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American Idol vs. X-Factor (US)


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#1

Cherry Wire

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Posted Apr 1, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

The U.S. version of X-Factor hasn't debuted yet, but I wonder if we can speculate as to how the new show is likely to compare to Idol in its current state. X-Factor has a non-trivially different format - what X-Factor features are likely to be better or worse than what's going down on the Idol stage these days?

Also, does anyone who's seen the U.K. X-Factor think Cowell & co. might "Americanize" it (read: make it flashier and less subtle) to suit a U.S./Fox/AI-type audience?

#2

Occasional Hope

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Posted Apr 2, 2010 @ 9:54 AM

make it flashier and less subtle


Is that even possible?

#3

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Posted Apr 2, 2010 @ 4:35 PM

Well, to me the worst is the power X Factor gives the judges. They each mentor a contestant at some point, and pick out their songs and stuff. Of course I suppose you could say this is just like when one of the contestants actually gets signed to a label, and then have to put up with exactly that kind of crap. Sounds horrible to me.

Does the world need another singing competition? No, but I think the music business needs big venues for existing artists to hawk their wares in, and that's probably what this is partly about. Look at the people who've been showing up on idol, either as mentors or half time performers, so to speak. In a field that's got fewer and fewer places to get your music heard by a lot of people, these shows are important to the industry.

#4

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Posted Apr 3, 2010 @ 9:54 AM

They need to scrap the Brian Friedman role entirely. (Brian Friedman is the choreographer from the UK X-Factor responsible for the huge, cheesy productions.) Those stage shows end up boosting the contestants who can't sing but can look entertaining surrounded by razzle-dazzle. Thus, an act like Jedward gets into the Top 4. X Factor contestants already lose so much control, they should be able to stage their own performances.

I wonder if, on US X-Factor, they'll decide to go with the Save over the judges choosing who goes home (from the Bottom 2) each week until Top 5.

#5

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Posted Apr 14, 2010 @ 7:42 PM

I probably won't watch X-Factor when it comes Stateside. I haven't really forgiven it for killing off Pop Idol. If they can cram Got Talent and X-Factor into British television, then they should still have room for Idol. I still think that Idol, for all its flaws, makes for a superior format and a better choice of entertainment.

#6

Cherry Wire

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Posted Apr 22, 2010 @ 9:59 PM

Interestingly, if you look at the rules for both Idol and X-Factor, you would think, "Hey, Idol is much better because the judges can't manipulate as much!" But when you look at all the manipulation that's (allegedly) taken place on Idol, you have to wonder, can X-Factor really be any worse?

#7

da mihi virgum

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Posted Apr 23, 2010 @ 5:25 AM

The X-Factor format makes it completely impossible for an artist to be really surprising. Judges with the musical tastes of The Cow pick all the songs, and the chances of something like 'Moody's Mood For Love' or 'Heartless' ever happening are nil.

Although watching The Cow fail to make a star out of Danyl Johnson last year was hilarious. I've never seen sulking like it. The final-two drama and firework shows make it fun to watch, as long as you never expect to be truly impressed musically (but then, I don't like boyband/diva ballad singing, so I'm not the best person to judge).

Edited by da mihi virgum, Apr 23, 2010 @ 5:27 AM.


#8

Phan

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Posted Apr 27, 2010 @ 10:43 PM

The X-Factor format makes it completely impossible for an artist to be really surprising.


That's my main gripe with the UK X-Factor. Outside of the bottom 2 being able to choose their own songs, there's only a "WTF was (judge x) thinking?!" response to be had. Having said that, I've seen some really excellent performances from non-UK versions of the show.

It'll ultimately depend on:

1) The judges. Hate to say that, but if the judges are willing to work with the contestants, it might not be terrible. I'd kind of liked the suggestions of Ben Folds and Janet Jackson, and I'd add Cyndi Lauper.

2) Quality theme weeks or ditching the theme weeks altogether (which... I think it should to distinguish it from Idol)

3) What types of contestants/groups the show puts through.

