6.15.2011

The X Factor Auditions: What You Won't See

They stopped in Miami for the judges audition round, and I was there to witness it all.
I'll tell you what The X Factor is all about.

Better Than Idol?
That's a hard one. There's something about American Idol we've all grown to love - from Ryan Seacrest to the opening credits music (admit it!). They've been around for 10 years and now that they're "remixed," they're unstoppable.

So, better than Idol? No.

Better Than The Voice?
I wouldn't even compare it. It is completely different.

It does remind me of...
America's Got Talent! All the judging is done in front of a live audience. That means the judges take the audience's opinion very much into consideration.

There's also the mean British judge. And there's also a bunch of untalented contestants, because Simon is not fun if he doesn't throw around the occasional "That's atrocious".

Strengths
1. America loves Simon Cowell, and he is as funny as ever. Some say he's mean, I say Bring On The Snark his critique is always spot-on!

2. Paula Abdul is the nicest woman you'll ever meet. She truly cares about the contestants. She'll get up on stage to hug a contestant if they're crying. (JLo never walked up the stage to do that, and yes, Paula is also wearing 6-inch heels)

3. The Simon-Paula love-hate relationship! We all know Simon and Paula like to hate each other on-camera. They LOVE each other and it shows.

4. L.A. Reid is also a strong judge. He won't sugarcoat it. He knows what it takes to make it (he discovered Usher, Justin Bieber), and he is truly in the search of another worldwide superstar. That's cool.

Weaknesses
1. The live audience only got to see the show's host Steve Jones for about 5 minutes. First Impression? Blah! Not a Ryan Seacrest.

2. 4 judges? Remember when Idol had a panel of 4 judges? It can get a bit tedious. I do love every single judge in The X Factor, though.

3. If you didn't like Simon Cowell, you might not want to watch. Wait, what? There's people that don't like Simon Cowell?

What You Won't See
1. The judges take their time. You may thing each contestant gets a minute, but they might get a good 10 minutes. Simon likes to stop them and ask them what other song they have. Also, contestants do their fair share of begging, and they don't ever show that.

2. In the course of about 5 hours, we saw about 20 contestants. Yes, it moves that slow.

3. You thought the judges were so unbelievably gorgeous just because? I hope you didn't, because that would be ignorant naive. They get hair/make-up touch ups ever 30 minutes or so.

4. Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like her? You should. Nicole Scherzinger's body is UNREAL. She is also so cute and nice, and agreed to take a picture with me "because I had a flower in my hair!" Hahaha! (You don't get pics with the judges unless you're very lucky)

5. The judges sit there for long periods of time just talking. Then, they turn around and talk to the people around them. Yeah, like normal people. LOVED seeing this.

6. Simon turns around to look at people's reactions and throws around the occasional wink (I got a couple). Swoon.
7. They get constant drink refills in their Pepsi cups (don't know what they're drinking though), and they are eating peanuts ALL the time. Nicole Scherzinger doesn't eat peanuts.

8. At one point, Simon got on Paula's nerves and she dumped the bowl of peanuts on him. Hilarious.

9. Paula Abdul is 48 years old and she has a rocking body. Best back, arms and legs I've seen in a while.

10. At some point, a big shot producer came to Nicole Scherzinger to tell her she was doing a good job. Awww.

In the Audience, Looks Matter
There's a huge team devoted to getting pretty people around the judges. It starts outside. If they like your look, you'll get Floor Tickets. I got there late, and still got floor tickets.

I sat in the last row of the floor and in about 1 minute, a member of the crew came up to us and brought us to the first row. They moved 2 younger kids back. I felt bad for a minute. They also move older people to the sides.

So, are you offended? Sure, be offended. The truth is that you like to see decent-looking people on camera, so that's what they give you. I say, Welcome To TV Land!

Contestants That Stood Out
16-year-old Jasmine Little (not sure about the spelling here) but she sang the world out of a Mary J. Blige and a Beyonce song. A guy named Jeremiah, and there's 2 other cute guys. One sang Break Even and the other one sang an original and Stand By Me.

P.S. I asked Simon Cowell to marry me. He said "Of course, but you know I won't get married!". Is that a yes or a no?

6.01.2011

The Voice: The Strongest Team is....


The chair swiveling is over. The coaches fighting each other is over. I'm hoping Mark Burnett adds his own twist to the live shows, or else, from now on this is pretty much American Idol (with Adam Levine instead of Steven Tyler, which is a definite plus).

Let's Talk Front-Runners

Actually, it's more, like let's talk about my favorites.

I find it hard to fall in love with a girl's voice, until I met Blake Shelton. No, I'm not being offensive here. I'm saying Blake just discovered my two favorite girl singers... probably ever.

1. Dia FramptonI've already addressed my love for Dia. She covers a bunch of songs on youtube. I like this Adele Cover.

2. XeniaThis is the kind of voice I want to play over and over. Obviously, Blake Shelton is in to the same type of girls I am (No, I don't like Miranda Lambert, and I no I am not lesbian, I like their voices).

Adorable little Xenia belts out some John Mayer for us, and it's hard not to love it.

Will the rest of America get it? I don't know. America is used to the power ballad singer, which is why Christina Aguilera's girls could do well.

My advice to Blake: This girls are so incredibly shy, Reba might not be enough to get this girls out of their shell. Start making some phone calls to people that will snap them out of their super extreme introverted ways, or their stand-out voices won't be enough.

3. Nakia
I have also professed my love for Nakia before. The guy is super cool.

Also, he has a great game plan. If you tweet about how much you like him, he'll reply! The audience gets to vote on this upcoming live shows, so that's a great way to secure a couple of votes.

4. Javier Colon
Need I say more?

Best Team?
Tough question. I'd say each coach has 2 stand-outs.

Adam Levine started out pretty good. However, he got SO picky he had to rely on the rejects to complete his team, and that might have hurt him. Javier Colon and Jeff Jenkins are his strong players, no doubt. Casey could surprise us.

Cee Lo Green has Nakia. Vicci Martinez is a little powerhouse, but Vicci, I sometimes Forget You!

Christina Aguilera is not my type of singer. For that reason, some of her picks are not my cup of tea. My favorite? Beverly, no doubt, but she might scare America. I can't imagine the viewers of a singing competition falling in love with a lesbian skinhead (I actually dig her!). Frenchie is strong and her Broadway experience and Idol past could benefit her.

Blake Shelton picked my two fave girls in any singing competition ever. I'm obviously against oversingers. Patrick Thomas and Jared Blake? Blah! We already have Scotty McCreery and Chris Daughtry. Nice try, though.


That being said... Who has the Best Team? I'd say Adam Levine. His persuasive ways earned him the two singers every coach turned around for, and that has got to mean something.

Also, let’s hope The Voice has a better voting system than Idol, or it will be crowning another tween, and based on Carson Daly’s repetitive “we’re different from every other singing competition” speech, that isn’t the goal.