September 24, 2011

Podcast: The X-Factor Season 1- Auditions Week 1

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Episode 17 direct download

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Summary
We enjoyed the premiere of The X-Factor, contrary to what we expected when we first sat down to watch the show. We were expecting the auditions to be like on American Idol, but instead the feel of the episodes was closer to what So You Think You Can Dance does. The first episode in particular focused on the good contestants and relegated the majority of the poor auditions to a montage. The moderate pacing and extended length for the songs gave the show an organic flow in contrast to most reality shows which make use of quick cuts and short sequences.

The structure of the show is interesting, from the audience appearing to influence the choice of who gets through and who doesn’t to allowing people too old or young for American Idol to shine. We’re not convinced really old people will do well in this show since the need for energy and a strong vocal performance will be necessary in the long run. We also didn’t see much strength from the group auditions so far. We’re hoping the next round of auditions will reveal a compelling group act for us to enjoy.

Of course, no reality audition process would be complete without the bad auditions, of which we had several from Geo Goddley dancing around in a leopard print thong (no, he wasn’t naked although the censoring X made it appear that way) to Dylan Lawson’s freakout (we still have no idea what he was doing or what song that was supposed to be). Xander Alexander was an interesting case as his vocal ability wasn’t bad, but his attitude turned the audience against him. We’re convinced that if he auditioned for American Idol, he would have gone through and then would have had an intense backlash.

Siameze Floyd, Marcus Canty and Nick Voss intrigued us. We’re not yet convinced by them as their vocal abilities aren’t stellar, but they made up for it with good performances so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt and want to see more. Caitlin Koch we don’t get at the moment. Her voice is good, but we didn’t find it as appealing as the judges did. Because a lot of people online and the judges liked her, we’re waiting to see another performance from her before we pass judgment.

We were blown away by Chris Rene, Stacy Francis and Melanie Amaro. Chris Rene pulled out a performance and sense of musicianship that we didn’t expect and Stacy and Melanie provided stellar vocal work and personality. Stacy’s soulful cover of Aretha Franklin moved us and made us happy to see her finally get her break. Melanie floored the room with their amazing control, strong range and sense of dynamics during her performance. She commanded the room without even having to move around.

We’re looking forward to the next round of auditions!

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: 40:39

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: We enjoyed the first two episodes and compare it with American Idol.
4:21 – About the production: General feel, how it’s different from American Idol, how the audience affects the process.
8:20 – Discussion about the judges
12:43 – The lower age limit: Rachel Crow and Ellona Santiago
16:47 – Can really old people do well in this? Dan and Venita.
18:48 – Benefits middle-aged people the most: Stacy Francis and Dexter Haygood
22:19 – Bad auditions: Geo Goddley, Dylan Lawson, Xander Alexander
27:50 – Interesting auditions: Siameze Floyd, Marcus Canty, Nick Voss and Caitlin Koch
33:13 – Amazing auditions: Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro
38:54 – Wrap-up: What do you think?

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September 20, 2011

X-Factor Podcast!

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Hey everyone!

With the US series premiere of The X-Factor airing in less than 24 hours, we wanted to let any readers know that a podcast will be posted for you to check out. These episodes are a segment of our television-focused podcast series, Reflections on Pop Entertainment, co-hosted by my fiancée Meghan and myself (James). We’re excited to be partnering with purexfactor.com to help add content to this new site and to also get our podcast out to a larger audience. We look forward to interacting with fans of the show!

To give you some background about ourselves, Meghan and I have known each other since college where we participated in theatre together. We are very analytical when it comes to the things we enjoy and we constantly discussed and analyzed shows with each other. After doing this for the past couple years, we decided that we should turn these discussions into a podcast. We both come from different academic backgrounds (Meghan has a Masters degree in American literature and I’m pursuing a Ph.D. in physics), which combined with our theatre background gives us what we hope is a unique perspective.

This past summer we recorded a series of podcasts covering season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance, so visitors who frequent puresytycd.com may recognize us from over there. In addition, this Fall we are recording a segment called TV Week in Review (for lack of a better title) where we discuss various scripted and reality TV shows that we watch, such as The Amazing Race, Fringe and Person of Interest. Those episodes will not be posted here, but anyone interested in listening can visit our personal blog. You can also follow our Twitter account @ReflPopEnt for our latest updates and thoughts.

To give you an idea of what to expect from us, we anticipate our X-Factor podcasts will follow a similar structure as our So You Think You Can Dance episodes. We didn’t cover the auditions for SYTYCD, but we are covering those for the X-Factor. Following auditions are the boot-camp and judges’s houses rounds, which happens in place of a “Hollywood” or “Vegas” week ala American Idol and SYTYCD. Since we haven’t seen how these episodes are structured yet, we are anxious to see how they play out and to discuss what happens. When we get to the actual performance/elimination episodes, we discuss the elimination and what it means in the greater context of the competition, the performances from the Wednesday episode, judges reactions and anything else interesting that happened during the week.

We look forward to the premiere and to getting our first podcast out to you. Look for it at the end of the week on either Friday or Saturday.

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