4) Actually, it might depend on how Idol fares without Cowell. If they manage to assemble a strong group of finalists for s10 and nab decent ratings, the X-Factor might get overlooked.

#9

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Posted May 12, 2010 @ 7:41 AM

I like that Simon will be involved, but I'm not sure about this format. It sounds like too much involvement by the judges for my liking.

#10

anne uk

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Posted May 12, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

PatD, in reply to your question over in Casey's thread (mmmmm...Casey...), I've never really given XFactor UK much attention. The reason I prefer AI is that your talent pool seems so much deeper than ours (something to do with the law of averages I guess), although that theory hasn't really held up this year!
The only thing I do know that is Simon's opinion is the only one worth having - the other judges are pretty much fodder.

#11

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Posted May 12, 2010 @ 1:06 PM

Thanks for replying, anne.

TPTB set out to choose a decidedly more amateurish group of contestants this year, and the quality of talent naturally suffered for that. I hope they learned a lesson.

I have misgivings about this X Factor. I'm not crazy about the notion that the judges will have more influence, rather than less, and most of the U.K. X Factor clips I have watched took the cheese quotient to a high. Even the sets look cheesey (no offense, I blame that on the producers).

It sure does appear to be very popular, though.

Edited by PatD, May 12, 2010 @ 1:08 PM.


#12

PatD

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Posted May 12, 2010 @ 1:06 PM

<deleted>

Edited by PatD, May 12, 2010 @ 1:08 PM.


#13

SeaBreeze341

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Posted May 13, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

4) Actually, it might depend on how Idol fares without Cowell. If they manage to assemble a strong group of finalists for s10 and nab decent ratings, the X-Factor might get overlooked.


I think it'll take a little more than that for the folks at home to overlook X-Factor. That's not to say it won't get overlooked, but it won't be due to Idol being "back". With fewer relevant shows in the fall on FOX, a nice opening would set up a summer 2012 run. From there, if Idol does fall in a year or two removed from Cowell's exit, I could see X-Factor moving into Idol's spot exactly ten years removed from Idol's spring debut (2013).

Totally agree with the judges working with the contestants. If you feel the need to give them advice, why not truly help them out?!

#14

jassmine12

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 @ 4:28 AM

I will go for American Idol..

#15

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Posted Nov 30, 2010 @ 9:47 PM

Just for those curious, Cheryl Cole to join US X Factor.

I haven't seen this confirmed in any American media sources, though. I honestly don't know if so blatantly replicating the UK version over here is such a good idea.

#16

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Posted Dec 1, 2010 @ 12:56 PM

If the Cheryl rumor is true, I'm surprised FOX would go along with it, but in terms of Simon's wishes, it wouldn't surprise me. He is incapable of being original or thinking outside the box. Even the concept of the X-Factor was a rip-off of Pop Idol. Every year Simon was on American Idol, he'd recommend songs to contestants that were old, personal favorites with very little relevance to today's music or the contestant for whom he was recommending. When asked why he picked something, he'd make up some crap about it being the best song ever and it being so hard to sing. And if an American Idol contestant managed to pick a song and create a moment for themselves on the show, dollars to donuts, that very song would end up as something he'd recommend for his X-Factor contestants in the UK, whether it fit them or not. He's just downright musically lazy and kind of stuck within a certain comfort zone.... So, no surprise he'd want to take what makes him feel comfortable about the UK show and transpose it onto the US show, whether it makes sense for the US or not. It's his calling card.

Edited by Nidratime, Dec 1, 2010 @ 12:57 PM.


#17

PokerFace305

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Posted Dec 1, 2010 @ 1:05 PM

The thing I do appreciate about the X-Factor is that the judges' biases are in full view and acknowledged. You KNOW that Simon or whoever is going to pimp certain contestants because they're mentoring them on their team, so the public can keep that in mind during their critiques.

