Articles for The X Factor Season 1

Simon Cowell may have left American Idol, but it won‘t be long before he returns to the small screen to star in a competition series that is both new and familiar to U.S. audiences. The X Factor, the show Cowell created and launched in the United Kingdom that aims to search for the next musical marvel, will be taking America by storm beginning this fall. While The X Factor might as well be tagged as yet another reality talent show from FOX, there are several distinctions worth mentioning. For one thing, solo artists and groups of any age may join as contestants. Initial auditions will also take place in front of a live audience and not just confined to the judges, similar to America‘s Got Talent. But what really makes this show unique is that aside from pitting contestants against each other, the judges also engage in a showdown as they serve as mentors to the singing hopefuls. Read more »
FOX, you just won the Super Bowl of ratings with the Super Bowl, what are you gonna do now? How about give away $5 million dollars to the winner of Simon Cowell‘s The X Factor.These two news stories are unrelated, except that everything is bigger on FOX. First, yesterday‘s Super XLV was the most-watched TV program ever with over 111 million viewers. It beat the record previously held by last year‘s Super Bowl at 106.5 million.  Read more »
It‘s been a while since we‘ve seen Simon Cowell on TV. Since exiting American Idol in May 2010, the acid-tongued Brit has been lurking in the shadows, preparing to bring his successful U.K. hit The X Factor to the good ol‘ U.S. of A.   The show doesn‘t air until the fall, but I had a chance to speak with Simon during a conference call with other members of the press. He answered the tough questions we Americans really want to know: Will Paula be a judge? Will he still be mean? Will he continue to wear black V-neck T-shirts that are at least one size too small? See what Simon had to say on these and other "important" issues.  Read more »
The Voice, The X-Factor, and Gaga, oh my! Can Idol stay on top?It‘s official! Paula and Simon will be reunited as judges on Simon Cowell‘s American version of The X-Factor. Simon missed our girl Paula, and Paula is just excited to be working again -- oops, I mean nurturing new talent. [Deadline]  Read more »
FOX is gearing up for a big fall, with a week of premieres following its broadcast of the Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 18. The X Factor will take up a large chunk of the schedule with two-hour episodes on Wednesdays and Thursdays for six whole weeks. This means the seventh season of Bones, which will be shortened due to star Emily Deschanel‘s pregnancy, won‘t start until November.  Read more »
With last week‘s elimination of Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl, So You Think You Can Dance is down to only 12 dancers. But this only means that the competition is heating up! The show is also keeping the excitement up with a new guest judge and performances for week 5.This week‘s guest judge? Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family fame. Read more »
Just as FOX President Kevin Reilly was sitting down at the Television Critics Association (TCA), the first thing he said was, "This isn‘t going to a very news-y session," meaning we aren‘t going to learn much of anything new, but that doesn‘t mean the old stuff isn‘t worthy of reporting.  Fans of Glee, Bones, House, and Fringe all got a little love.  The first question right off the bat was about the Ryan Murphy controversy.  If you‘re unfamiliar, let me briefly sum up: First Murphy told a reporter that Glee‘s Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer (Kurt), and Cory Monteith (Finn) would be graduating and leaving the show.  A twitter explosion ensued with the three actors claiming to have found out they were fired indirectly.  Then Murphy comes clean with a reporter saying he had discussed a spin-off with the three actors and now they‘re going to wait to talk about it until the end of the season because it‘s just too much right now.  Clear as mud?  Good.  Now you understand how all the reporters feel.  Read more »
Following seven successful seasons and a handful of lawsuits in the UK, Simon Cowell is finally bringing his singing competition The X Factor stateside. For The X Factor season 1, he will be joined as a judge by his former American Idol cohort Paula Abdul, record producer L.A. Reid and singer Nicole Scherzinger, the latter of whom was a late replacement for one of the original judges from the U.K. version, Cheryl Cole. Someone named Steve Jones is set to host.  Read more »
FOX will once again open its doors to Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell as The X Factor premieres this September. They‘re bringing Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid with them on the panel, which we hear will be interesting to witness. Especially since the show‘s been dubbed as the darker, meaner version of Idol.  Read more »
With more than 30 new shows and countless returning favorites, the fall 2011 TV season is more loaded than a baked potato. BuddyTV writer John Kubicek has looked through all of it and has chosen the three best things about the new season as well as the three worst things.  Read more »
The contestants on The X Factor are from all walks of life, and it‘s not just their talent that makes them stand out; it‘s their stories. FOX has released several previews of the people we‘ll meet on the show, and they‘re a varied bunch of captivating individuals who we‘d definitely like to see more of.On The X Factor, talent comes in all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds. There are construction workers, hairdressers and even your local fast food server. All of them have dreams, and they‘re willing to face a panel of judges to make those dreams happen.  Read more »
We‘ve seen a lot from the previous previews of FOX‘s The X Factor, and apparently there‘s also a lot more we haven‘t glimpsed. The network has released several other clips to prepare us for the explosive premiere, highlighting some of the best and worst moments of the show.The X Factor has the contestants performing in front of the judges and a huge crowd that will either cheer or boo with each act. That sounds just like the recipe for on-stage breakdowns, doesn‘t it?   Read more »
Each week we scour the internet for the latest and greatest photos of our favorite TV stars. From the latest photos for upcoming episodes to the hottest red carpet events to just walking down the street. It‘s clear that celebrities are working hard this summer.Check out last week‘s photos of 90210‘s AnnaLynne McCord filming, Beyonce‘s baby bump, and more! Read more »
Most of the videos from The X Factor feature the judges shelling out their comments like the Grinch before Christmas. Now, however, we‘ve got two promos with less criticism (because it won‘t all be clapping and compliments) and more singing. We can get a glimpse of the contestants themselves, so we won‘t have to rely on whatever offhand remark Simon makes.FOX released these two clips recently, and the first one shows scenes from the premiere of The X Factor. Sure, we hear one judge - guess who - talk about someone‘s horrible voice, but other than that it looks like there are a few choice contenders out there.   Read more »
The X Factor premieres in just a couple short weeks (on September 21, to be exact) and in this new extended preview of the auditions stage, FOX wants to make sure you know just how high the stakes are: Not just for the contestants, who must show off their singing talents in front of the intimidating judging panel, but for the judges, the network and the sponsors, who are putting it all on the line to discover America‘s next great pop star. (Is that the Requiem for a Dream music I hear in the background of this promo? E-P-I-C.)At least, that‘s the end goal. Along the way, what with Simon Cowell being Simon Cowell, The X Factor will also be about discovering new ways for him to insult bad, offensive and offensively bad singers. And delighting and shocking the talented ones with his praise -- like adorable young Rachel and sexy single mom Stacy, whose auditions we can sneak a peek at in this promo. If Simon says, "I think we‘re going to be hearing a lot about you," then you can bet we‘ll be hearing more about them as The X Factor goes on.WATCH THE FULL 8-MINUTE PROMO:  Read more »
FOX released its 2011-2012 schedule today, and as expected, it‘s all about The X Factor. The new Simon Cowell-led singing competition featuring Paula Abdul (thus making it Idol 2.0) will continue to fill the same three-hour Wednesday/Thursday block currently held by American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.  Read more »
