Singing competition of the century

Morgan M.

Staff Writer

In recent years a variety of television shows have been showcasing people’s talents. This is an astounding matter because it gives talented individuals the chance to fulfill their lifelong dreams. One of the newest singing competitions to air in America is Simon Cowell’s X Factor, which first aired September 21, 2011. Now in its second season, many believe this show rises above other singing competitions because of the talent and how it focuses on other aspects rather than just singing.

Simon Cowell, 52, was previously a judge on American Idol, the number one hit singing show for 12 seasons. He retired from his Idol days in 2009, and shortly after, he brought the European hit singing competition X Factor  over the pond to America in 2011. So far, the show has been a success due to the amount of publicity the previous winners and runners-up have brought to the music industry such as Chris Rene (season one’s runner-up) and Melanie Amaro (season ones winner). Also, European pop sensations One Direction began on X Factor. Cowell says, “I am thrilled of how the X Factor has turned out here in the U.S.” Thanks to the success of X Factor, there are many more new pop sensations.

When the show premiered on Fox, there were approximately 12.49 million viewers. The word spread fast about the phenomenal talent, and the audience quickly grew. Some believe it is the talent, and others believe it is Cowell’s selection of judges for this year’s season. The judging panel for this season consists of 20 year-old teen hit sensation, singer-songwriter, musician, actress, and spokesperson Demi Lovato; 56 year-old US record executive, songwriter, and record producer L.A. Reid; 30 year-old American recording artist and entertainer Brittney Spears; and 52 year-old A&R executive, television producer, entrepreneur, and television personality Simon Cowell, who is also a part of the record labels Sony Music Entertainment, BMG, Syco, Fanfare Records, and EMI. Many fans are pleased with Cowell’s pick in judges. Sophomore Sophia Stignani said, “I am very happy that Simon picked Demi Lovato to be on the show this year because I feel like it gives her a chance to share her story with more people, and it makes them aware of how mean people can be.” Sophomore Adam Crockett also agrees, saying, “I heard L.A. Reid was going to be a judge, and I am a big fan of his work, so I began watching the show.” Since the judges are popular and are receiving much publicity, X Factor’s viewing rate is sky-rocketing.

Even though X Factor is a relatively new show, it has many older shows to compete with such as the 12-season singing competition American Idol. Cowell had years of experience from American Idol and knows many different ways to make X Factor different from other shows. For instance, on American Idol, the requirements for auditioning are that the contestant must be a legal U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident, who is eligible to work full-time in the United States in addition to being 15 to 28 years old. On X Factor, only one requirement of the two is the same, and that is the US citizenship. In exception, the age limit starts at 12 years old and is extended to any age. Also, on American Idol, the judges focus strictly on one person’s singing abilities, while on X Factor the judges focus on one person or even a group of people’s singing and dancing abilities, which gives them a chance to be more creative and makes the performances more enjoyable.

On X Factor, the contestants are put into four different categories: teens, groups, young adults and over 25s. Spears and her co-judge are mentoring the teens at Spears’ house in Malibu, California. Lovato and her co-judge Nick Jonas are mentoring the young adults at Lavoto’s house in Los Angeles, California. Cowell and his co-judge Marc Anthony are mentoring the groups at Cowell’s house in Miami, Florida. Reid and his co-judge Justin Bieber and Bieber’s manager are mentoring the 25s and older at Reid’s house in Beverly Hills, California. On “American Idol” the contestants are judged and then mentored as a whole by all of the judges. Although some people prefer American Idol to X Factor, multiple people like the changes X Factor offers. Sophomore Chris Steele says, “I love the fact that they split the contestants up into four different categories; it gives them the chance to improve.” The X Factor is known for the way the judges mentor their contestants, and it has shown to be a great learning experience for the contestants participating.

After the judges mentor each of the contestants, they go on to the live shows, which is where America begins to vote on who is eliminated and who stays. Currently, America’s favorites are 37 year-old country singer Tate Stevens, 13 year-old singing phenomenon Carly Rose Sonenclar and soul singer 40 year-old Vino Alan.

Although it may seem there are many different types of singing competitions on television these days, many people believe that X Factor will be around for years to come because of the outstanding talent that continues to come out of this show such as the British boy band One Direction.

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