There were rumors that Nicole Scherzinger would be a judge on the U.S. version, which makes sense since she's more well known here. The last rumors were that Simon had told Cheryl that she needed to launch her music career in America first, so people knew who she was before she went on the show.

#18

Phan

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Posted Dec 3, 2010 @ 1:37 PM

I really think that including Cheryl would be a mistake because she's boring, unknown, and it's very likely that her hot factor (which, I don't get her, but I'll admit she's goregous) will be usurped by a pop tart girl contestant on the show at some point.

He'll never do it, but Simon's best move would be to cast judges who would be able to keep up with him wit wise. I'm not saying Simon's the brightest bulb, but he would never put someone on the panel he knows with a similar eye for the business end who is as smart/smarter or more charismatic than him.

#19

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Posted Dec 4, 2010 @ 1:10 PM

Phan, I agree with you about Cheryl. I have been watching X Factor videos, and she is just there. She adds no insight, no analysis, nothing but good looks.

I guess, if he was going to bring someone over from the UK, it would be Cheryl. I like Danni, and having Kylie as her sister helps. However, she makes some lousy song choices for her contestants. And I love Louis. But I can't see America going for a Wagner or a Jedward.

#20

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Posted Dec 4, 2010 @ 1:13 PM

So, this is the place to compare and contrast the two shows!

I've been watching X-Factor for a few weeks, and I'm really disliking it. It employs a few ideas that I thought would improve AI, but in such a terrible way that it makes things worse.

Mentors: I've thought that it would be better if the guest mentors on AI spent more time with the Idols (like Harry Connick, Jr. did). On X-Factor, the Mentors choose the song and are supposed to show up and support their contestants. And then they judge them. All this makes it more about the judge/mentors and less about the contestant. Hate it. It makes the judges seem like puppetmasters and the contestants seem like... well, puppets. Or trained dogs.

Behind-The-Scenes: I'm wildly curious about what happens behind the scenes. I'd love to see how Idols make their musical choices, go shopping, discuss arrangements or lighting. Everything tidbit I hear (like why Crystal chose to put a digeridoo onstage, Kris helping people choose their Michael Jackson songs) makes me want to know more.

But on X-Factor, the BTS footage is all about trying to create suspense for the performance and it gets old fast. Plus we get these formualic TH shots of the judges prognosticating on whether or not the performer will be able to sing their particular song and how it'll be a disaster if they don't.... after seeing two weeks of that, it's impossible to take the video packages seriously.

#21

Ashes of Roses

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Posted Feb 7, 2011 @ 12:56 PM

X Factor's big press release. The top prize is a $5 million contract (AI's was $1 million in the first season, but they haven't mentioned an amount in years) and 12 year olds can audition. Will AI lower its age limit next season (if there is one)?

The British tabloids have been reporting that Cheryl isn't such a sure bet for the US version because she's not a household name here, and they are hoping to get someone like Katy Perry or Rihanna. I think Americans would find it a bit weird at first for an A-list pop star to be a regular part of the judging panel on a talent show. Being a mentor or guest judge is one thing, but judging every week, well, that's for stars past their prime. Maybe that's a way for X Factor to seem fresher than AI?

Edited by Ashes of Roses, Feb 7, 2011 @ 12:58 PM.


#22

tuco6

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Posted Feb 7, 2011 @ 5:09 PM

I'm not sure someone like Katy Perry or Rihanna, or any currently working music star, would have time for an official role on AI. I think, of the various names I've seen mentioned over the fall/winter, Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls might get it over Cheryl.

Any more news on the host? Is Dermot O'Leary still in contention? I can't see Fox greenlighting 3 imports, especially since 2 would be relative unknowns, so I'm guessing they'll choose either Cheryl or Dermot, or neither, but not both.

Also, 12 is too young. Just saying.