Each week we scour the internet for the latest and greatest photos of our favorite TV stars. From the latest photos for upcoming episodes to the hottest red carpet events to just walking down the street. It‘s clear that celebrities are working hard this fall.Check out last week‘s photos of Kellan Lutz new girlfriend, celebrities celebrating Memorial Day, and Blake Lively on the set of ‘Gossip Girl‘.  Read more »
In case you‘ve been living under a rock inside a cave on the moon: The X Factor USA premieres this week, and I got a sneak peek at the highly anticipated first episode. I‘m much too generous, and already much too excited about Simon‘s new singing show, to keep all the good things about it to myself. So here are 7 factors that I think will get you hooked on The X Factor USA from Night One:#1 The Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul FactorAs I‘m sure all too many headlines will remind you tomorrow: They‘re ba-aaaack! Maybe because we‘ve had such a long break from their bickering on American Idol, or perhaps being on this new show just has them both in better moods, but watching Simon and Paula poke fun at one another feels like reuniting with old friends. He‘s still got his no-nonsense moments, but Simon seems a lot less sour in these first few auditions rounds, and Paula‘s still kooky, but endearing and coherent. Here‘s hoping their love-hate-love dynamic stays playful, not painful, throughout the season.  Read more »
There were plenty of impressive singers during tonight‘s X Factor USA premiere, but the first episode of auditions had its share of freaks as well, and none got a more intense response than "ultimate vlogger" Geo Godley, who showed up in a baby blue velour pajama set with a tie-dye t-shirt underneath. For the normal auditioner, that would his biggest mistake, but Geo was just getting started.At first it seems like Geo might just be a little strange, but maybe he‘s talented enough for the judges to look past his eccentric fashion sense. He says he writes and produces his own music. Well that sounds legit, right? What Geo neglects to clarify is that he writes and produces his own terrible music. But the judges become fully, traumatically, horrifically aware when Geo dives into his original song, "Mr. Stud," a pump-up-dance-rap with a mind-numbing beat and even more mind-numbing lyrics about being "a stud, not a dud" and doing "Bill Clinton stuff." It‘s at that point in his "performance," just to ensure you know what kind of "Bill Clinton stuff" he‘s talking about (it‘s not decreasing the national debt) that Geo drops trow, and Paula almost loses her Pepsi. It‘s hard for me to knowingly give this stupid man more attention, but this is something you just have to watch: Read more »
FOX put a lot of time and money into The X Factor, Simon Cowell‘s new singing competition show that he promises is nothing like American Idol, and when it comes to the ratings, he‘s right. The show got off to a slow start averaging just over 12 million viewers over its two-hour premiere.By comparison, American Idol‘s latest season premiered with over 26 million viewers and stayed above 20 million all season. In addition, The X Factor also did worse than America‘s Got Talent and was about on par with the premiere of The Voice. For The X Factor to do less than half that while giving away a $5 million prize is a bad start if FOX wants it to be the new face of the network. This looks like it could be a one-and-done experiment that goes horribly wrong.  Read more »
Miss the series premiere last night? Do not fret, reality show junkies! There‘s another two hours of X Factor fun to discuss! Auditions take the show to Miami and Dallas.  Read more »
Two episodes, four hours of auditions and an unknown number of terrible singers later, The X Factor USA premiere week has come to an end, but the show is just getting started. Here are all the fascinating X Factor-y bits you should read, know, listen to, watch and forward to your mom over the weekend:Stacy Francis, the single mom who brought the house down with "Natural Woman" on Wednesday‘s premiere used to be in a band called Ex-Girlfriend, and their first record was "X Marks the Spot." Coincidence or good omen?Did you catch amazing auditioner Melanie Amaro in last night‘s episode? Didn‘t you just love how sweet and humble she is? You can watch her kill Beyonce‘s "Listen" again here. Chiiiiills.And on the flip side of "amazing" and "humble": the PTC has filed a complaint against The X Factor for Geo Godley‘s ungodly and indecent exposure stunt during his song "Mr. Stud." They must think he was actually naked under that giant X. Oh PTC, you‘re so naive. HE WAS IN A LEOPARD PRINT THONG! Witnesses testified about it. Doesn‘t that make you feel better? No? Yeah, me neither. Read more »
Most reality competition shows nowadays come with a big cash reward at the end, but those numbers always seem to reside smack-dab in the gray area between "so much money that people will do anything for it" and "not enough money that the winner will get to swim in a pool of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck." So one of the reasons I‘m loving The X Factor so far is the insane, unprecedented amount of money on the line for the to-be-determined winner. Fiiiiive miiiiiillion doooollars! Sure, that sweet five mil is tied to a "recording contract," but no matter how you slice up that pie, there‘s gonna be a lot of leftover dough. (I wonder if they‘ve already looked into a follow-up series to document all the preposterous ways that the winner will spend his/her millions. Sort of like Rob Dyrdek‘s Fantasy X-Factory?) Read more »
Everything is more fun when you have a stake in the game -- especially when the "game" is systematically humiliating and disappointing terrible vocalists.Yes, this is the second and final week of X Factor USA auditions, and at two hours per episode, you may be X-periencing what is commonly known as "completely reasonable human fatigue." But get ready to feel refreshed and X-hilarated about X Factor auditions, because NOW you can win The X Factor just by sitting at home and watching The X Factor! Sure, the prize is getting to yell "Bingo!"*, not five million dollars, but you can‘t put a price on that kind of glory.**If you‘re not quite young or elderly enough to remember how to play Bingo, here‘s how it works: Print out this board, then grab your dauber*** or some set of place markers, and mark each box when that X Factor-ism occurs. If you get 5 in a row, you win. It‘s so easy, even a Nicole Scherzinger could do it!Here‘s the board:  Read more »
Tensions mounted during the third auditions episode of The X Factor last night, as it appeared that our four judges couldn‘t agree on what, exactly, "the x factor" actually is. Is it straight-up, pitch-perfect singing talent? Or is it a sort of magnetic presence and charisma, "a star quality"? Obviously, the ideal X Factor winner will have both. But what if an auditioner takes the stage and the star-quality is there in spades, but the singing talent ... well, it‘s got some room to grow?Last night we learned, much to Simon‘s chagrin, what happens then. Tiah Tolliver tried to impress the judges with her track-less rendition of Shontelle‘s "Impossible," but Nicole and Paula, the two singers in the group, just couldn‘t get past the fact that Tiah couldn‘t stay on key. Meanwhile, Simon and L.A., more focused on Tiah‘s confident and aggressive stage presence, thought sending her through was a no-brainer. Who‘s right? Watch Tiah and decide: Read more »
It‘s the final set of auditions! We‘ve made it through all the preliminary mumbo jumbo. Yet that doesn‘t mean you won‘t get a chance to read about it here on BuddyTV! Let‘s get to it.This set of auditions finds the competition in the one city that everyone had in mind... Newark, NJ. I guess NJ has earned more reality television coverage at this point. The groups, as we all now know, are Girls, Boys, Over 30s, and Groups. It‘s pretty sad that the old folk need their own category. What if there is a group of 50 year olds? Where do you put them? Sorry, I digress again... Read more »
Tomorrow, The X Factor USA enters its bootcamp stage: When, after building up the contestants‘ confidence with all those yeses in the auditions, the judges and their helpers will tear the singers down again so as to rebuild them again as worthy pop icons. Or they‘ll just put them through the wringer for our entertainment. One or the other. If you love singing AND sadness, this is definitely the week of The X Factor USA to watch. And now, a collection of X Factor USA news to read. Nobody‘s crying in this news roundup (except Simon, kind of) but I still think you‘ll love it. Read more »
