July 19, 2011

Pure X-Factor Season 1 – Live Audition Tapings (Cont)

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Hello all! If you remember from many months ago.. I mentioned that I went to one of the live tapings of the X-Factor auditions when they came through Chicago back in May.

I gave a little tid bit about the hosts, but as everyone knows by now, things have changed a bit. Cheryl Cole as a judge is out and Nicole Scherzinger is in. Which in hindsight seems to be the best thing that could have happened. How? Well let me tell you a bit about my impressions of the judges in the during the live audition tapings:

The warm up guy continues a bit of more of his song and dance, and introduces the judges to the stage. Naturally we all know who Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are, and if you don’t then get out from under that rock you’ve been hiding and look them up, while I focus on the other two judges.

New to the judging panel is Antonio “L.A.” Reid, co-founder of LaFace Records some of the acts that were signed to his label include Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Rihanna. He is also a Grammy winning producer and songwriter.

New to American audiences in general is Cheryl Cole, one-fifth of one of the most well known British all-female pop groups: Girls Aloud. She also released a couple of albums in the UK as a solo artist while the group took a hiatus to pursue individual careers.

Now there was a bit of speculation on the seating arrangement of the judges since in the original X Factor production Simon Cowell sat next to Cheryl Cole and in American Idol he would sit next to Paula Abdul… as it would turn out the judges sat as (from right to left if you were watching them on the television screen): Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, Antonio “L.A.” Reid… I suppose Simon put his foot down as to which female judge he could handle more.

Speaking of which the chemistry amongst the judges was beyond funny, nothing’s changed much between Simon and Paula except that it seems saner (I can’t think of a better word) in this version as opposed to American Idol. My friend even mentioned that she rather liked Simon now as opposed to his time on American Idol.

Simon did have a habit of resting his right arm across the back of Paula’s chair… Though, nothing really happened because Paula was so focused on the contestants that she would lean rather forward onto the table from her chair.

L.A. gives some really good constructive criticism, and in some cases would be more than willing to go against Simon in the matter of opinion. He seems to have won a few audience points in the process.

Cheryl was the quiet one in the quartet, it was just really difficult to hear her at all, let alone understand what she was trying to say. She came off as really reserved (a British trait?), and didn’t seem to add much to the panel of criticism except just echoing or repeating what some of the other judges were saying.

When I first heard that Cheryl was leaving and Nicole was taking the fourth judges spot, I have to say that I was thrilled. Nicole is a more “known” name in the U.S. and she definitely had a lot of energy as a host, let’s just hope that the energy migrated from her hosting position to that of being a judge.

More to come (hopefully not in a couple of months) as we anticipate the Series Premiere of X-Factor.


May 19, 2011

Pure X Factor Season 1 – Live Audition Tapings

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Hello all! It’s Marianya, an import from other blogs in the puretvnet.com family.

In case anyone is interested, tickets are still available for the live tapings of the auditions in the various audition cities.

In any case, first thing’s first… I just came from the evening taping of the first day of the Chicago auditions, and I had fun. Naturally I couldn’t go to the tapings alone, what fun would that be? So who better to converse and comment about the music and contestants with than someone that is by far much more musically inclined than I am. (But then again, everyone’s a critic)

However, I won’t spoil you guys about the contestants or the individual song choices themselves. Instead I’ll give you an idea of what you could expect from the show as well as what happened during the live tapings… so bear with me.

If you’ve been to a few of these live audience tapings, you would know that they last a long time, and in between acts or contestants there has to be someone that would keep the energy moving, keep people on their toes… A warm up act if you will.

The warm up act in this particular Chicago audition was none other than Bill from Cleveland, Ohio… so predictably the guy had to pull the “I want the Bulls to beat the Heat, make them cry on live television” gag. Not going to lie, after watching Game 2 of the Bulls/Heat game live and seeing the Bulls lose, I’m kind of wanting that too, but I digress.

