The X Factor: Try And Keep An Open Mind (I Will Too!)

Meet 18-year-old Melanie Amaro, who I’m predicting (unless she has a really bad night) will win the first ever US edition of The X FactorBut here’s what happened when the 16 finalists were revealed last night, in one of the first segments, Girls’ mentor and overlord Simon Cowell told Amaro she didn’t make the cut.  When I read that, because I work evening hours and I almost never get to watch any of my shows live (forgive me if I’m repeating myself), I could NOT believe it.  In fact, Cowell realized he “made a mistake” and called Amaro to invite her back into the competition as his FIFTH girl, so we have a total of 17 finalists.  Oh the controversy!  Here’s who Cowell told she did make it when Amaro was told no:
One of the competition’s youngest singers, plucky 13-year-old, Rachel Crow.  I love her, but I don’t think she can win.  At her age, her voice just hasn’t matured into what it could in a little as two years.  But her charm and her personality are priceless.  Maybe she’ll catch the eye an acting scout, because she could definitely lean in that direction.  One other controversial choice got Cowell’s seal of approval.
Justin Bieber lover, 14-year-old Drew Ryniewsicz.  I call a little foul on this choice, simply because Caitlin Koch or Jazzlyn Little both had a better shot. And I’m not thrilled Cowell has given Tiah Tolliver a chance; she’s annoying and she may have divided the judges in the initial auditions, but she doesn’t have it.  I mean would he have eliminated her and then called her back???  I’m not so sure.  Same goes for Simone Battle; too much attitude; as you recall, she proclaimed herself to be “fierce” about a billion times before she actually got on stage at the auditions.  UGH!  Over it.
Here’s another issue I have with the show.  Why is there a “groups” category when we all know a group will not win.  God bless Paula Abdul; I knew she would be assigned to mentor the groups.  Do I sense a little shade?  And out of the groups that made the finals, I don’t see one that has a chance; I mean the Brewer Boys???  And both of the “thrown together” groups, made up of rejects from boot camp both made the finals, hmmmmm?  Producer intervention perhaps?  In short, I don’t like any of the groups!
As far as LA Reid’s Boys finalists, it’s a little shocking that both country singers, Tim Cifers and Skyelor Anderson were not given a pass to the finals.  What is Simon Cowell doing?  I know he’s not on American Idol anymore, but did he notice 2 country singers made the finals and the winner, Scotty McCreery, debuted his album at the top of the charts last week???  I understand Cowell is trying to top his old show, but I think he’s missing out if he doesn’t take country music a little more seriously, and to be honest, he never has, big mistake! 
The “Over 30s” could end up being the most interesting category to watch.  But I admit, it’s another category that could have easily been pushed aside.  I only have one bone to pick, this guy:
I’m not a fan of Dexter Haygood and he’s not even the oldest in the category; Leroy Bell is 60!  I don’t think he gets it.  It can pay off to be yourself, but it doesn’t pay off when you can’t tweak your style to appease a 21st century audience.  I think this is another case of the producers calling the shots, simply because of Haygood’s homeless to Hollywood story. Haygood was once part of the 80’s funk rock group Xavion, I don’t remember them.  Enough said.  But who knows, he may kick it up and he may dazzle America. 
The X Factor live shows begin after the World Series (GO CARDINALS!) on FOX.
(All images courtesy of

And The Paula Puzzle Piece Fits!

Negotiations went down to the wire, but Paula Abdul will re-join Simon Cowell this fall for Fox’s American version of The X-Factor.  Abdul rounds out the judging panel of Cowell, former Island Def Jam label head/Grammy-winning producer L.A. Reid, and British version judge, Cheryl Cole.  The show finally has announced their hosts as well, former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger, and British TV host, Steve Jones. 
So what does this all mean?  Nothing really.  Although I do think the final nail in the American Idol coffin may be complete.  The Voice, of course, is outstanding, and who knows what The X-Factor will really be like, but for sure, viewers will be drawn back to the chemistry of Cowell and Abdul.  Seriously, I’ve missed the crazy and I’m still sad Live to Dance didn’t work out for Paula; it ended being too much like the other reality competition shows, totally boring and Fox just does a better job with So You Think You Can Dance? 
Yes, welcome back!…I can’t wait.

I Pick You?

