Monday, November 21, 2011

WHAT ABOUT THE X FACTOR?


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You heard the raves. You saw Brian Bradley's act. You heard Simon Cowell's summary and judgment about the big future ahead for the boy. What did you think while you were watching this? I liked the kid. I found his song-dance-act (whatever you call it), not very interesting. For me, it was a lot of incomprehensible words and a lot of meaningless stomping.

Simon Cowell has been selling The X Factor for two years, saying it's different, more exciting, and will be much more successful than American Idol. So what's different about this new show?

The X Factor's Simon Cowell is, maybe, perhaps, a bit nicer. He jokes more and shows off how he's feeling more than he did on American Idol. On the new show, he is still knowing, confident, judgmental, but maybe, perhaps, more self-assured.

X Factor has a handsome British- accented, intelligent-sounding announcer introducing the acts. I like him. Idol's announcer often seemed to be selling himself more than the talent.

The new show's judges -- Paula Abdul and Simon, much, much more than on the old show, tease, flirt, hug, punch and snuggle with each other. They're so lovey dovey cute that you can't help wondering if they're in love, even if you think, (as I think) that it's acting. As for the other two judges -- LA Reid, a knowledgeable black record producer, has a friendly professional manner that reminds me of Idol's Randy Jackson. The stunningly haughty, classically beautiful Nicole Scherzinger sounds and looks as if she's totally immersed in her response as a judge, and she expresses herself quite eloquently.

So what about the talent? The 14 year old Brian Bradley's insulting manner with Simon before he performed, and Simon's glowing response afterward, opens wide the golden doors of a future for the boy. As I said, I didn't get anything from Brian's song, "Stop Looking At My Mother" -- no rhythm to rock with, no words to grab onto, so I can't predict what's ahead for him.

Perhaps LA Reid will become Brain Bradley's guru, adviser, manager, and another Justin Bieber will be born. For me, the most memorable moment in X factor was when LA Reid, Nicole, and Paula -- with Simon eying her -- joined in with the audience waving their arms, doing the shoulder-rocking dance of approval that entire audiences do to show each other, show the world, how swept away they are, by the performer.

For me, the shoulder-rocking is like catcalls, whistles, hoots, and shouts. It's what you do, nowadays, to win votes for the guy you're rooting for, and show that you're with it, you're cool, and you were knocked out by the guy.

The X in the show's title intrigues me. What is the X factor when you're judging talent? What is the indefinable element that defies words, but inspires a thrilling, intense focus on a performer as if he's a already star?

Thus far, on this new show, the X factor is my focus on Simon and Paula.

I mean who cares about talented new kids when the older kids are playing a love story script before our eyes?


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