Host Steve Jones Adding Drama During Results Show

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.

Has Simon Cowell Dropped His Sarcasm on X-Factor USA?

Simon Cowell announced on last night's show that X-Factor USA has been renewed for a second season.

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.