You may have noticed during the Super Bowl, the first promos ran for the American version of The X-Factor…it’s very dramatic, yet simple:
Cowell is upping the ante with the prize for X-Factor; a $5 million record contract for the winner!  Wow!  I’m guessing several Idol winners would have appreciated that kind of bread.  You know the ones I’m talking about, Taylor Hicks, Reuben Studdard, Kris Allen, etc.  Geez!  Not only is Cowell feeding the piggy, he’s also considering Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, British version judge Cheryl Cole, and…one Paula Abdul as judges.  By the way, is anyone really watching Live to Dance?  Cowell is very clever in possibly bringing back Abdul for a whole new show.  American Idol is doing fine without him, and he’s said, although he hasn’t watched a whole episode, he’s pleased with what he’s seen.  Right.  NOTE: I may blog about Idol once the finalists are set.  I just fear too many golden tickets have been passed out this time.  J-Lo is WAY too much of a pushover and Tyler? well, he’s been the wildcard for sure and that’s what he’s supposed to be.  I’m a little scared for him when the live shows start; Seacrest will need to learn to work a delay button.  I can see it now, a button with Tyler’s face on it, it just might happen.
As for auditions for The X-Factor,  they begin March 27 in LA.  Idol’s Hollywood rounds begin airing tonight….lots of weeding out to do.

(UNOFFICIAL!) J-Lo Will Be An Idol Judge After All????…

Holy crap FOX!…This is getting a little old….and I mark this blog as “unofficial” because who knows if any of this is the truth…according to TMZ, a deal between Fox and Jennifer Lopez for Lopez to become a judge on American Idol is “imminent”…this after Lopez was said to be out of control with her diva demands and the network was tired of negoiating…well, all of that?…not true!…the network is said to be in “typical negoiations” with J-Lo…and the kicker?…the deal could be announced as early as next week!…right….and apparently another source is reporting a deal that would’ve brought Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler to the show as a judge has fallen through..again, all of this is unofficial…of course, Randy Jackson is definitely coming back, which was recently confirmed…I just happened to catch Ryan Seacrest and Paula Abdul chatting on the Emmy red carpet the other night…they were going to have lunch soon…LMAO!…Paula had to move on and that’s okay…I guess if an annnouncement about judges is going to be made, Seacrest will be all over it….ass!
Also on the judging front, the following lady is said to be in the running to be on the new US version of The X Factor, debuting next fall:
KATY PERRY!…She’s been one of the better audition judges Idol has ever had and now, she might be rewarded for it by Simon Cowell himself…once again, all of this is very unofficial…one source is even saying Perry will be paid $300,000 a week for her services…however, since Perry is hot right now, who knows what will transpire in a year’s time…
If and when this big American Idol judge announcement takes place, don’t worry, a blog will be written…HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

(Unofficially) J-Lo a No-Go!

I guess it’s a good thing Fox hasn’t made an official announcement concerning all the changes that are being made to American Idol, because one new judge, is already gone!…reports are breaking this afternoon that Jennifer Lopez will not be a judge this upcoming season due to her diva demands from the network…and Fox has reportedly already had enough…I’m not surprised, but I’m also curious as to why J-Lo would squander this incredible opportunity to put her name back on the map…Apparently she still thinks she’s big enough to be a diva and Fox has put her in her place…good for them!…As for the other rumored judge joining Randy Jackson, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, a story said his deal to become a judge is “a work in progress”…so, what names are still on the table?…one name that is not on the table is Paula Abdul…since she’s starting her new dance competition/mentoring show on CBS soon, she can’t break that contract to run back to Idol…which sucks, but I think her new show may have a shot at success…the Idol drama is turning out to be a galactic PR nightmare for Fox, who desperately needs to revamp their one-time cash cow…one definite person who is back on board is Nigel Lythgoe, beyond that?…anyone’s guess…