#23

garlandk77

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Posted Feb 7, 2011 @ 6:53 PM

The original poster said:

"Does anyone who's seen the U.K. X-Factor think Cowell & co. might "Americanize" it (read: make it flashier and less subtle) to suit a U.S./Fox/AI-type audience?"

Having watched the U.K. version of X Factor, I think the premise of this question is completely wrong. Compared to American Idol, the U.K. version of X Factor is much flashier and there is NO subtlety about it. Contestant performances on the U.K. show feature lavish production numbers with sexy dancers, and each year the judges deliberately include clownish Sanjaya-like performers in the final round of competition.

But for me, the most important difference between American Idol and the U.K. X Factor is Simon's behavior. On American Idol, Simon’s persona and reputation were based on giving brutally honest evaluations of singers. He became famous for the snarky, often harshly negative comments that were doled out in abundance on each show. And whenever he made favorable comments about a performer, almost everyone felt they were fully deserved.

But on the 2010 series of X Factor that I watched, Simon's behavior and comments were radically different than on Idol. He rarely said anything negative to the contestants. When he did make negative comments, they were usually directed to his fellow judges and mentors, criticizing them for song choice or other issues. And Simon often praised performances even when it was obvious that the performance was seriously flawed or out of tune. He gave this unjustified praise not only when speaking about contestants he was mentoring, but also for others he was not mentoring.

Maybe this dramatic difference is because Simon owns X Factor and has a vested interest in making viewers think his show features only worthy performers. But I really wonder if this kind of “neutered” Simon will work on the American X Factor. For me, it would be a huge disappointment to see Simon being full of praise for seriously flawed performances, and it would destroy his reputation for honesty. And I think Americans would be shocked to see Simon's snarky criticisms completely disappear like they do on the U.K. X Factor.

It will interesting to see if on the American version of X Factor, Simon will be like he is on the British version, or if he will stick with his American Idol style of honest criticism.

Edited by garlandk77, Feb 7, 2011 @ 6:56 PM.


#24

mshepnj

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Posted Feb 7, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

For me, it would be a huge disappointment to see Simon being full of praise for seriously flawed performances, and it would destroy his reputation for honesty. And I think Americans would be shocked to see Simon's snarky criticisms completely disappear like they do on the U.K. X Factor.



As a person who dislikes the mean Simon, I'm enjoying him not being on Idol this season to sour the atmosphere, and would be more willing to watch X-Factor if I knew he was going to be constructive and not brutal... except that I also hate manipulation and fluff (dancers, light shows, etc.) and that's a strike against it.

I think others feel differently about mean Simon, however. Simon is loved (or loved-to-hate) by many because he is brutal and they enjoy seeing the contestants verbally assaulted. Simon's brutality is not always honest or really necessary when constructive criticism could be more useful. Sometimes he's just mean for the sake of being mean. Sometimes his shtick is a distraction, like when he ignores a good performance and just criticizes a contestant's outfit. And his praise of contestants is not always honest or deserved either. He has favorites and doesn't try to pretend otherwise. He's encouraging and oversells his favorites when they falter and undersells or criticizes his favorites' competitors to prop up his favorites.

As for the "5 $ million contract", I think Simon's either a gambler or that hubris has addled his wits. His gamble may pay off for him, but I can't help thinking he's mistaken if he thinks he can import X-Factor at this point and make it work the same way in America and make a decent ROI in this economy.

Edited by mshepnj, Feb 7, 2011 @ 11:11 PM.


#25

tuco6

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Posted May 19, 2011 @ 8:02 PM

Resurrecting this thread because I don't think US X Factor has its own yet. Anyone catch the X Factor preview that aired after Idol? Did they really show an American flag burning at the end??

#26

Phan

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Posted May 21, 2011 @ 10:51 AM

tuco6 they showed a pillar of fire and then an American flag faded into the picture. Not a flag actually being burnt or burning. If that makes any sense.

Still, kind of stupid move because I could see the connection. Good luck with that one SyCo.

This is going to be so trainwrecky awful all around. I can't wait.