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.


April 8, 2011

Pure X Factor 1 – Julianne Hough & Jesse McCartney: Rumors They Auditioned For New US ‘X Factor’ Judge

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TV3 is reporting Julianne Hough met with Fox executives earlier this week to audition as a new X Factor judge. I hope this rumor is true? I’d love to see Julianne take this role. But, as followers to her know, Julianne is filming a new movie with Tom Cruise (“Rock Of The Ages”) which starts filming in May. Being the UK is famous for making up idiotic tabloid stories and being Julianne will be busy with the new movie during auditions this Spring and Summer, it’s unlikely this rumor is true. But, you never know (since Simon has confirmed he likes to feed the press with possible contenders in the running as well) which is why we decided to post on it to cover all bases. Singer Jesse McCartney also met with the executives. More details below.

The former ‘Dancing With The Stars’ professional dancer and country music star – who is dating ‘American Idol’ host Ryan Seacrest – held meetings with Fox executives earlier this week although she could face competition from singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney, who has also met with show bosses.

Both candidates have links to the show as Simon Cowell is an admirer of Jesse, who co-wrote his protege Leona Lewis’ single ‘Bleeding Love’, while rumoured judge Cheryl Cole is close to Julianne through her relationship with the dancer’s brother Derek Hough.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Simon believes Jesse has the right look for the show, and would appeal to both grandmothers and young girls. While Julianne looks fantastic on camera and has quite a high profile in the states.

“Cheryl would love Julianne to be involved as they’ve met through Derek. She would like a friendly face on board.”

Simon has recently revealed choosing the final judging panel is giving him sleepless nights because he and his production team keep changing their minds about who to have alongside himself and music producer LA Reid.

He said: “The truth is that the reason we haven’t announced the panel yet is that nobody can agree. New people keep coming along every week who we want to see.

Poor Simon. If true, it sounds like he is having a difficult time with this decision all around. Recently, he confirmed Fergie was in the running as a judge as well. There is growing speculation that Gloria Estefan might be a judge as well since her surprise appearance at the Miami auditions yesterday. I like the idea of these two as Judges as well.


April 7, 2011

US X Factor Season 1 – Gloria Estefan Makes Surprise Appearance At Miami X Factor Auditions

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According to Digital Spy, Gloria Estefan made a surprise appearance at today’s X Factor auditions in Miami. 7,500 hopeful contestants lined up outside the Bank United Center this morning after the official X Factor Twitter account teased they could expect a “special guest”. Below is what Gloria told the fans. More details at the link.

“I hope all of you have a great day and remember to go all out! You’ve got one shot – one chance, so make sure you give it your all,” she told them.

“Be yourself, the only thing you can offer is originality to the world. There’s a lot of great singers and dancers but you have to do what makes you unique. Good luck and make Miami proud!”

Gloria would make a great judge. I hope she is in the running.

Even more details and images from the Miami auditions Here.


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.


April 2, 2011

Pure X Factor – Cheryl Cole Confirmed To Judge for US X Factor

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Finally, some news on another US X Factor Judge from People UK!! Simon Cowell has officially picked Cheryl Cole to sit along side him and US music producer LA Reid on the judging panel. Simon says it’s his “biggest gamble” yet being Cheryl is not well known in the U.S., but he believes she has that “rare ability” to connect to an audience as she has done in the U.K.. That leaves one more vacant spot to be filled. Singers Jessica Simpson, Fergie, Paula Abdul, and Lionel Ritchie (I would love this choice) are all rumored to be in the running.

Simon Cowell worked flat-out to persuade TV network bosses to offer her the deal.

But what cracked it was how many Americans in the street had taken the Geordie beauty to their hearts. Fears that they did not know the Girls Aloud singer started to vanish when TV bosses saw the public flocking to ­auditions for the show.

A source said: “Doubts over Cheryl’s profile seem to have been dismissed by the reaction to her from people turning up.

“Fox TV bigwigs dropped many of their o­bjections to her having a judging slot.

“If she can win over fans so early in her American adventure she can become a ­household name when the series starts.”

Cheryl will be ­signing a ­£1.1million ­contract later this month. A source close to Cowell said: “Even though she is still relatively ­unknown, Simon told Fox TV executives that Cheryl will prove an instant ­success with ­viewers when the series begins.

“He believes Cheryl has that rare ­ability to connect with viewers that few others have.”