After what seems like five years of hype, promos and rumors, The X Factor hit American television tonight with the first two sets of auditions in Los Angeles and New York City. Simon Cowell, the mastermind behind the original X Factor and the overly opinionated judge from that little show called American Idol, has combined the two and created The X Factor USA. How did he combine the two, you ask? He signed on Paula Abdul as a judge, duh! Yes, we‘re all looking forward to their love/hate relationship playing out in front of all of America ... again.  Read more »
Simon Cowell and crew continue to take America by storm in search of that one super-talented act that has The X Factor. Read more »
During the X Factor auditions, we learned that our judges have a favorite term for when a performer is doomed from the start: "DOA," or "dead on arrival." Morbid, but it certainly gets its point across. Which is probably why we saw them repeatedly whispering the word to each other throughout auditions. No doubt there were way too many DOAs during those long days.Last night, X Factor Bootcamp began, and while no original DOAs remained from auditions, the stakes and pressure turned a few seemingly solid performers in that direction. After making their first cut down to 100 acts, the judges split the acts into eight assigned groups, then assigned each group a song to perform together. The challenge tested each performer on a variety of levels: How quickly they could learn and master a new song (in some cases, a new, unfamiliar AND outside-their-territory song), how well they could work with others, and whether they could shine under that kind of pressure and in that group scenario.Who was each group‘s MVP, and who ended up looking more DOA? Here are our picks -- plus the videos of each performance, so you can watch again and make your own.  Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor we say goodbye to a lot more acts and emotions are running wild. Judges cry, contestants cry, the crew may as well cry! We have a lot of business to cover, so let‘s get on with it, shall we?Last night we saw eight groups perform selected songs. Some were alright, some were a little more than alright and some were down-right bad. How will they shape up tonight?  Read more »
In order to accommodate the nation‘s insatiable needs for MLB playoffs and X Factor USA auditions, FOX has elected to delay delivery on another of America‘s most ardent addictions: Zooey Deschanel.The Futon Critic reports that FOX has pulled two new episodes of New Girl from its Tuesday night schedule, originally set to air October 18 and 25, to make way for The X Factor, which will move from its current two-hour, two-night Wednesday/Thursday spots to Tuesdays for those two weeks because of the baseball playoffs.  Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor, the top 8 from each category -- girls, boys, over 30s and groups -- will travel to the four judges‘ (now mentors) homes for private training and another round of auditions and eliminations.In another similarity to NBC‘s The Voice, each judge will be joined by a superstar guest mentor who will help train and inspire the X Factor contestants toward their own superstardom ... and that $5 million prize. But none of the Voice judges could claim that they actually made their guest mentors, in a sense. L.A. Reid can, because he‘s decided to bring along pop/R&B star Rihanna, who signed with Reid‘s Def Jam Records six years ago, and the rest is multi-Grammy, multi-platinum, multi-million history.Check out more photos of L.A. and Rihanna with his eight X Factor boy hopefuls: Read more »
A two-hour rain delay pushed Game 4 of the American League Championship Series into primetime territory, and has forced Fox to pull The X Factor from tonight‘s schedule.By 8pm, the time The X Factor was supposed to start on the East Coast, the game between the Detriot Tigers and the Texas Rangers was only in its fifth inning. The episode will not air tonight on the West Coast, either. If rain doesn‘t interfere with tomorrow‘s Game 5, tonight‘s scheduled X Factor telecast will air tomorrow, Thursday October 13, from 8 to 10pm (at which time you can watch Rihanna‘s exciting guest appearance), and Thursday‘s scheduled episode will air Sunday night at the same time. Unless Game 7 gets in the way. Read more »
Untethered by baseball playoffs, one network was able to air last night‘s brand new X Factor episode: Canada‘s CTV, which went ahead with their regularly scheduled programming even as The X Factor‘s home network, FOX, pushed the episode back a day because of the ALCS Game 4 rain delay. Lucky Canadians. They got to watch OUR grumpy British man critique OUR aspiring American pop stars before WE did!But at least our upstairs neighbors have been kind enough to share the scoop on what we‘ll see when tonight‘s episode, which takes the final 32 acts to the judges‘ homes, airs in the US. Stop right now if you don‘t want to be spoiled! For those who want to know which acts will impress, what songs they‘ll sing and which special guest mentors will join the judges, read on.  Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor, the remaining 32 acts, and we viewers, are invited into Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, and Nicole Scherzinger‘s homes. Don‘t blink, though! There will be a few celebrity surprises!Hey, speaking of the judges... Have you ever found yourself wondering, "I so get where Paula‘s annoyingly over sincere emotions are coming from?" Well, test your convictions with our "Which X Factor Judge Are You?" Quiz!  Read more »
Last night on The X Factor USA, the top 32 broke up into their groups and went to the judges‘ homes, but the atmosphere was less than comfortable. As their one and only last chance to secure a spot in the Top 16, each act performed a song in front of their judge and an intimidating, beautiful special guest mentor in Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias or Pharrell (except Simon‘s girls, who were tragically deprived of Mariah Carey by Hurricane Irene). The pressure was on. Half of the acts performed in the first of two Judges‘ Homes episodes, and here are my picks for the best and worst songs of the night: Read more »
The X Factor is all about BIG, BIG, BIG. Big voices. Big performances. Big personalities. And, best/biggest of all, those big moments when a performer gets one step closer to that 5 million dollars.But during these audition stages, especially the last two episodes at the judges‘ homes, my favorite parts of each episode have become the quirky little moments between the big ones -- the weird little facial expressions and awkward interactions that remind us that, despite all the sleek production and editing, these are still real human beings in an extremely unrealistic situation. And that‘s just about the best recipe for hilarity that there ever was. So here, in celebration and no particular order, are my favorite funny moments from last night‘s X Factor USA: Read more »
The last of the 32 acts invited to their mentors‘ homes will perform tonight on The X Factor. The Girls, Boys, Groups and Over 30s are all battling one another for the four slots remaining in each category for spots in the live shows.  Read more »
Tonight at 8pm, the X Factor judges will make their toughest cuts yet: After inviting the top eight acts from each category (boys, girls, over 30s and groups) into their homes for one last sing-off before the live shows, each judge must thin their herd to a mere four acts.Judging from the dramatic, tear-soaked preview for tonight‘s episode (watch it below), it‘s going to be a traumatic two hours (yep, TWO WHOLE HOURS, just to find out who‘s in and who‘s out) for everyone involved. It‘s so hard to say goodbye, especially to people who believe with all their hearts and souls that they are destined for greatest. Or fame. Or both.The best solace we can hope for is that Simon, Paula, Nicole and L.A. will make the right calls and the right cuts. Here are my top picks for The X Factor USA Top 16. Who are you hoping makes the cut tonight?  Read more »
Ready to see which 16 acts are moving on to The X Factor live shows? So are we! Unlike tonight‘s episode, we won‘t make you read this for two hours in order to find out who finally made the cut. Read more »
Tonight two hundred contestants, or 162 acts, face The X Factor bootcamp. I‘ll wait for all the oohs and aahs to subside.  Read more »
Though it felt about as staged (at least on Simon Cowell‘s end) as when those Bachelor finalists show up at the final rose ceremony asking for a second chance, at least one of last night‘s shockingly wrong X Factor eliminations has been righted. Realizing that he‘d made a mistake that he couldn‘t shake (and realizing it in front of the camera, how convenient!) after sending Melanie Amaro away from his French estate in tears, Simon Cowell flew to her home and asked her to come back to The X Factor, making her the seventeenth act to make the cut for next week‘s live shows. Read more »
