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.

Simon Regrets Sharing Unfounded, Unrealistic Ratings Expectations — Then Shares Some More!
Cowell told EW that he wishes he hadn’t said ratings for The X Factor USA would hit 20 million viewers, and that anything less would be a disaster. “I’m not going to lie. I wanted 20 million when we launched,” said Cowell, “but now I’m kind of back in the real world and I’m seeing this grow naturally. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.” Since its premiere, the show has hovered around 12 million viewers for its Wednesday and Thursday auditions episodes the past two weeks, which doesn’t sound that low … unless you had the number “20 million” branded into your brain for a month before the premiere. Which we did.

Then, in an attempt to cast his regrettable comment in a new light, Cowell essentially made it again, though with slightly more wiggle room: “That was a slight misunderstanding. I wasn’t saying I want 20 million for the first episode. I said we wanna hit 20 million […] I do believe — in time, because I believe in the show — we’re gonna hit those numbers.”

As this first season of The X Factor USA moves toward its bootcamp and live episode stages, the competition will get more challenging and the singers will become more well-known, so Cowell could very well be right: Maybe his show is a grower, not a show-er, so to speak. But if he’s wrong and the show never reaches 20 million this season, he’ll have to put his foot in his mouth all over again. Maybe just keep your ratings hopes to yourself next time?

Cheryl Cole Has “No Regrets” About Getting Dumped from The X Factor USA
Not because she didn’t like the job or the company or the paycheck, but because Cheryl Cole “doesn’t do regrets.” SEE, Simon? Major mistake. This woman was MADE for reality TV.

More on X Factor “Bootcamp”: Upsets, and Upset Singers
X Factor creative director Brian Friedman spoke to Reuters about what we can expect as the show moves from auditions into the competition, starting with this week’s “bootcamp” stage:

– Almost 200 acts made it through auditions. That number will be “wittled down” to 32 through “several days of tough vocal, dance, performance and style training.”
– There will be tears. LOTS of tears: “It was very draining and you see a lot of people crumbling under the pressure. They really are weeded out in every area of performance.”
It’s like worst-case scenario training for would-be stars: “They had to sing multiple songs that they did not know. They had to dance and that is a challenge we have not seen yet. We want to see what they are going to do if they are at the Grammys or performing at the MTV awards. […] If you forget your lyrics, what are you going to do to survive? How do you make up for it? How do you handle your mistakes?”
– A great audition isn’t a guarantee. Simon says, “We’d have a four yes person from the auditions, standing ovations, everything…suddenly, on their own, without an audience… just didn’t work…and then in reverse, we would see people who we were kind of borderline about and something changed in them and they turned into contenders.”
BREAKING NEWS: Former model/Handsomeness incarnate/X Factor USA host Steve Jones may have had protected, consensual intercourse with a woman at some point. WHAAAT?! Tell me MORE! (No. Please. Don’t.) Pier Morgan tried to bring us the story, but he couldn’t HANDLE the truth! Don’t worry, Jones’ deep dark SECRETS may have gotten between them, but he and Piers are still friends.

One Last Thing: A Bootcamp Preview!
The vocal training and emotional draining begins tomorrow, Wednesday October 5, at 8pm on FOX.

Who are you rooting for in X Factor Bootcamp? Check out my picks for the 20 best auditions below.
(Image courtesy of FOX)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.