Lee Who???…It’s All About This Guy…

Okay, we all knew Crystal was not going to win…and I know this is mean-spirited, but Lee DeWyze will be forgotten, at least outside of American Idol circles, in 6 months, maybe less…I won’t rant yet again about how this season was terrible…I just hope the Idol producers finally realize the same thing…I was just as cynical watching the finale as I was watching the last few weeks…I’m just very disappointed…
The show itself had some nice moments…Paula returned with bad stand-up sending her former nemesis Simon Cowell on his merry way…and was it just me or did the other judges look like they were a little surprised Paula was there??…oh hell, they knew the Simon farewell was not complete unless she was there…as far as weird moments go…Dane Cook sang a song consisting of some of Simon’s most famous Idol zingers and at the end, some of the Idol rejects stormed the stage and I think it was planned…then some of them stared to hog a microphone, including my personal fave, Norman Gentle/Nick Mitchell…they cut off that trainwreck very quickly and cut to commercial…another weird and beyond weird moment was when Idol gave Gen. Larry Platt and “Pants on the Ground” some more airtime…complete with saggy panted hip hop dancers with their caps turned sideways…all of a sudden, William Hung popped up…Good Lord why?…moving on…
The musical performances were hit and miss…the typical pairing of an Idol contestant with a music act was the norm of course…the best?:
Yes!!!…I’d say Bret Michaels’ appearance was the biggest surprise and the best kept secret…the show started out with all the top 12 in school uniforms and singing “School’s Out”…complete with Orithani and Alice Cooper!!!…yes, Idol got a little odd there…but it was cool…well Christina Aguliera got her 15 minutes after a week that started off with the cancellation of her summer tour, and she did okay with a ballad from her new album…when I started watching the show live, Hall & Oates joined the Idol guys for a medley…the Crystal/Alanis Morrisette duet was awesome, I guess Alanis had to stand in for the elusive Melissa Etheridge, who could not appear on the finale because she appeared a few weeks ago on Dancing With the Stars????…oh those pesky TV contracts…Lee got to jam with Chicago..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…he’s from there you know!…UGH!…another surprise, I guess, Janet Jackson, who was looking really good…new short haircut…I likey!…
The show climax? a reunion of all the Idol winners, but one was missing!…and I didn’t even notice David Cook was absent…and many other former Idol contestants joined in on stage…but NO Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert!!!…wrong!…the story with Glambert’s abscence, he’s on vocal rest before he kicks off his tour…I’d say that’s a fair reason…he’s a smart one…unfortunately for me, his Louisville show on July 10th is sold out…but…he’s also appearing in Nashville at the Ryman on July 7th…PLEASE PRAY I GET TICKETS!….
So, Simon is gone….thank you sir for these past 9 seasons and best of luck with your future projects…The X-Factor better be good Cowell!

Paula’s Back! and Why I Never Watched Lost…

Yes children, Paula Abdul, the judge you love to ridicule, will be back on primetime TV this fall…Paula will serve as the executive producer, judge, and mentor for a new CBS dancing competition reality series…wait for it….Got To Dance…thank God for this!…and it just might air opposite American Idol…as will Simon’s new American version of The X Factor…WOW!…Cowell had said in his sit down interview with Oprah last week, Paula’s departure has affected the viewership of Idol…didn’t really need a genius to tell me that…and he also said he keeps in touch with her…awwwwww…I guess it was a good thing she got out when she did…Cowell also said he didn’t want Ellen DeGeneres to take his seat on Idol…which is a little harsh, but he’s right…he said his replacement needs to be someone who knows what he/she is talking about with some music industry cred…however, I don’t know what will save the colossal sinking ship which is this season’s Idol…if Lee wins, which he probably will, he’ll be forgotten in a year’s time and if Crystal pull off the upset, we may forget her too, but I hope not…
Okay, I feel I should address why I never watched LOST until the last 20 minutes last night…to be honest, it just never interested me…and I know I’m the world’s biggest nerd when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy movies and shows…LOST just never got me…when you have as many shows to watch during a regular TV season as I do, LOST never made the cut…I know one day, I’ll catch up on reruns or I may even go out on a limb and rent each season, but now that I know how the series ended, I’m not sure…no big deal..I have several co-workers who were fanatic and one of them told me basically everything that happened in the show, so I may have not LOST out…tee-hee!…one thing I want to say, Michael Emerson aka Ben Linus, should play Klaus Nomi STAT!
That is all!