First things first: Did you see the X Factor top 17 promo photos yet? And sound off on Simon‘s surprising save of Melanie Amaro? Well, now that that‘s out of the way, check out what else is new in the land of The X Factor:Think you know who will be the next to go on The X Factor? Then be sure to join our X Factor Fantasy TV League! Every week, you make three picks for which acts will get the boot, and get victory points when you‘re right. Sure, the prize isn‘t $5 million, but it‘s better than nothing! Read more »
Tonight, The X Factor goes live! And, unfortunately for the Top 17 acts, that means, by the end of the two-and-a-half-hour performance episode, five of their dreams will be dead. (Hey, the show established those super-dramatic high stakes, not me.)Once again, this week it‘s all up to the judges as to which acts will make the Top 12. (Starting next Wednesday, November 2, America will get to vote.) And that means, especially in light of last week‘s perplexing cuts from the Top 32 to the Top 17, we may be in for some major upsets tonight. Tonight‘s performances will be huge in the judges‘ decision-making at the end of the episode, but we all know the judges already have their favorites, and we‘ve seen what happens when one of Simon‘s favorites is in danger, even if the performance doesn‘t cut it. Read more »
Fox All Access got access to the X Factor USA Top 17 contestants yesterday, in what looks like their dress rehearsal digs for tonight‘s first live show, and asked the acts some of the pressing questions we‘ve been wondering about them. For instance: What keeps LeRoy Bell looking so young? Who is Drew Ryniewicz‘s celebrity crush? (And will I ever learn to spell her last name correctly on the first try?) How many languages does Phillip Lomax speak? And what‘s in Josh Krajcik‘s "musical burrito"?Even if you weren‘t wondering before, I bet you‘re wondering now!Below, check out five highlights from the set of short but sweet interviews (and go to Fox All Access to watch all of them):  Read more »
This week on The X Factor, Steve Jones dusts off his suit for the live shows! Yes, we finally get to see what this Englishman does. Five of the 17 acts will be leaving the show tonight. (That‘s two from the Girls and one from each of the remaining groups.)Each judge will view their mentees and immediately tell one unlucky performer (two in Simon‘s case) that they have sung their last song for The X Factor. Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor USA‘s very first live show, the judges -- especially Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger -- made sure we all knew who the real stars of the show were. When it was their turn to make a comment on the latest performance, both chose instead to jab at the other, until it became painfully, painfully clear to us at home that this is not a playful rivalry. Nor is it the expected one, since L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul garnered more of Simon‘s insults in past weeks. But all that was just friendly ribbing among mutually respecting professionals compared to tonight‘s mean-spirited Simon-Nicole bickering. Simon and Nicole might actually despise each other. Read more »
The judges have whittled down the field to the Top 12, and starting next Wednesday, America will finally be able to vote on who should stay and who should go on The X Factor. And now, to keep up with the changing times -- and encourage more votes -- it‘s even easier to vote for your X Factor favorite. The show will be the first to open up official vote-casting via Twitter and Facebook. The more standard voting methods via toll-free calling, text message, online and in ‘The Xtra Factor‘ mobile application on Verizon Android phones are also available. (As L.A. Reid might say, the only voting method missing is the kitchen sink.)Once voting opens on November 2, Twitter users can vote by sending a direct message (DMs) to @TheXFactorUSA with the name of the act they‘d like to vote for. Publicly displayed tweets don‘t count, and 50 votes per Twitter account are allowed. Check here for the full details on how to vote via Twitter.Now, what else is new in the world of The X Factor since the judges picked the Top 12? Let‘s see:  Read more »
The $5 million prize has yet to be awarded, Simon‘s 20 million viewer mark has yet to have been met, and a bonafide music superstar has yet to have been born out of The X Factor USA season one. But none of that is stopping FOX from deeming the show a smashing success and calling for a second season. "The X Factor is a monumental success," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment for FOX, when the news was announced today. "It‘s won every night it‘s been on the air, the talent is phenomenal, the live shows are spectacular and picking it up is a complete no-brainer. Simon and his team have done an incredible job with the show, and I‘m absolutely thrilled to bring back The X Factor for another fantastic season."So you can stop biting your nails now, X Factor fans! I know your biggest concern about this show that has only just started its first season is whether it will return next season, so rest easy. Now, on to the rest of this week‘s X Factor news bits: Read more »
The heat is finally on! Tonight on The X Factor, the final 12 acts perform live. We have a full two hours to get through, so let‘s not waste any time. Read more »
Last night, the final 12 sang LIVE for our votes ... and did you? Vote, that is? If you didn‘t, I hope you have a good excuse ready, because not having enough methods to cast your votes definitely isn‘t an option.Now, in the words of our very un-Welsh voiceover man: It‘s tiiiiime ... to faaaace ... THE MUSIC!But before we do, let‘s take a look back at last night‘s performances, shall we? I posted my rankings (which apparently didn‘t sit well with at least one commenter, but hey... it‘s all opinion! And that just goes to show: You never know if your favorites are popular across the board. Just another reason to vote!) and here they are: Read more »
We‘ve only got 11 acts left on The X Factor, which still feels like a lot, but with one group gone the competition‘s even tougher. We don‘t even mean for the contestants, because it‘s the judges‘ competitive streaks that keep getting in the way. Everyone get ready for another big ego fight.  Read more »
X Factor airs tonight on FOX, but by now, the show is about a lot more than just the music. Here‘s your latest rundown of all the backstage buzz:Willow Smith will perform on tomorrow‘s (Thursday, November 10) X Factor results show. She JUST turned 11! That‘s one year younger than The X Factor‘s lower age limit. Anyone else seeing the irony here? Oh well. Willow will be singing her song "Fireball," even though she‘s still too young to play with matches. Read more »
Last week, America finally got the chance to vote on The X Factor, and the country made it known that they weren‘t too fond of Paula Abdul‘s groups category, as two of her three acts landed themselves in the bottom two. In the end, 10-member kid pop group InTENsity got the boot, and now the pressure is on -- for Paula and her two remaining groups, Stereo Hogzz and Lakoda Rayne -- to really deliver during tonight‘s "Movie Songs" live show.Read the latest X Factor News: The ‘X‘ Files: Of Lipsyncing, Smoking Bans, Crack Babies and More X Factor DramaEntertainment Weekly spoke with the four X Factor USA judges -- Abdul, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid -- along with host Steve Jones, about last week‘s tough elimination, and Paula‘s unique predicament as leader of the groups. Read more »
It‘s time for another live performance show of The X Factor. The top 11 acts will strut their stuff across the stage alongside the ever so suave Steve Jones. We‘ve got a theme tonight, folks. It‘s movie night! Grab your popcorn and Jujubes and prepare to possibly chuck them at your screen. Read more »
Tonight we lose another contestant on The X Factor. Will The Stereo Hogzz find themselves in the bottom once again? Will there be a huge upset, meaning we say goodbye to a fan favorite? Will Nicole Scherzinger sacrifice herself ... I‘m sorry. Got carried away. The Final 11 - "Save the World Tonight" by Swedish House MafiaI really don‘t understand why all of these types of shows make their contestants sing as one big group. They aren‘t competing as one group, so what‘s the use? Of course everyone sounds like individual artists and no one meshes together to sound ... well ... good.  Read more »
