Monday, November 12, 2012
Opinion: The X Factor is a real train wreck
Khloe Kardashian's awkward miscues and Demi Lovato's inadequate mentoring make viewers pine for Season 1.
I have been holding back on constructively bashing The X Factor in hopes that it would stop being the trainwreck that it has become since the live shows started, but it is time.
What is happening? No, really, what is happening on The X Factor? The show’s producers seriously need to take some cues from other shows like So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, and even The Voice. Someone needs to understand that flashy is not necessarily fantastic. There are several things that need to be fixed ASAP, so let’s talk about them for a bit, shall we?
Fix the audio! – The X Factor is a talent competition and one of the main talents that the contestants must have is ... wait for it ... a singing voice. Thankfully, the great majority of the contestants in the top 12 have good singing voices, stellar in certain cases. The problem is that the screams from the crowd drown out the contestants voices while they are performing. Not only that, but add background singers and all you get from the contestant is a muffled imitation of their real talent. Yes, it got a little better this week but come on, FOX. Britney Spears is getting $15 million for this. Use some money to hire someone capable of making your show sound good.
Khloe Kardashian is Khaotic – I wasn’t upset with the news that Khloe would be a host on this season of X Factor until I saw her in action. I didn’t have high hopes either. Khloe is a mess, and not even the good kind of mess. There are some trainwrecks that you can’t take your eyes off. Khloe is not one of them. She misses her cues, talks over the contestants and judges, stares blankly at the screen, looks awkward, acts boring, and to top all that, gets her lines stolen by Mario Lopez. Not good at all.
Demi Lovato on the run for worst mentor ever in a reality competition – I absolutely love Demi. She’s absolutely sucking as a mentor. She is doing her acts little to no favors with her input. Simon Cowell knows this and he keeps trying to tell her, but she insists that she knows what people want to see. She apparently does not. One of her acts, Cece Frey, was in the bottom two, and her highest-ranking act, Jennel Garcia, came in at No. 7. One more thing: In more than three occasions, Demi’s critique of a contestant includes the phrase “I can see (insert big, emotional word here) behind your eyes.” Please, stop that.
Keep reading for more on what Britney needs, the downfall of Mr. Entertainment, and who I think should win it all.
Britney needs a better writer, or at least an average one – How many times do we need to hear Spears saying “That was amazing, I really liked it”? A lot apparently. Brit is doing way better than expected though; last week her team suffered because of bad song choices or performance decisions, but she nailed it on week 2. It doesn’t hurt that she has Carly Rose Sonenclar (video below) on her team. That little girl is fantastic and my favorite to win it all.
Carly Rose Sonenclar Makes It Rain - THE X FACTOR USA 2012
The downfall of Jason Brock – This is something that needs to be addressed What happened with Jason Brock? On the first episode he was super entertaining even when he was bordering on annoying, but after that it seemed like he had been sedated. Did someone tell Brock to tone it down? Maybe. I bet it didn’t help having LA Reid as a mentor, who since the beginning made clear he hated the fact that he was given the Over 25′s to mentor. Mr. Entertainment crashed and burned and ended up receiving the lowest number of votes on the first week of audience voting. The glitter party is over. Sad face.
Too much filling – Do we really need 5 minutes of Mario Lopez talking about Verizon? No.
Take it easy with the production - For some reason some of the contestants’ styling looks insane this season. Something is very wrong when you look at a 13-year-old contestant and you wonder if Nicki Minaj threw up on her. It happened to Diamond White last week and to Beatrice Miller this week. Both acts belong to Britney ... I wonder. Not only that, I know that one of the things that makes X Factor stand out is that the performances are bigger, brighter, bolder, but there comes a time when you need to stop, edit, and make things cleaner. Take Paige Thomas for example: She looks like a star and had, in my opinion, her best performance so far this week when she sang "Take My Breath Away"(video below). It was a big performance; at the beginning, she came down from the ceiling, gliding softly through the air. But then, when she was on the stage, one of the dancers kept coming after her like he wanted to devour her. No, just no. Let her do that when she has paid her dues and not performing for votes, it felt icky. Even more when in each one of her interviews she says she’s doing this for her daughter. Stylists and choreographers, tone it down, please, even if just a little.
Did Paige Thomas Take Your Breathe Away? - THE X FACTOR USA 2012
I do love this show, but some of the things happening this season are making me cringe more than last season did. A part of me sometimes cries out for Steve Jones’ kind of awkward instead of Khloe’s.
There is still a lot of good on the show that will hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, outshine some the negative. Each mentor has at least one contestant that can potentially win the $5 million contract. That’s a good thing because it shows that the producers were actually doing some good work on the taped shows, maybe that’s why I am wanting more.
Take Cowell’s groups for example. What a difference a year can make. Last year, Paula Abdul’s X Factor fate was sealed when she failed to properly mentor her teams, this year the story has drastically changed. Lyric145 has a lot of potential, and that potential’s name is Lyric Da’ Queen. Emblem 3 is not my favorite group, but they are good and showed a lot of talent on their rendition of Matisyahu’s "One Day." And then there’s Lylas, I mean 1432, sorry ... Fifth Harmony. Yes, this group has had three names so far, it should actually be called “Those four girls and that other awesome girl with the weird voice.” This girl, Camila Cabello, deserved better than being put in the group. If this doesn’t work, maybe she can try out for The Voice next season. She may not sell many albums since The Voice doesn’t really focus on making their contestant famous, but it would be great to hear more from her.
One last word for Demi: Stop trying so hard to make your acts edgy pop stars. It’s not working. Jennel Garcia, Demi’s strongest act, was edgy enough during her audition and she has been turned into a Demi Lovato clone, minus the always-changing eyebrows Demi sports.
To end on a sweet note, I liked the new twist. As a first on a competition of this magnitude, the order of the results was announced to the public and it showed country singer Tate Stevens and teen prodigy Sonenclar coming in first and second place respectively. I also think the audience got it right. The X Factor has been renewed for a third season, will we see a total revamp of the show after less than stellar ratings this season? We’ll have to wait and see.
Are you as annoyed as I am with the show but can’t stop watching the delicious trainwreck?