Every year I look forward to X Factor being back on TV, and I waited years for X Factor USA to begin. But now it’s on I can barely be bothered to keep watching. It’s not that it isn’t an enjoyable show, but it’s stayed so true to the British X Factor template that even this year’s UK series seems fresher than the US show. Also having both series on at the same time means around 8 hours of X Factor per week. That’s equal to a whole working day! Can someone pay me to watch X Factor please?
The talent on the US show is much stronger than the UK, as is to be expected in a country with half as many inhabitants as our entire continent. I already prefer 14-year-old Belieber contestant Drew Ryniewicz to our similar Ellie Goulding-wannabe Janet Devlin and energetic mini-rapper Brian Bradley will make the show interesting, although the lower age limit (US contestants can be as young as 12) could lead to a very Got Talent-esque final. The star of the show so far, however, has to be Gaga-esque Tora Woloshin who I can’t wait to see more of. I’m also excited to see what groups are out there in the US undiscovered. There’s got to be some great vocal harmony groups as the Americans are so good at that, but no-one in that category has really grabbed me yet.
So far the only memorable group was a girlband called Jada (pictured below looking typically ropey!) who certainly weren’t undiscovered. In fact they released my 4th favourite song of 2009, a RedOne track called American Cowboy. If they’d performed that on X Factor, perhaps they’d have made it through at least to bootcamp. Considering they are signed to Universal Motown (the rival of the label that the X Factor winner will sign to) and released a new single only one week ago, it’s pretty embarrassing that they got a resounding no from the judges!
The auditions round of US X Factor has now been completed and this week bootcamp begins. There are a few contestants I’m looking forward to seeing again, and I’m sure there’ll be some great talent that randomly pops up from nowhere, as always seems to be the case. I’d love to see some new elements to the format that make it bigger and more exciting than the UK show, just as American Idol was always ten times more dramatic than Pop Idol, but so far it’s all been pretty formulaic. I can only hope that the talent level of the contestants will be enough to make X Factor US as exciting as the years we spent waiting for it demand!