Even though they were the second X Factor act to be eliminated at the hands of America (making the first two eliminated acts both groups -- poor Paula!), The Stereo Hogzz (Trace Kennedey, Justin "Just‘n" Williams, Kregg "KG" Gibson, Jonathan "Jon Glenn" Glenn, and George "Trae Badd" Jenkins III) have no regrets about their performances throughout the first season of FOX‘s singing competition, and sound more positive than ever about their musical future. As well they should be. Not only did the five-member act get to perform big, show-stopping versions of "Try a Little Tenderness," "Rhythm Nation," and "Ain‘t No Other Man" live in front of America, but they also got massively positive feedback from the judges. So what went wrong?When Simon Cowell told the Stereo Hogzz, "There is nothing right now in the charts like you," the judge clearly meant it as a massive compliment -- but the comment also may have portended the Hogzz‘ problem with bringing in votes. As a hard-to-categorize group who tried to entertain rather than tug on heartstrings, the group members say they had a harder time than most when it came to connecting with the audience. More thoughts from the Stereo Hogzz on their elimination, their love for mentor Paula Abdul, and their future, which may or may not include jet packs: Read more »
No weepy ballads or country crooning allowed on The X Factor this week. After last week‘s Movie Songs knocked out The Stereo Hogzz and established this season‘s Top 10, those lucky ten acts will each take on a rock song for this Wednesday‘s live performance episode. And for some of the performers -- especially rappers Astro and Chris Rene -- it will take a little, or a lot, of creativity to stay in genre, but still stay themselves.Watch the "Pepsi Precap" to find out what the performers predict will happen when it‘s their turn to rock the stage this week:  Read more »
The Final 10 put the pedal to the metal on the X Factor stage tonight! Blow out your hair, slap on that funky make-up and pour yourselves into those leather pants. It‘s rock night!  Read more »
Last night, the X Factor top ten took the stage for "Rock Week," but only one act managed to turn the amp up to 11: Josh Krajcik was the only performer to encourage spontaneous (or not so spontaneous, where Nicole Scherzinger was concerned) head-thrashing with his rendition of "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters. But that doesn‘t mean Josh was the only act who gave a great performance. He was just the only one who gave a great, full-on rock ‘n‘ roll performance. The rest of the song choices seemed to slip through on a technicality, like Chris Rene‘s Bob Marley reggae mashup ("He‘s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!"), or a clever cross-genre blend, like Astro‘s "I‘ll Be Missing You" by Diddy (then Puff Daddy), which we all know originally sampled The Police‘s "Every Breathe You Take." For an episode called "Rock Week," most of the chosen songs just weren‘t rock enough. Tonight, one of the acts will rock the stage no more. Here are my predictions for who might be going home: Read more »
The X Factor‘s Astro found himself in the bottom two during last night‘s live results show (unjustly, in terms of performances, I might add). And even though he was eventually saved by the judges, things just got worse and worse for him from there.First, it seemed Astro was merely resigned to his fate, telling the audience when he learned he was in the bottom two, "Don‘t be sad. Hip hop made it this far."  But then, when it was time for him to "sing for survival" in the Final Showdown, he said he‘d rather not perform, calling it "unnecessary." Urged by his mentor L.A. Reid and the audience, he eventually turned out a brief performance to "Never Can Say Goodbye" that L.A. called "lackluster," along with Astro‘s attitude.  Read more »
To accommodate America‘s favorite turkey-themed holiday, The X Factor is moving this week, and bringing along two very special guests. Kelly Clarkson, Simon Cowell‘s original American Idol, and Bruno Mars will perform on Wednesday‘s live results show on FOX.The X Factor top 9 acts will perform live on Tuesday, November 22, from 8 to 10pm in a special "Giving Thanks"-themed episode. We‘re assuming that means their songs will be chosen in the spirit of thankfulness. No word yet if Astro will be wearing a pilgrim hat as punishment for last week‘s little outburst. Read more »
Tonight, just in time for Thanksgiving, the X Factor top 9 acts will perform songs about gratitude. Either perfect or perfectly awkward timing, given Astro‘s ungrateful outburst last week, depending on how you look at it.Nine is finally a manageable-enough number for the X Factor website to share tidbits from all the acts, so today the site posted a fun list of quotes from the performers about their Thanksgiving plans. The acts also previewed their song choices for tonight‘s show to the Hollywood Reporter. (Unfortunately for two of the acts, those choices will help lead to their elimination on Wednesday, which may make for a very unhappy Thanksgiving indeed.)Check out what the X Factor top 9 had to say about their thanks-singing and Thanksgiving plans this week: Read more »
We‘re doing things a little different this Thanksgiving week. Yes, it is Tuesday and that means... time for The X Factor! I‘ll wait for all the applause and wildly sporadic movement to conclude before we get this show on the road. Everyone in their seats? Ok, good.So in honor of Thanksgiving and those scrumptious turkeys, the contestants will be dedicating their performances to someone who has made an impact on their lives. I believe Astro should dedicate his song to Simon for saving his ungrateful behind. Oh! And two contestants will be leaving us tomorrow. No pressure or anything. Read more »
Last night, the X Factor top 9 gave thanks with big, sweeping songs about love and appreciation (or, in some cases, songs about really wanting a boyfriend or having fans in Nova Scotia). But tonight, America and the judges won‘t quite return the fuzzy feelings for two unlucky acts, as our votes combined with the judges‘ final say will turn the Top 9 into the Top 7 by the end of the episode. If you ask me -- and if you‘re here, that‘s exactly what you‘re doing -- here are the acts who may, should, could and/or will get sent home tonight. Just in time to wallow in a massive, self-indulgent pile of turkey, gravy and sorrow tomorrow, because, in the wise word of Steve Jones when he broke up that fight between Simon and L.A. Reid last night, "Thanksgiving."  Read more »
The X Factor results are in, America! Steve Jones is looking dapper as ever. He and our favorite judges, Simon, Paula, LA and Nicole, are here to wave goodbye -- more like shake their heads or cry -- for the two unlucky acts leaving us tonight. Bring it on!  Read more »
Here are all your latest updates from the chaotic circus that is The X Factor USA:This Week: The Top 7 Sing from Michael Jackson‘s CatalogWait, didn‘t Melanie Amaro already sing "Man in the Mirror"? And what about when the Stereo Hogzz sung "You Are Not Alone"? Shhhhh. Quiet, you. There‘s enough Michael to go around. (Again.) Drew hinted at her song on Twitter, saying "It‘s not upbeat, but it‘s also not slow. Has a bit of attitude." Any guesses for who‘s singing what on Wednesday?  Read more »
Even though they were eliminated on the eve of last week‘s holiday, the spirit of Thanksgiving has clearly gotten through to the members of Lakoda Rayne and singer LeRoy Bell, who all shared positive words about their X Factor experiences on a press conference call yesterday."I enjoyed myself very much. [The younger singers in the competition] are good kids. I didn‘t really look at it as a competition," LeRoy, 60, told reporters on Tuesday. "I know a lot of people were asking ‘Who is your biggest competition?‘ but I didn‘t view the experience that way." Dani Knights of the group Lakoda Rayne, who began as four solo auditioners, said, "There definitely is a future for us together. It‘s not something we‘re just going to let fade out. We were put together for a reason and we feel like it was fate. Yeah, we wouldn‘t want it any other way but to be in a group and make music together."Read on for more highlights from the interviews: Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor, brace yourself. The remaining contestants perform songs from the late, great Michael Jackson. We already lost two contestants last week, but tomorrow we will lose two more.  Read more »
Please pardon the terrible (borderline-inappropriate?) pun in the headline. But it‘s Michael Jackson Week! I doubt you‘d be able to let the opportunity slip away, either.Last night, the X Factor Top 7 paid homage to the King of Pop with a collection of performances that, if we‘re looking for an overall theme, could probably best be described as "departures." Some embraced the challenge and took risks with their personal styles, while others made changes to Michael‘s originals to better fit their sound. And while we‘re clearly down to the cream of the X Factor crop -- there isn‘t a performer left who hasn‘t been told, in one way or another, that they could win this thing -- some risks paid off better than others.Two performers will be sent home tonight. Who‘s it gonna be? Here are my predictions:  Read more »
