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Rating 'The X Factor' Judges

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Dec 23, 2011 | 4:54am EST

Now that the first season of The X Factor has finally come to a close, I thought now would be a good time to look back and reflect on our dear judges. For the past 14 weeks, it has been their responsibility to seek out and mentor contestants they felt truly possessed the “X” factor – but did they do a good job? I say it’s time to judge the judges and decide which of them rates best above all the others. Personally, I think all of the judges were a little lacking in their duties this year, but some definitely fell short more so than others and it’s time to call them out on it.

Please note that my ranking system is based not only on the decisions they made throughout the coarse of the competition, but also on their mentor responsibilities and overall entertainment value to the show itself. Check out my analysis below and see if you agree my results (just think of me as an un-biased fifth party judge).

Simon Cowell: 4 out of 5

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Although Simon didn’t exude quite the same verbal brutality we’re used to seeing on Idol, the music mogul still contributed a decent amount of sassy entertainment to the show itself. And while his criticism was mostly focused on his fellow judges, it served as great comic relief amidst all the intense emotional moments throughout the competition. But more importantly, his rather blunt criticisms were, for the most part, right on point. A lot of what the other judges said, I didn’t necessarily agree with, but Simon never let me down, time and time again calling his colleagues out for their ridiculous comments/feedback. And let’s not forget that Simon’s category (the girls) lasted the longest before facing their first elimination with Drew a few weeks back. That by itself shows he knows not only how to spotlight his contestants’ talent, but to also make them extremely likable as well. So hands down, the top billing goes to Simon – and you know he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Paula Abdul: 3 out of 5

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I know, I’m just as surprised as you are that she’s so high up on my ranking system, but I guess that kinda shows you how pitiful the judging panel was this year. However, you can’t deny that she adds an awful lot of amusement to the show – if she’s not having an emotional breakdown over the elimination process, then she’s spouting off crazy comments that don’t even seem to make sense. And you can’t help but love her for it! But don’t let her ditzy demeanor fool you – she did a wonderful job working with her “groups” category and taught them a great deal of impressive choreography. And yes it’s true her acts were the first to be eliminated completely from the show, but I feel that had more to do with the fact that they were groups and less to do with the fact that Paula was the one mentoring them. And although she may not be the most eloquent speaker of the bunch, she definitely understands a great deal about the music industry and was able to offer some great insight into what it takes to succeed in this business. Plus, to top it all off – she has a great deal of heart. You can’t help but find it at least a little endearing to see just how much she cares about each and every contestant, truly wanting them to succeed. Her second place is a no-brainer.

L.A. Reid: 2 out of 5

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Here’s where things start to get a bit rocky. It seems that L.A. has done everything in his power to under-impress me this season. While I wasn’t really that familiar with him before the show, I expected the guy to be well informed and highly useful in a competition like this since it’s sort of his area of expertise…but I was sadly disappointed. Not only did he not recognize some well-known, popular songs (like Demi Lovato's Skyscraper and Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man), but he also appeared highly hypocritical in his feedback to the contestants. He constantly criticized Drew for giving the same sort of performance week after week, yet when do you remember Astro NOT incorporating a rap into every song he sang? (Psst -- You can’t remember, because it never happened). Maybe if the judges actually judged the performances instead of just criticizing one another, then the contestants would’ve been able improve and therefore NOT do the same thing each and every week. That’s just a suggestion though. So yes, he deserves to be among the bottom ranking because his contributions were almost non-existent and he clearly needs to brush up on his pop culture music. If you can recognize a Christina song, you shouldn’t own a record label.

Nicole Scherzinger: 1 out of 5

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I wasn’t a big fan of Nicole’s at the beginning of the show since she just seemed super fake and always made the wrong decisions regarding her group’s song choices and stage gimmicks. But then she did the most unforgivable thing imaginable…she allowed Rachel Crow to be eliminated from the show simply because she was too lazy to make a decision. That girl did not deserve to leave yet, especially when it was between her and someone who had been in the bottom two slot THREE weeks in a row! By opting to not make the decision herself (aka doing her job) and letting it go to DEADLOCK, Nicole ultimately crushed a 13-year-old girls hopes and dreams – and for that I am unforgiving. As a judge, it’s her responsibility to make the call as to who stays and who goes, but she didn’t do that since she didn’t wanted either contestant to be mad at her (well guess what, now all of America is mad at her). I mean, what’s the point of performing a “Save Me” song if it’s not going to help you survive elimination? The way she handled the whole thing just shows what little value and use she brings to the judge’s panel. I’m sorry, she did great on Dancing With the Stars, but as a judge, she comes up short and earns the lowest rank of them all.

So do you agree with my analysis? How would you have ranked the judges? Sound off in the comments section below and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Kellybean0415.

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