What goes better with Sunday Football on FOX than Simon Cowell and The X Factor? Lots of things probably but last night FOX used the rapt football audience to their advantage and showed us an eight-minute sneak preview of the newest incarnation of The X Factor, set to debut September 21.
I’ll give you a brief synopsis to catch you up if you're not familiar with this destined-to-be-behemoth of reality TV singing competitions. The X Factor is like a hybrid of American Idol and The Voice: it has no age limits, is a singing competition, and has celebrity judges in charge of “teams.”
The competition is open to both solo artists and groups and has no maximum age limit. Each judge is assigned one of four categories: girls between 12 and 25, boys between 12 and 25, individuals over 25, or groups (which may be formed from rejected soloists after the audition process). The judges act as mentors to their category -- helping to decide song choices, styling, and staging -- while judging contestants from the other categories. They also compete to ensure their act wins the competition, making them the winning judge. The winner stands to receive a $5 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Music (Sony Music). That Simon Cowell is a genius.
The main judges of The X Factor were a source of much speculation, rumor and gossip… just the way Cowell likes it. Besides himself (he walked away from the most watched TV show in America to launch this new venture), he has enlisted the help of legendary producer/songwriter L.A. Reid, Pussycat Doll (and reality TV singing competition winner herself) Nicole Scherzinger, and my beloved Paula Abdul. Paula says she’s excited to be sitting next to her partner in crime again and Simon tells us he loves the idea of a singing show in America where you can be 12 or 112 and whether you’re solo or in a group, you all compete against each other.
The eight-minute clip promises us talent, drama, controversy and the standard hopeless contestants who will be fodder for Simon to heckle ruthlessly for our entertainment (and there’s nothing I love better than a good train wreck!).
The first audition we actually get to see after clips of nonsense is 13-year old Rachel Crowe, who comes equipped with a sweet, strong, soulful voice, one-liners, and a whole lot of sass. The judges loved her and my little inner cynic is saying she’s too polished, sassy and at-ease to be a fluke but I’ll have to wait and see how it unfolds. We go from inspirational ‘tween to 42-year old single mom Stacy, who comes equipped with a sad story, a lot of cheap baggage, and a hell of a voice! She actually made Simon mouth “wow!” and he then told her it was one of the best auditions he’s heard in his life.
Then clip ends with snippets and teasers intended to draw us in and being the sucker I am, I’m without a doubt 100 percent more exited for The X Factor to start than I was eight minutes ago! Tune in to Fox September 21 and come back here to read recaps, reviews, and all the X Factor news.