Last night’s two-and-a-half-hour X Factor — a.k.a. American Idol on Steroids, a.k.a. Simon Cowell Must Think We’re REALLY Stupid — was a big ol’ trainwreck full of flashy lights, over-produced backing tracks, faux-bickering by the judges, rushed eliminations, and the list goes on. Reading over the comments on my recap of the telecast and Adam B. Vary’s hilarious on-the-scene report, it seems people are torn between liking the rawther British, unsentimental, over-the-top gaudiness of the show, and loathing it.
I can see both sides, and in my recap I said that The X Factor‘s quick pace and unsentimental approach was a refreshing change from American Idol. I miss Idol too, but this is a different show. Simon is clearly aiming for pure spectacle here, and if the U.S. X Factor is supposed to be as campy-bordering-on-idiotic as the British version or something like America’s Got Talent, then mission accomplished. But if it’s supposed to be a singing competition, it’s largely a joke. The question is, are we willing to let it be what it is and have some escapist fun, or does Simon’s idea of fun make us want to throw ourselves off a cliff? READ FULL STORY