Don’t Cry For Me Rachel Crow, Yeah, I Watched X-Factor This Week

**SPOILER ALERT** Cute little Rachel Crow, who needed $5 million dollars for her own bathroom, will not be winning The X-Factor, no, she will be fielding offers from countless kid-friendly studios, so her bathroom dream is still attainable. Especially since TMZ broke a story about a meeting with Disney. I think if we remember Rachel, we’ll remember her personality, and I won’t remember her singing except for her initial audition. I’m not convinced a 13-year-old was ready for a big music career, and Nicole had go and do it and force the “deadlock”. So basically it’s your fault America!

What you’ll see above, if you didn’t see it Thursday night, is what I call a primetime soap opera over acting moment, for both Crow and Scherzinger. I may sound mean, but Crow can act, and yes I know she was actually upset. And when Nicole walked away from host Steve Jones when he asked her for a comment after the whole funeral-like scene went down, she refused to speak. She’s lucky, because now her “Over 30” candidate Josh Krajcik, just might win; I just hope he NEVER covers Rihanna again, what the hell was that? And although Simon is pissed about Rachel Crow, he can almost guarantee Melanie Amaro will make the finals and she will probably win. I’m still not buying her “authentic” accent, because if there’s a better acting job than Rachel, it’s Melanie pulling off her very convincing American accent.

As for LA Reid’s remaining competitors, Marcus Canty impressed me this week and Chris Rene did not. I don’t know why Rene is still there, he had his tiny moment in the auditions, now we all know he’s not any good. Canty is polarizing and he’s been in the bottom the last 3 weeks?!? I’m still of the opinion it’s Amaro’s and Simon’s to lose, we’ll see.

Bonus picture, celebrity hairstylist Ken Paves posted a few pictures of Rachel’s “new hair” on his Facebook wall, she looks pretty happy to me…

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Okay X Factor, We’re Not Stupid!: A Commentary

I only saw a little bit of this week’s show and I totally missed the results show, however, when I did the math this afternoon, the finals are almost guaranteed to be Simon vs. L.A.  And that’s exactly what the two judges/mentors/record exes–and producers– wanted.  We all know Paula Abdul’s “groups” didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making the finals, so Lakoda Rayne had to go.  Frankly, I give Nicole Scherzinger credit, Josh Krajcik has the best chance of schooling the big guys’ stars in the competition (sorry LeRoy Bell, you were too milquetoast) and unless one of Simon’s or LA’s frontrunners stumble (We’re all looking at you ASTRO!) Krajcik is next in line to go.  It makes me wonder how accurate the voting is.  Sure, America trusts Cowell, and it’s no surprise all three of his “girls” are still in the running to win. If one of them DOESN’T win, it will certainly be a shock.  And I don’t see Marcus Canty or Chris Rene winning, so Astro, despite the attitude/headphone controversy is all LA’s got and I think he knows it.  Astro could be the next Justin Bieber, whom Reid mentored and signed. 
As far the other contestants, and I include all three of Simon’s, I don’t see a “next” somebody.  It’s safe to say Rachel Crow will go on to an acting career with or without a $5 million dollar contract, Drew? I don’t know, and Melanie Amaro is still my favorite and she could be the next I’m not sure.  I still see Amaro as very tenative, not diva-like at all.  LA has a challenge in Canty and Rene; both are good, but they are not good enough to win, so does Reid really care? No.  I hope Cowell doesn’t suffer the American Idol curse when the winner goes nowhere. Remember Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox, the 2 finalists in Cowell’s last year on Idol? DeWyze was dropped from his label and Bowersox quit to go back the “independent” way of doing things.  I bet they wish they were Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina right about now.  Josh Krajcik is about to be set up for a harsh reality, starting a career over 30 is not the best scenario.  Don’t even make me pull the Susan Boyle card!  UGH!  That’s not a career, that’s a passing fad and if she still succeeds in England, great.  It’s just very difficult for anyone, any age to break into the music business in the 21st century.  I would love to see just once, a singer or a band get signed the way all artists used to be signed, through hard work and dedication and a little creativity.  Lady Gaga is the best example of an artist who paid her dues and she is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world, maybe, of all time. Okay, I won’t go nuts, but there’s my point.  A person can be discovered and be mentored, but is it worth $5 million bucks? 
 (Kadeem Hardison should sue!/tv.com)

Will The Real Stacy Francis Please Stand Up?