Tonight, on The X Factor results show, we are saying goodbye to two more contestants. For everyone who forgot to vote for Lakoda Rayne, I tell you with a heavy heart (sarcastic comment) that they have already been sent home. You all get an A for effort, though.The Final 7 - "Man in the Mirror"Things start off super shaky with Drew. Josh picks things up, thankfully. The smaller the group gets, the better the harmony sounds when these performances come around. Okay, kiddos! You know what time it is. I suppose this would be the time that you could refer to last night‘s recap, because it is MONTAGE TIME! Please, hold back your excitement. Read more »
"Divisive" can be a great quality for established performers. (It gets people talking, and any publicity is good publicity, right?) But as we saw last night on The X Factor, divisiveness -- about her range as an artist, and between the ever-bickering judges -- proved to be Drew Ryniewicz‘s undoing.Or, at least, that was part of Drew‘s problem. Her mentor Simon Cowell blamed himself when Drew landed in the Bottom Two after her performance of Michael Jackson‘s "Billie Jean" proved vocally strong, but too theatrically simple and stilted for the other judges. (That damn chair!) But on her conference call with the media this morning, Drew didn‘t blame Simon. She blamed herself. Though never questioning her unique voice and talent (nobody questions that!), Drew talked about how she should have chosen an uptempo song sooner, how her last few performances weren‘t her best, and how she pretty much unraveled once she found out she was in the Bottom Two. Still, she‘s quite positive about her future without The X Factor. Read on for highlights from the Arizona teen‘s impressively candid conference call: Read more »
"The music industry needs unpredictability," Simon Cowell told Astro, the 15-year-old rapper from New York, after his performance last week. And we‘ve got to give him credit: Unpredictability is one thing Astro‘s got in spades.His performance this week of Michael Jackson‘s "Black or White" garnered positive reviews from the judges. But thanks to another X Factor double elimination (which he escaped last week, despite his week-prior mini-meltdown), Astro was eliminated outright for having the fewest votes last night. This time, though, he bowed out gracefully, telling the audience, "It‘s for the better. I will be back. Team Astro." So, even before he heard the elimination news, the young rapper was clearly ready to move on from The X Factor and all the drama that surrounded him on it. And this became more apparent on his elimination conference call today, when Astro repeatedly resisted reporters‘ attempts to get him to discuss his controversial moments on the show, and then abruptly left the call early. He may not have "the X Factor," but, as Simon said: Unpredictability. Astro‘s definitely got that, among his other proven talents. Here‘s what the future-focused Astro did share about his time on The X Factor, and what he hopes lies beyond: Read more »
Well, this is troubling. Even though Drew Ryniewicz accepted her X Factor elimination gracefully, some of her fans haven‘t been so kind. After voting to send home the 15-year-old crooner just shy of the Top 5, judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul received angry messages and death threats from Drew Ryniewicz fans on Twitter and Facebook. It sounds like the passionately furious fans are just lashing out rather than threatening real harm on the judges, but still. That‘s taking things a little too far -- and a little too personally, since every contestant but one on The X Factor is going to lose. That‘s just how it works. If the contestants can accept that, shouldn‘t their fans be able to, also? (Yes. They should.)On to the bigger, better and brighter X Factor news of the week: Read more »
Tonight on The X Factor, the Top 5 perform two songs each! One of the five will be sent home tomorrow. Will Simon and the gang get along long enough to watch the show? Let‘s find out! Read more »
Hello, X Factor eXperts! You may know me from my weekly X Factor rankings, in which I rate the week‘s performances (here‘s my latest), and try to mention as many dumb things that Nicole Scherzinger said as I can. So far this season, the lovely and judicial Jilliane Johnson has been bringing you X Factor recaps (here‘s her latest). But now that we‘re down to the final five (soon to be final four!), the competition is heating up, so I‘m taking the reigns for LIVE recaps of all the LIVE episodes from here on out.What‘s the benefit of a live recap versus a post-episode recap, you ask? Well, for starters, my jokes will be off-the-cuff, and therefore probably worse, which means you have even more ammunition with which to mock me. Which, in turn, is the real benefit of a live recap: The comments section! Follow along in there with me and all the fellow viewers (on East Coast time, that is) and share your thoughts, hopes, prayers, rants and more as we watch minute-by-minute.It‘s almost time for tonight‘s Results Show, and Mary J. Blige and Lenny Kravitz are coming to visit! But before all the Pepsi-themed pomp and circumstance, who do you think will get the boot just shy of the X Factor final four? Read more »
Last Thursday‘s X Factor results show ended on the saddest of notes, as adorable little Rachel Crow was eliminated, at which point she collapsed and sobbed and broke all of our hearts nine times over. And it seems many of you are placing the blame for Rachel‘s exit squarely on Nicole Scherzinger‘s well-toned shoulders, since she‘s the judge who refused to judge and thus left the choice up to America‘s votes. Like that‘s ever been a good idea. (If you agree that the X Factor‘s whole "America‘s votes only matter when the judges want them to matter, and what‘s the point of a save-me song if you sing it the best and you‘re still NOT SAVED" elimination process is flawed, you‘ll probably enjoy this L.A. Times post about that.)I don‘t blame you if you‘re still angry that our Shirley Temple 2.0 won‘t be singing in this week‘s X Factor semi-finals, but Rachel Crow and her mentor Simon Cowell want us to know that she‘s going to be just fine. (Though we probably can‘t say the same for Nicole, who cited her heart, not her brain, for her choice last week. And now we get to sit through two weeks‘ worth of episodes in which she‘s surely going to be even weepier than before.)But now it‘s time to look forward -- for us, and for the four finalists, Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Marcus Canty -- who are still in the running for that X Factor title, massive $5 million contract and coveted Pepsi Super Bowl commercial.  Read more »
Looks like the stress of the semi-finals isn‘t getting to the X Factor top four. At least not when they hit the beach for this adorable holiday photo. It‘s like a family Christmas card. (Except that, before Christmas, three members of this family will be eliminated.)The X Factor blog posted these quotes from the top four about the best gifts they‘ve received over the years, plus their holiday plans for this year. And it turns out that December 25 is an extra-special day for finalist Chris Rene, because it‘s also his birthday! Check out how Chris, Marcus, Melanie and Josh get into the holiday spirit: Read more »
When the X Factor judges visited Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, they probably expected easy banter and softball questions from the ABC late night host. But Jimmy‘s no Steve Jones. As soon as Simon, Paula, Nicole and L.A. sat down on his couch, Jimmy revealed that he‘s still "very angry" about last week‘s surprise elimination of the "supernaturally talented" Rachel Crow. Jimmy‘s definitely not alone. Which is why I so enjoyed watching him take turns grilling Nicole, Paula and L.A. on their decisions during the final voting. First, Kimmel went after L.A., who said during judging that as "a man of principle" he had to stick by his mentee, Marcus Canty. "Now, to me, a man of principle would pick the person he thought was the better singer," said Jimmy, who claimed Marcus "isn‘t even in the same ballpark" as Rachel. But instead, "L.A. picks his own guy," Jimmy lamented. "Principle schmiciple!"   Read more »
