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Primetime Show Reviews

The X Factor logo with Rihanna and L.A. Reid

"The X Factor" review by Carrie
Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX

“X-Factor”: The Next “Idol”?

For the longest time, I’d been eagerly awaiting the premiere of “The X-Factor”, hoping to finally stop watching “American Idol” once and for all. Not that “American Idol” is all that bad. I have watched from the beginning, ever since Kelly Clarkson was crowned the first Idol. But with all reality shows that have been on the air for almost a decade, the originality starts to wear off and we are left with a generic competition. Yes, there have been Idols who have went on and had successful careers (Carrie Underwood, David Cook, to name a few), but after a while, the contestants started to blend together for me. That’s why “The X-Factor” piqued my curiosity in the first place. I admit, I’m a fan of Simon Cowell and wanted to see how he fared on a show he created himself. When September 21, 2011 rolled around and “X-Factor” premiered on FOX, I didn’t know what to expect. Within the first thirty minutes, I had a pretty good inkling of what was in store for America. And after last week’s boot camp, it became clear who are the show’s front-runners.

Two ways “X-Factor” is like “Idol”: 1 - We still have to endure watching the awful auditions of people who can’t sing. In my opinion, I would rather see a short clip of all the singers who made the cut than cringe through half of the show. The only good thing about “X-Factor” is the audition process is cut down compared to the drawn-out one on “Idol”. 2 - Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Need I say more? Three ways “X-Factor” is different from “Idol”: 1 - The audition process is not in a closed-off room with only the contestant and the judges. “The X-Factor” auditions are in front of a sold-out theater, nerve-wracking for ones who have stage fright, but more exciting for the viewers at home. 2 - No maximum age limit. It is a treat to see hopefuls in their thirties and up, singing their hearts out for America. For some, it’s their last chance at musical success. 3 - Each judge will mentor one of four categories (boys, girls, over 30, group/duo). I like this concept – it reminds me of “The Voice”. Unlike “Idol”, it will give the judges a chance to get to really know the contestants and help craft their individual styles.

Now that the auditions and boot camp week are over, the remaining contestants will compete against each other at the four judges’ homes. Not sure how the rest of the season will play out, but I do have my favorites. At this point, it’s too early to tell how “The X-Factor” will do over time, if it will be as popular as “Idol”. The ratings haven’t been as high as first projected, but America hasn’t started voting yet either. I’m willing to stick with “X-Factor” to the finale, just to see what act wins the five-million-dollar prize.

One last note . . . I’m not sure if it’s because of all the buzz surrounding “X-Factor” or because it’s up against “Dancing With The Stars”, but I’ve heard nothing about “The Sing-off”. I have been watching this Monday night show since it premiered and I’m hooked! Singing acappella and having fun doing it . . . what a delight to watch.

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Updated 10/30/11 


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