Well Played Sir…

Simon X Factor
Just as we’re about to suffer through another bazillion weeks of bad auditions for season 9 of American Idol…Simon Cowell trumps everybody yesterday, and announces this his last season on the show…he’s prepping The X Factor, which will premiere stateside in the fall of 2011…and wouldn’t you know, The X Factor is another Cowell creation…and my question is: how in the hell is The X Factor diffrent from American Idol?…the answer is, not much…the only difference is the X Factor contestants are divided into groups of 4 and each of the judges mentors a group…judges on past British X Factors have included, Sharon Osbourne, Danii Minogue, Cheyl Cole, and Cowell himself…the show produced Leona Lewis, who is still a rising a star in America…rumor is Paula Abdul may join the American version, since Cowell has said he would love to work with her again…and hell, she needs the job!…note that new Idol judge, Ellen DeGeneres, will not be seen until the top 12 are set…I think that’s one reason Cowell is bowing out this season, he probably secretly thinks the show will suffer because of DeGeneres…that’s my theory…I still think Ellen will be a fresh addition to the judges’ table…however, I’m a little skeptical…and you may wonder will American Idol go on without Simon?…yes, it will!…I don’t know why, but Cowell recently signed a contract for 3 MORE SEASONS…which will be honored I’m sure…so you know, we have at least 2 more seasons to look forward to…UGH!…
As for the onslaught of auditions that start airing tonight…I’m in!…and I’m usually not this enthusiastic about it…maybe it’s because I’ll be on the lookout for the next Glambert…or the next Kevin Covais aka Chicken Little…or the next Melinda Doolittle…or, well you get my point…
Happy Watching!
(NOTE: You may have noticed the link for my upcoming live Project Runway blog is missing…I’m still playing with Cover it Live and Thursday will hopefully be a good test run…I know I say every year I’m not going to do another PR blog, but since the show is back in NYC, I thought I would give it another shot…come back Thursday!)

News Flash: Ellen Joins American Idol!!!

Yes, this news is true and it’s fabulous!…Ellen DeGeneres will be joining the show’s 9th season in Paula Abdul’s place as the fourth judge…Paula could not come to contract or dressing room terms with Idol, so she bailed…we’ll see her again next Thursday as hostess of VH1 Divas…many guest judges, including Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham, Kristen Chenoweth, Shania Twain, and Neil Patrick Harris???..have been sitting in on auditions for next season…Ellen made the announcement during the taping of her talk show Wednesday, it will probably air next week and she told the audience she will NOT be giving up her day job…here’s a few quotes from Ellen:

“I’m not leaving here. Don’t worry about that. I’m going to have a day job and a night job. The times we’re living… in we’re all doing that.

“Hopefully I’m the people’s point of view because I’m just like you,” she added.

“I sit at home and I watch it and I don’t have that technical…I’m not looking at it in a critical way from the producer’s mind. I’m looking at it as a person who is going to buy the music and is going to relate to that person. So I’m hopefully going to be that voice of what we’re all doing at home.”

Well said and I think it’s about time Idol had a judge who isn’t a music industry expert, producer, performer, or songwriter…Ellen is extremely popular; Fox has made a superb move…most importantly, she can be big cheerleader for the Adam Lamberts and Clay Aikens who might grace the stage…but, she’ll be objective…after all, here’s what she was doing on the season premiere Tuesday:

When Ellen dances, the world is a better place…good night!

VH1 Asks: Miley Who????

As I was driving through the fog again this morning…it was not as dense as yesterday…I realized something…VHI Divas premieres next Thursday, Project Runway is on Thursdays…UH OH!!!!…I’m making the difficult decision to live blog Divas instead of Project Runway next Thursday night…I know, I know…don’t get me wrong, I’ll be flipping back and forth and I will set my DVR for both…here’s why…
It was announced yesterday, American Idol alum-Oscar winner-and new mom, Jennifer Hudson, will be joining VH1 Divas!!!…Yes!…American Idol Season 7 winner Jordin Sparks was added just a few weeks ago…don’t forget, Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Adele, and um, Miley Cyrus were announced as the original line-up…I wonder why now VH1 is finally coming to their senses…it’s all very intriguing…Paula Abdul is still on as hostess/choreograper…I guess now that J. Hud is in mix, my whole “Whitney Houston might make an appearance” theory may be dead…much like Whitney’s performances on Good Morning America last week…VH1 is promising “suprises”; I’m soooooooo eager to see what they come up with or who will step up if one of these divas is not able to perform…I’m sorry, but Chaka Khan won’t cut it…LOL!…no offense of course…
My decision to sacrifice the Project Runway breakdown for one week is an easy one…or is it?

Don’t forget, GLEE returns tonight on FOX (9/8c)…I read yesterday, VARIETY is not a fan of the new episodes…I think if GLEE fails, it will be because the season didn’t start after one episode aired on the heels of the American Idol finale…the first episode aired Friday night as a Twitter event with the cast, on both coasts…I’m a fan, but I’m a tad worried…