‘The X Factor’: Let the snarky recaps begin

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imageAfter years of recapping “American Idol,” I swore I would never recap again. Yet here I am, ready to strap on my snark bib to recap “The X Factor,” premiering Wednesday. Let’s preview.

The last couple of seasons of “Idol” were, in a word, pathetic. For the life of me, I can’t remember who won this year — or last for that matter. I bet you can’t either, and if you can, might as well file it away in the deepest recesses of your brain because the question won’t be coming up at trivia night anytime soon.

Before you even ask, yes, “The X Factor” is a quasi “Idol” rip-off. I’m not going to bullshit you. If we’re going to spend the next three months together, I want to be up front and honest. “The X Factor” is indeed a singing competition on Fox based on a gargantuan hit show from the U.K., and Simon Cowell is involved in both.

What separates “The X Factor” from “Idol” is that the show doesn’t have an age limit. You might see an adorable moppet singing Lady Gaga or a middle-aged mother belting Tina Turner. The show also allows singing groups to compete. Also unlike “Idol,” the gay will apparently be upfront and personal. (Note the inclusion of contestant Xander, top photo, who’s been pimping his story to gay media, in the video above.)

The U.K. version recently started its 8th season, and while the show has never been seen in the States, one of its winners has become known here – Leona “Bleeding Love” Lewis. It also launched boy band One Direction—go on, Google ’em—who came in second place last season, and the gays and tweens are drooling from every hole over the pretty boys. Their single recently went to number one in the British charts.

imageAfter the audition rounds, starting this week on Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., those selected go to “boot camp” to refine their performances and for further weeding out, so by the time the live shows begin, there’s only a dozen or so acts remaining. Then the usual performance, nationwide vote and results show schedule kicks in with Ryan Seascrest wannabe Steve Jones (photo, second from left), a Welsh model/presenter.

Another big difference from “Idol”: the show’s judges personally mentor each of the acts that make it to the live shows. And who are the judges? Well, you already know Simon (bottom photo, center) defected from “Idol” to produce and lord over “The X Factor” with his furry mobs. There’s also L.A. Reid (right, who made a big song and dance about stepping down as CEO of Def Jam Records, but failed to mention he’s still chairman/CEO of Epic), Nicole Scherzinger (left, Pussycat Doll, failed solo artist and in need of a check) and, finally, the reason we’ll all be watching, Miss Pills herself – Paula Abdul (second from right)!

The smartest thing Simon did was rescue Paula from that shitfest dance show she was hosting (I barely remember it either), fill up her bank account with greenbacks, top off her cup of Vicodin tea and push her back up to the judges’ table. Watching Paula go from manic babbling to barely coherent, fighting with Simon, and bursting into inexplicable tears is television gold. Watching her try to mentor the contestants is going to be a hoot.

“The X Factor” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays through early December, so for the next few weeks, I’ll post one recap for both nights after the Thursday show. After the live shows and voting begin, there will be recaps on both nights.

I want to hear from you, Project Q Atlanta readers, so be sure to leave comments below the posts as the show progresses. If you disagree, feel free to bitch me out. I can take it.

imageCollin Kelley is the author of the mystery/suspense novels “Remain In Light,” out in eBook format Oct. 1, and “Conquering Venus.” He’s also a poet, activist and editor of Atlanta INtown. Visit him online.


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