He was fantastic, though he seemed to have a bit of a love affair with the ‘guy in the green shirt’ up in front. That is until Bill found out that 1) the guy was in selling ‘stuff’ and 2) he’s married and expecting a baby boy… SHOTGUN!

In any case, he introduced the hosts of the show: Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls fame and another UK import, Steve Jones, hailing from Wales.

Now if you don’t already know who Nicole is, then get out from whatever rock you’ve been hiding under and click on the links to find out. In the meantime I’ll clue you in on Steve Jones a bit here: Steve hails from Wales and started out in modeling before trading that career to that of a presenter on various programmes in the UK.

Now, why Steve as co-host as opposed to others like the rumored Corbin Bleu? Because he and Nicole showed a bit of chemistry in the very few minutes that the audience was introduced to them. Nicole came out on stage dancing to a Pussycat Dolls song, started singing along to it and Steve came up a few steps behind her and watched. To me, he was the yin (calm) to her yang (excitable). I rather liked that balance, a lot, it worked for me. I for one am looking forward to seeing how they meld together on screen.

After their short little stint they disappeared on stage, presumably to talk to the contestants and family members as they come on and off stage.

And that is it for now… later in the week I will post a bit about the judges and the impressions they left behind during the tapings. Until then have a good night!


May 16, 2011

X Factor Season 1 – Simon Cowell and Cast Attend Fox Upfronts 2011 Programming Presentation (Press Photos)

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The cast of X Factor joined Simon Cowell to attend the FOX Upfronts Programming Presentation in New York this afternoon to preview the new show in the fall. Above are some promotional shots of Simon, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger. Former American Idol judge and friend Randy Jackson made a special appearace on stage. No, he didn’t have the wrong show. Deadline had this to report on the LIVE proceedings. Be sure to stay tuned to the link for more on today’s events and press coverage.

How important is Simon Cowell’s X Factor to Fox? The show was showcased at the very top of Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly’s schedule presentation. “Others may imitate, but there is really only one Simon and only one X Factor.”

The X Factor crew came out in full force, led by Cowell. He was joined by fellow judges Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid and hosts Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones. Also walking on stage with them was American Idol’s Randy Jackson, reuniting with his former co-judges Cowell and Abdul. Said Cowell, “Randy, wrong show, this is the new one.”

More great press shots here.


May 7, 2011

Pure X Factor – The Drama Builds On The Eve Of The First X Factor Taping

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All eyes on some official X Factor announcements as the show prepares for it’s first taping tomorrow (Sunday). As reported to you earlier, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Cheryl Cole have been confirmed to join Simon Cowell on the judging panel, but, a fourth judge has yet to be “officially” announced. Though rumors are rampant that Simon’s choice will be Paula Abdul who he has always said he is very fond of.

In other X Factor news, The Hollywood Reporter is “exclusively” reporting popular British TV Host, Steve Jones, and Pussycat Doll singer, Nicole Scherzinger, as winning the jobs of hosts for the long awaited show. Here is a take.

Jones, 34, is unknown to U.S. audiences but he’s hosted big live TV shows in the UK including T4 Music, a popular music series, and As Seen on TV, a BBC One celebrity panel quiz show. He’s repped by the UK’s Independent Talent and John Ferriter in the US.

Scherzinger, 32, is a former member of the girl group the Pussycat Dolls and has appeared on the UK version of X-Factor. She’s repped by WME.

Scherzinger has been widely expected to join the show but Jones is a bit of a surprise. Many news outlets pegged former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu as the show’s host. Insiders close to the show says Bleu was considered by Cowell but his chemistry with Scherzinger was not especially strong. Jones’s deal is said to have closed late last night.

The hosts join previously announced judges Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Antonio “L.A” Reid. The fate of Paula Abdul, who is said to be negotiating to join the judges’ panel, is not clear. As of Friday night, Abdul was still in talks to join the show, according to sources. But the clock is ticking.

To add to all the drama surrounding the official announcments, we have this tweet from Piers Morgan as well. My bet is this is a done deal.