This Wednesday on The X Factor, the Top 4 will square off with two songs each: One they‘ve chosen with the help of their mentor, and one chosen for them by voters in the show‘s online "Pepsi Challenge." The same subtlety-allergic online voters, it would seem, who chose "rotating turntable," "circus theme," "hip hop" and "laser show" as the required elements for that technicolor nightmare of a "Pepsi Choice" number a few weeks back.Beyond having the talent to get on to the show in the first place, song choice is the trickiest part for a performer on The X Factor, or any singing competition show for that matter. Which explains why it‘s the most often debated element of almost every X Factor performance among the judges. (That, and it‘s also the element that allows the judges to insult each other, which they clearly love.) Voice, ability, tone, the week‘s theme, the need to "show diversity" or "challenge oneself" or "show another side,"  -- all of these and more (like whether the show can license the song, which we‘re ignoring for our purposes here) need to be accounted for when picking a number.  Read more »
In a press conference on the X Factor soundstage yesterday, Simon Cowell said that this week‘s season 1 finale will be "the greatest finale ever, in terms of talent." And he‘s not just saying that because his mentee Melanie Amaro seems best poised to take home the title. We think.Cowell was joined by Amaro, her competitors Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik, plus his fellow judges Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid to discuss this week‘s two-night finale. Here‘s what we know we can expect from the finalists and their special guests on Wednesday (8-9:30pm) and Thursday (8-10pm). But there are plenty of secrets in store, too! Read more »
Tonight, we‘ll watch as the final three performers on The X Factor USA -- Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene -- perform three songs each as their last bid for America‘s votes. And those all-important votes will determine who wins a $5 million recording contract in tomorrow‘s two-hour season finale. Let‘s take stock of how these three very strong, but very different, vocalists stack up:  Read more »
Earlier today, I hedged my bets and gave you three reasons why each of tonight‘s X Factor finalists -- Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Chris Rene -- might take home the trophy tomorrow. But those could all end up out the window, as each performer is about to take the stage three times. A show-stopping performance also jumpstart votes in anyone‘s favor. Especially when three of those performances, we just learned, will be duets with three very famous, very controversial performers: Melanie Amaro & R. Kelly - "I Believe I Can Fly" Chris Rene & Avril Lavigne - "Complicated" Josh Krajcik & Alanis Morissette - "Uninvited"Jilliane Johnson will be bringing you her full take on tonight‘s big, final X Factor performances  after the episode, but until then, here‘s your spot to sound off on all of tonight‘s happenings, on stage and at the judges‘ table. We‘re a family. Let‘s dish about the TV show like a family.Just a couple ideas to get you sharing in the comments: Read more »
Not only are the final live performances on tonight on The X Factor, there is something else worthy of sharing a "Yippee!" over. Yes, this marks the beginning of the end for a long-awaited break from Paula Abdul and her crocodile tears. Did you guys miss me? Our expert on all things X Factor, Meghan Carlson, will return tomorrow with a live blog of the results show, when Steve Jones announces who takes the title of "Lucky Cow with the X Factor." Until then, you and I will relive the special moments from the last three contestants. Read more »
Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro and Chris Rene are now such seasoned performers that on last night‘s X Factor performance finale, they each held their own in a duet with a bonafide superstar.But mere months ago, each of them was just a hopeful dreamer among the thousands of acts auditioning to be on The X Factor. Last night‘s finale also paid homage to the beginning of their stories, as each finalist closed out the show with their own very first audition song -- the song that got them those four yeses that changed everything.Watch Melanie‘s, Chris‘s and Josh‘s humble auditions, and then see how far they‘ve come as they turn those songs into their final $5 million performances: Read more »
Well, there‘s no doubt that Melanie Amaro had a jolly holiday weekend. The 19-year-old from Sunrise, Florida won The X Factor and became $5 million richer last Thursday night. Whatever Santa brought Melanie on Saturday night, it probably couldn‘t top that.Now that the dust has settled, the presents have been unwrapped and the country is emerging out of its Christmas stupor and getting back to business -- what‘s up with Melanie, Simon and the rest of the season one X Factor family? Here are the latest links to keep you in the post-finale loop: Read more »
After taking home the title of the first ever The X Factor USA winner, Melanie Amaro has found her musical home with Epic Records, the label announced today.Amaro‘s epic voice snagged her the $5 million recording contract promised by X Factor creator and judge Simon Cowell along with sponsor Sony, which owns Epic Records. And the decision to go with Epic had to do with the involvement of another X Factor judge: L.A. Reid, who is the Chairman and CEO of the label. Read more »
If you watched more than ten continuous minutes of The X Factor USA this fall, you know that part of the winner‘s massive prize package was the chance to star in a Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl. Along with that $5 million recording contract, Simon Cowell lauded the commercial as a huge opportunity for the winner to go from rising star to superstar.On Sunday, February 5, season 1 champ Melanie Amaro will finally get her big moment. And another big name is joining her in the spot: Sir Elton John. But that‘s King Elton to Melanie, as she explained the concept of the ad to EW: Read more »
Last night, while much of the world lay sleeping, Simon Cowell went all Henry VIII on The X Factor USA, leaving three vacant spots where, just months ago, three vacant people once stood. First to go was host Steve Jones, whose bumbling Welshness Simon deemed too competitive with his own overpowering Britishness. A sad but not unexpected loss, as Jones had trouble both speaking and reading -- two rather important elements of hosting. I‘ll miss his handsomeness most of all.Then FOX announced that Nicole Scherzinger had "voluntarily" left her judging spot to focus on her music career. X Factor took a lot more of her time than she expected, reports said. Yes, brainstorming so many different ways to make every judging comment about herself must have been very time-consuming.And then, the most tragic loss of all: Paula Abdul, America‘s Incoherent Pop Idol Princess, got the axe. After all she and Simon have been through! After all her ups and downs and sideways on American Idol with him, and now this? It‘s not her fault that he gave her the hopeless GROUPS to deal with! Read more »
This is when you ask, "what the hell just happened?"In a span of just four hours, three major players off Fox‘s The X Factor have departed: host Steve Jones, and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Read more »
Super Bowl XLVI puts the New York Giants against the New England Patriots, and while many fans are excited about the match-up, I‘m proud to admit that I‘m one of those people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials. Oh sure, I‘m mildly interested in the actual football game, but that‘s just because, if the Giants lose, my brother will cry.  Read more »
Casting bits, anyone? Yeah, I thought so, too. Tonight, a gleek and a Stoolbend regular heads to politics, and skitters prepare to be told to be not told what they can‘t do. (I know. I can word that much better.) But first, some stability in a singing show: Read more »
Another edition of Buddy Bites right at you -- tonight‘s installment features some sad news, some comforting news, and a figure from my childhood coming back to talk about bad auditions. Read more »
You‘d never think The X Factor would still be going after losing two judges and a host a few weeks back, but it is still on -- and now they‘re announced audition dates for the show‘s second season this fall.And there‘s an interesting new twist to this season‘s auditions: now artists with "pre-existing management contracts" can try out for the show. In other words, you can still try your luck on The X Factor even if you already have a manager at the moment, as opposed to American Idol, where hopefuls should not have a current management or record deal before trying out. Read more »
Rachel Crow is heading to Nickelodeon. And Columbia Records. Looks like she‘ll definitely be getting her own bathroom after all.Crow finished four spots shy of the X Factor title this fall, but fans knew it wouldn‘t be long before another network snatched up the talented 14-year-old. Today Crow announced that she‘s scored a record deal with Sony Music-owned Columbia Records, and that Nickelodeon plans to develop a comedy pilot starring her. And that‘s not all. As a warm-up of sorts for her launch into the world of Nickelodeon, Crow will appear in a recurring role on another new series from the network, Fred: The Show. She‘ll play a character named Starr, an "eccentric teenager who imagines herself as a showbiz star," says E! Online.According to The Hollywood Reporter, her stint on Fred: The Show could last for five episodes this spring. Read more »
