S1E2: And we're back for a second round of contestants on The X Factor. This much-hyped, heavily anticipated singing competition was exactly what the previews indicated it would be and what Cowell intended it to be: a show to out-idol American Idol, out-voice The Voice and outdo all other reality shows. It was fun for the most part, with a few genuinely inspiring moments along with some unforgettable contestants who left the judges looking either ecstatic or horrified. Although Cowell seems a little nicer (let's hope it doesn't last too long) and the product placement is a little much, the show itself has got serious potential. (It was watched by over 12 million people last night.) And we've only just begun!
So far we've seen some great singers and some not-so-great singers in Los Angeles and Seattle. And I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that the producers are choosing to spend so much time focusing on so few singers. It seems unfair to the other musical acts that were passed on to the next round, but never got the chance for America to see them perform. I feel like I'm only familiar with a handful of contestants each episode. But if the show operates as it should, the momentum and talent will only continue to build and grow along the way to the December finale. So now it's time to see what great moments occurred in Miami and Dallas.
1. Simon passes his bad guy crown to L.A. Reid.
Ashley Sansone was the first contestant introduced this episode and man did she have a lot to say. In fact, she wouldn't shut up. As soon as she got on stage she just rambled on about her love for music, which singers she admires, etc, etc, etc. Simon had to actually stop her and tell her to sing. So she took off her shoes (eww) and did just that. But if we thought the talking was bad, the singing was worse. No one -- in the room of 5,000 people -- could understand a word she was singing. It was almost as if she was speaking in a different language (maybe she's been walking too much Navvi?). When she was done L.A. Reid told her that he wanted to slit his wrists after listening to that incoherent noise. It's weird that he's the one coming up with the harsh feedback and not Cowell. I mean, her singing was awful, but ouch. Looks like there's a new bad guy in town...move over Simon.
2. A family member flips out backstage.
It's completely normal for a contestant to get upset or angry onstage if they don't like what the judges have to say. In fact, that's why I watch these auditions (I can't help but take pleasure in other people's misery -- I admit it). But I've never seen a contestant's family member get more upset than the actual contestant...until tonight. The DreamGirlz duet was just terrible and definitely not X Factor-worthy, but while the two singers took the criticism with grace, a certain family member backstage was not dealing with the rejection so well (or quietly). There's a first. They even had to put a little X-bleeper over his mouth most of the time because he was so upset they didn't get chosen. I guess he'll just have to find someone else's potential fame to piggyback off of.
3. The X Factor is turning into a Lifetime movie.
Is it just me or is this show quickly turning into a Lifetime movie instead of a singing competition? We've got the long admiring looks from the judges, the thankful smiles from the contestants, the loving support from the families backstage, the dramatic pauses, and the cheesy music playing in the background. At times I can't tell if this is a show about singing or a hyped up soap opera. I know it's supposed to be emotional and inspiring, but they need to dial it down just a little bit. I'd rather see more contestants than watch the performers burst into tears of joy or sorrow onstage. Let's focus on the singing!
4. A contestant can see dead people.
I'm guessing that most of you who are watching this have watched Idol and heard all the crazy quirks, jobs, and hobbies that former competitors have had. Well this one takes the cake for the spookiest of them all. Contestant Ashley Deckard is a ghost hunter, which means she can see can see dead people (eat your heart out, Bruce Willis). While Scherzinger seems absolutely scared, Cowell is fascinated and actually asks her to bring the ghosts down to them. And the best part is, Paula admits that she has the gift too to which Simon replies he's not surprised. Alright, I guess I kinda missed those two.
5. A contestant finally brings the Miami crowd to its feet.
Miami turned out to be kind of a bust, but one contestant made it all worthwhile. After singing an unbelievable rendition of Beyonce's song "Listen," the entire room got to their feet and cheered for this amazing talent. Scherzinger cried and said this is why she's in this business because of people like her. Reid is even so bold as to say that she has the X Factor. Beautiful compliments for a beautiful talent. Of course, she got four yeses and I'm sure we'll see more of her in the future.