Congrats to Steve Jones on landing the US X Factor co-hosting gig – great guy, really pleased for him.


Piers Morgan


April 7, 2011

Pure X Factor 2011 – Sneak Preview Of What New ‘X Factor USA’ Judge L.A. Reid Will Bring To The Show

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Would you like a little preview for what to expect of new X Factor Judge L.A. Reid? If so, below is a take from a new interview with L.A. at Music Yahoo. It sounds like he will be full of diverse feelings and opinions, but, he is never mean hearted which will be good to seperate him from Simon and his personality in my opinion.

REALITY ROCKS: So this is your first time doing a show like this. What kind of judge will you be? The “nice one”? The “mean one”? The “wacky one”?
L.A. REID: Well, I like to think that I’m a nice person! I really don’t know. I’m a Gemini; I have a lot of personalities. I’m not sure which one’s going to show up when the camera starts rolling! I’m going to find it as I do it. But I’m always honest about who I am, I’m myself; I don’t play a role or anything. I am a straight shooter. I can say things in a nice way; I can say things in kind of a sharp way. I am never nasty, that’s not my thing, but I’m honest, and I don’t say everything is “great.” If it’s not great, I don’t call it great. .

REALITY ROCKS: How are you getting along with Simon?
L.A. REID: I find Simon to be so charming and such a nice guy. Really smart, really creative, very self-assured…overall, I’m really impressed by Simon, just as someone who really admires him, apart from the show. I think he’s a fascinating guy. So the fact that I’m so impressed with him certainly makes the relationship go in a certain direction, you know? I just really think he’s the best there is.

REALITY ROCKS: Is there anything intimidating about being on the same panel with a famous judge like Simon Cowell?
L.A. REID: It’s an honor. It doesn’t intimidate me. By the way, NOTHING intimidates me. Intimidate? Me? Nah.

REALITY ROCKS: Awesome. We need a strong judge!
L.A. REID: I’m happy to be the backseat driver. I feel fortunate to be on the panel with, in my opinion, the most fascinating guy who’s ever done this. But we don’t always agree, and we won’t always agree!

REALITY ROCKS: Is it important to you that “The X Factor” beat “Idol,” either critically or in the ratings?
L.A. REID: Well, it’s the Simon factor that makes this exciting, and has brought about so much anticipation for the show and so much popularity for a show that hasn’t even aired in America yet. He was the original. So you’d have to ask Simon: Is he in competition with his own past? As a record man, I’m always at some level in competition with records that I’ve made in my past. I’m always in competition with artists that I’ve discovered. So in some way, you can’t get around the fact that that we all compete with ourselves, right? So I’d have to say, if there’s any competition, it’s Simon competing with Simon.

Read Full Interview.


March 18, 2011

US X Factor Season 1 – Simon Cowell Officially Appoints Antonio “L.A.” Reid As New X Factor Judge

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After many names being thrown around in the rumor mill like Cheryl Cole, Paula Abdul, and Enrique Iglesias, Simon Cowell officially announced Antonio “L.A.” Reid as one of the new judges for the US X Factor today. More below from US Magazine.

…Cowell says the Grammy-winner, 54, was top of mind when it came to picking the panel.

“L.A. was my number one choice to sit alongside me on the show,” Cowell tells UsMagazine.com in a statement released by the network Friday. “In my opinion, he is one of the greatest ever music executives and of course a fantastic writer and producer. I am thrilled he has agreed to join the show, and for any artist auditioning, they know they have the chance to meet a true star-maker.”

Having a hand in launching the careers of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Mariah Carey, Reid has earned three Grammy Awards and seen 33 of his hits reach No. 1.

“I am proud to stand next to my dear friend Simon, one of the world’s most gifted and charismatic talent magnets,” Reid says. “The X Factor provides an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring artists of every age and genre to showcase their unique talents. I truly look forward to discovering our next generation of superstars.”

So, what do you think: Good or bad choice?? Honestly, I’m not very familiar with L.A, but, I very much like the artists he’s helped ….especially Mariah Carey.