It‘s definitely the beginning of the end for American Idol. After spending the last nine TV seasons as the most-watched show on television, the singing competition is suffering a giant ratings loss this season, while NBC‘s up-and-coming The Voice is taking over.Wednesday night‘s episode of American Idol, where part of the Top 24 was revealed, averaged about 15.9 million viewers over its two hours according to early numbers, though the final numbers may be a bit higher. That‘s down nearly three million viewers from last week and is way down from past seasons. But worst of all for FOX, it‘s also worse than this week‘s episode of The Voice.  Read more »
This week, a famous pop star celebrates his birthday, an Office employee quits and a troubled actress makes her TV comeback. Read more »
During a conference call with reporters yesterday, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid revealed some details about the upcoming second season of The X Factor. After the departure of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, Cowell and Reid confirmed they are seeking two female judges to replace their seats on the judging panel. Though they would not confirm who, there has been much speculation stars like Britney Spears, LeAnn Rimes and Janet Jackson are interested.  Read more »
This week‘s news roundup includes a rumored casting, a controversial spat, a failed marriage and some sex talk. Read on to find out more. Read more »
The rumor mill is running once again this week with reports that George Clooney‘s girlfriend Stacy Keibler is in talks to join the upcoming season of The X Factor. Amidst ongoing rumors ranging from Janet Jackson to Avril Lavigne to Britney Spears, there are still four official spots to fill (two hosts and two judges) on the Simon Cowell singing competition. Keep reading to get the current update and chime in on who you think should join the show. Read more »
It‘s time for another roundup of the most recent X Factor judge rumors - this time, we‘re focusing on one name in particular: Britney Spears.  Read more »
Welcome to this week‘s Music Show Battle! Two weeks ago, on a whim, I posted an article about how every single singing show (American Idol, The Voice, Glee, etc) performed Gotye‘s "Somebody That I Used to Know" in the same week. The following week it was Adele‘s "Rolling in the Deep" that became the de facto song of the week. It became obvious to me that this should be a regular feature, since every week at least two shows use the same song.  Read more »
While the confirmation of Britney Spears‘ thought-to-be-done deal has yet to surface in the past couple weeks, a few new rumors have circulated as to who might join her as the fourth judge at the X Factor table this fall. Two tween queens‘ names have been tossed in the ring: Demi Lovato (according to The Hollywood Reporter) and Miley Cyrus (according to Celebuzz).  Read more »
It‘s finally official - Britney Spears and Demi Lovato have signed on as judges for The X Factor‘s second season. The announcement was made at the FOX Upfronts in New York today, confirming ongoing rumors that the resilient pop icon and Disney-star-turned-teen-diva were reportedly joining the show to replace last season‘s judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. There have been a myriad of rumored celebrities that The X Factor had supposedly been considering (including Fergie, Avril Lavigne and Janet Jackson), but the show has finally settled on its two new female judges, who will sit alongside Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid.  Read more »
If there is one truth to life, it‘‘s that there is an award show for everybody. Thus, we have the Teen Choice Awards, a competition whose winners are chosen solely by voters between the ages of 13 and 19. What will this year‘s teens be honoring? Keep reading for the first round of 2012 Teen Choice Award nominees. Read more »
Tonight‘s the night, kids! No, not that night. Not Santa and presents and sugarplums night. That‘s two nights from now. Tonight‘s the night when we finally learn which X Factor finalist got the best Christmas present ever from America: That $5 million contract, a Pepsi Super Bowl commercial, and the lifelong title of Very First Winner of The X Factor USA. The winner probably even gets a special gold card to keep in their wallet that gets them into special Very First Winner Lounges where they can rub elbows with Kelly Clarkson, Adrienne Curry, Jay McCarroll and Richard Hatch. (Just kidding! Richard‘s card got revoked when he joined that other, slightly less exclusive club, Prison.)WHO‘S GOING TO WIN? I honestly couldn‘t tell you. My gut says Melanie, but what if everyone else‘s guts also said Melanie, so they voted extra-hard for Josh and Chris, who were equally as amazing (if not more so, *cough* Josh *cough*) last night? We‘ll have to just wait, and wait -- and wait and wait and wait and waaaait -- over the course of the 800,000 minutes of A Very Special X Factor Finale Results Santa-Bieber Christmas Extravaganza to find out! Everyone got their spiked nog ready? You better, because here‘s a Very Special X Factor Finale Results Drinking Game to make the time until we get actual results go faster:  Read more »
It‘s time for another X Factor dream to be crushed ... then pulverized, and then ground into a fine, luminous powder and sprinkled over the Road to Victory, the easier for the three remaining performers to see their way as they march to next week‘s finale. Whoa, what? Sorry, I got a little dark there for a minute. It‘s just that, given how wretched and uncomfortable last week‘s elimination was, and that tonight the obnoxious and smug Nicole Scherzinger is going to force her obnoxiousness and smugness down our throats with a performance of her song "Pretty" (which, until I hear otherwise, I‘m going to assume is about Nicole feeling sorry for herself because she‘s too beautiful to be taken seriously), I‘m feeling a bit bleak. You know who else is probably feeling bleak right now? Marcus Canty. Even his "Vegas show in 1983" version of "Careless Whisper" didn‘t seem to improve his chances of getting through tonight. (Oh, Simon meant that as an insult? Sounded like a compliment to me. I mean, ALL THAT CONFETTI. It was a bit "horrific," but delightfully so.) But, as last night‘s "Pepsi Challenge" songs demonstrated, there‘s just no telling what those wacky X Factor voters will come up with. So, while we wait for the results with baited breath and barf bags at the ready (still talking about Scherzinger, folks), tell me: Who should be the one to get the boot? Read more »
It‘s results night once again on The X Factor! Yesterday, I expressed my worry for Paula, having only Lakoda Rayne left on her roster. After seeing those performances, though, I believe anyone could go home. The Final 10 - "We Will Rock You" by QueenForgive me, but this is my least favorite moment of the week. Oh, this is great. LeRoy Bell totally just missed his cue. He was so busy swaying and clapping along. Yes, sir. You are on a nationally televised talent competition. Aside from that minor slip, this has been the best group performance.  Read more »
Tonight, the X Factor Top 4 take the stage twice each, and it‘s their last chance to convince us, the voters, that they deserve a spot in next week‘s two-part finale. But it‘s a bit hard to look ahead, when so many of us are still stuck in the painful past. If a little part of your heart died when adorable Rachel Crow was eliminated last week, you‘re not alone. Even Jimmy Kimmel, usually so strong and cynical, couldn‘t contain his anger over the "travesty."But soldier on we must, and Rachel‘s untimely end on The X Factor just goes to show that our votes really DO matter, now more than ever. If you want your favorite performer to make the finals, and to escape the weepy, indecisive brain-clutches of Nicole Scherzinger in tomorrow‘s results show, you better vote, vote, VOTE. First, though, it‘s time to hear Chris Rene, Marcus Canty, Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik woo those votes in their direction with two songs each tonight: One they‘ve chosen, and one chosen for them by the "Pepsi Challenge" voters. They‘re probably not the songs I fantasized about, but I hope for the finalists‘ sakes, especially Marcus "Always on the Bubble" Canty, that the only vocal disappointment tonight is whatever comes out of (oh-so-pretty) Steve Jones‘ mouth. Read more »

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