This is how we, the unassuming public, were introduced to Stacy Francis on The X-Factor.  Francis claimed to be a 42-year-old single mom who had never been given a chance.  Not so fast whoever you are!  What the streaming tears and the runnning mascara covered up was a singer with quite a diverse and a substantial resume’ in the music business prior to stepping on that stage to land a spot in X-Factor Boot Camp, then land an invitation to be part of the “over 30s” category, and now, she has landed in the finals which officially start tomorrow night. 
Okay, is Stacy Francis the first person to enter a competition and not be honest about her past? No, but it seems everyday lately, a new story surfaces about Francis’ real career path.  I see a bit of a double-standard in Francis’ situation.  Both Javier Colon, who won the first season of The Voice and fellow finalist Dia Frampton both had had record deals prior to the competition, yet the press is continuously crucifying Francis for her past gigs.  Is it because Simon Cowell is involved?  Is it because there is so much at stake? As you are aware, the winner of The X-Factor will receive a $5 million recording contract.  And surely, Francis has never been paid that much money in her professional career, but still, for someone else, like Melanie Amaro for example, this may or may not be her chance of a lifetime. 
So, here is a list of Stacy Francis’ gigs:  she was a member of 90’s R&B girl group, Ex-Girlfriend (I don’t remember them), Francis has done both Broadway and West End musicals (both Footloose and Dreamgirls have been confirmed), the weird one: she was asked to perform at Tom Cruise’s birthday party in 2004, and the fresh rumors allude to Francis may or may not have performed with Whitney Houston, Madonna, Chaka Khan (probably true), and Madonna. 
I’m not sure how upset we should be about this.  I’m a little deceived, but in reality, now that all of this has come out, and since there are more talented folks in the competition, Francis probably won’t win.  The pressure on her to come clean is increasing everyday, it will be interesting to see what factoids will be revealed next.  She probably has a SAG card, so hell, what else can fall out of her closet?  Just stay online and you’ll find something.

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 thehollywoodgossip.com)

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.

My Two Cents: Haley Taking On "You and I"

I don’t know where to start.  Well, first of all, Lady GaGa’s songs aren’t exactly Idol fare, why?  They are complex and they should NEVER ever be sung without Mother Monster’s permission.  Sure, Jimmy Iovine is the head of Universal Records, which GaGa is on the Interscope imprint, Streamline, but I think the big mentor this season dropped the ball in letting Haley sing a GaGa song which is still considered “unreleased” although GaGa herself has been performing it in concert and on TV for several months. Exhibit A:
See, no one else should be singing it, especially an Idol contestant, whom I think could go a little further in the competition, and hell, Haley may win, or at least place 2nd, but hands off Lady GaGa, no matter what Iovine says just because he has access to one of his artists.  That’s the way things are looking right now.  And it’s totally ridiculous; Haley’s voice is not unique and if I hear one of the judges compare her to Janis Joplin again, I’ll puke!  And I was livid when Haley sang Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, however, she didn’t screw it up too bad.  I was searching around on Twitter this morning, and Ms. Reinhart has quite the following, which all the contestants do, but each of them also has several fans who’ve created accounts and each of them begs for you to vote for Haley, Lauren, James, Scotty, and yes, Jacob too.  
I have to say I’ve really been won over by The Voice and I’m counting down the days ’til the American version of Simon Cowell’s other brainchild, The X-Factor premieres in the fall.  It was just announced today, British version judge and Girls Aloud member, Cheryl Cole will indeed join the American judging panel along with Cowell, L.A. Reid, and another judge (please Paula Abdul!) to be named perhaps by tomorrow.  To be continued…

My Two Cents: Rebecca Black’s "Friday"

Oh why the hell not?  I’ve been wrapped up in this dumbfounding phenomenon since yesterday, so I might as well throw in.  I will spare you the torture of posting the video–which is what I’m pretty sure they show in-flight to Libya.  It has a “Take on Me” meets Tom Goes to the Mayor (FYI, on Adult Swim weeknights at 12:15pm-Central) meets Justin Bieber meets LFO…oh, I could go on and on.  Rebecca Black is a product of this the Ark Music Factory, which is based out of LA and as you scan the site, it looks like a breeding ground for post-child beauty pageant contestants and for artists who want to fast-track it past American Idol. The main argument being made by 90 percent of America is this is the worst song and possibly the worst music video ever made.  I agree 100 percent!  But if it’s a song pre-teen Team Edward gals want to jam to, there’s nothing wrong with that.  I personally think this record company is playing a mega-million dollar joke on the music industry; okay, Lonely Island and/or Ashton Kutcher, you can come out from behind the curtain.  I’m sure Ark Music Factory didn’t expect “Friday” to get 3 million hits on YouTube; you’re welcome.  I just don’t know how Simon Cowell hasn’t swooped her up; oh yeah, April Fools is not quite here yet….
GEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

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!

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!