October 23, 2011

Podcast: The X-Factor Season 1 – Judges’ Houses Week 2

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Episode 23 direct download

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Summary
The second week of judges’ houses means the conclusion of the casting portion of the show, where we meet the Top 17 contestants that move into the live show competition where America takes the reigns and votes for their favorites. It wouldn’t be a reality show without controversy and the third judges’ houses episode was full of it. Simon Cowell’s ridiculous decision to initially cut Melanie Amaro shocked us and felt like a slap in the face. Simon realized his mistake and reversed the decision by the end of the episode, but we cannot for the life of us understand the first decision. We believe the same could be said for the other three judges, as we were given the impression that they had strong words for Simon when they learned about his choices.

The second half of the 32 contestants performed in this set of episodes, which brought some excellent renditions of existing songs. Josh Krajcik, Leroy Bell and Melanie Amaro all blew us away and are by far our favorites going into the live shows. The inconsistent and baffling group category stayed just that with InTENsity putting out a Glee-like rendition of their song, the Stereo Hogzz performing like a solo act with backup singers, 2 Squar’d putting forth a choppy and uneven arrangement of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Illusion/Confusion getting the worst edit of the night by having their interviews intercut with their singing. The second four people in the boys category generally underwhelmed us as well, which was disappointing.

We predicted 13 out of the 17 final choices, with us being wrong on Phillip Lomax, Dexter Haygood, Lakoda Rayne and Simone Battle. We predicted Tim Ciphers, Elaine Gibbs and Anser to make it through, as well as Melanie Amaro who was added back in at the last minute. Since we’re analyzing this show from a record deal standpoint, we understand why most of the choices were made and agreed with the majority of them. In a world based on singing ability alone the list would be different and if we were given complete control to pick our preferences we would change things around even more, but we remember that it’s about finding a person to sign a five million dollar contract which carries with it the responsibility to sell albums and tour tickets. Out of all the selections, Simone Battle is our biggest source of disagreement and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear why 🙂

We’re excited to see what the live shows hold!

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening either here! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our blog or twitter feed to keep up to date with us!

Episode Length: 32:37

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: the Melanie Amaro controversy
2:55 – Girls category: Jazzlyn Little, Rachel Crow, Tiah Tolliver and Melanie Amaro
7:28 – Boys category: Brennin Hunt, Tim Ciphers, Marcus Canty and Chris Rene
12:07 – Over 30s category: Josh Krajcik, Leroy Bell, Tiger Budbill and Christa Collins
17:38 – Groups category: The Stereo Hogzz, 2 Squar’d, Illusion/Confusion and InTENsity
22:06 – Top 5 girls (Simon Cowell): Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz, Tiah Tolliver, Rachel Crow and Melanie Amaro
24:01 – Top 4 boys (L.A. Reid): Brian “Astro” Bradley, Phillip Lomax, Chris Rene and Marcus Canty
25:53 – Top 4 over 30s (Nicole Scherzinger): Josh Krajcik, Dexter Haygood, Leroy Bell and Stacy Francis
27:44 – Top 4 groups (Paula Abdul): Brewer Boys, Lakoda Rayne, InTENsity and the Stereo Hogzz
30:09 – Wrap-up

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October 9, 2011

Podcast: The X-Factor Season 1 – Boot Camp Week

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Episode 21 direct download

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Summary
This week The X-Factor shifted gears and moved into the boot camp episodes where the judges whittled down the field to 32 contestants evenly split into four categories: the girls, the guys, the over 30s and the groups. The original field included over 150 people and two sets of cuts brought us down to 32, filling the episodes with plenty of drama, emotion and genuine surprises. The X-Factor serves itself well by continuing to focus on the people we got to know during the audition episodes and keeping the pacing at a comfortable level. We were also introduced to new talent, such as Tim Ciphers who surprised us with his strong range and clear tone.

We didn’t see anyone cut that upset us and are quite happy with the majority of the field left at the end of the week. We disagree with some choices, such as putting through Simone Battle and The Stereo Hogzz, but these are small nitpicks compared with an overall strong field. In the podcast we spend time talking about the top 32 contestants, sorting out who we like and who we don’t as well as discussing their prospects for making it through the judges’ houses round. Our top favorites are Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik and Leroy Bell.

The judges’ houses round sounds intriguing although we don’t know much about how this portion of the show will run. Will it be a drill session to push people to their limits and center around the selection process or will it be a more laid back mentoring session where the judges dispense one-on-one advice? Either possibility should prove to be good television. We have reservations about Nicole’s ability to mentor the over 30s category and it’s a toss-up whether Paula will find success in leading the groups. Simon and L.A. are both strong choices for their respective categories. We’re excited to see who makes it through and who goes home!

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening either here! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our blog or twitter feed to keep up to date with us!

Episode Length: 41:47

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction and general thoughts on the boot camp episodes
8:25 – Top 8 Girls: Caitlin Koch, Tora Woloshin, Rachel Crow, Melanie Amaro, Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz, Jazzlyn Little and Tiah Tolliver
15:34 – Top 8 Boys: Brennin Hunt, Skyelor Anderson, Tim Ciphers, Marcus Canty, Brian Bradley, Nick Voss, Phillip Lomax and Chris Rene
22:49 – Top 8 Over 30s: Elaine Gibbs, Leroy Bell, Josh Krajcik, Dexter Haygood, Tiger Budbill, James Kenney, Christa Collins and Stacy Francis
29:55 – Top 8 Groups: Stereo Hogzz, 2Squared, 4Shore, Brewer Boys, Illusion Confusion, Anser and the two judge-created groups
34:13 – Thoughts on the judges and their mentoring categories: Paula Abdul – Groups, Nicole Scherzinger – Over 30s, Simon Cowell – Girls, L.A. Reid – Boys
36:30 – Odds and Ends
39:31 – Wrap-up

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