The much anticipated X Factor USA debuted tonight. The first hour of the 2 hour show took place in Los Angeles and the second hour in Seattle. Among the contestant were a 13-year-old girl with a big voice, a 42-year-old mom that got standing ovation from all judges, a 40-something man that took his pants off while singing and made Paula sick and a 20-year-old guy that LA Reid compared to Bobby Brown and Simon compared him to Usher.
In the first hour of the show, we had Cheryl Cole as a judge, but as we all have heard she has been booted from the show. So in the second hour, Nicole Scherzinger took her place. Simon was recently quoted saying that the reason Cheryl got the boot was because she was “a bit bewildered.” I think Simon made a good decision. It didn’t appear as Cheryl brought any excitement to the show and she was a bit boring. Simon has years of experience in show biz and knows what’s best for the show.
13-year Rachel Crow was the first one up. She sang “Mercy” by Duffy. She sang with soul and all judges loved her. Paula Abdul said “You delivered the goods.” Cheryl Cole said “You had me even before you sang. OMG we found ourself a little star.” L.A. Reid said “Sassy. Souful.” Simon Cowell said “You are the reason we were right taking the age down.”
42-year-old mom Stacy Francis, who proclaimed that her ex-boyfriend always told her she is not good in singing, discouraged her in continuing in her late 20’s. but now she wants to give it another try and she practices in her bathroom while her to kids sleep. She sang an Aretha Franklin song called “Natural Woman.” The judges gave her a standing ovation and put her through.
Another highlight of the show was a boy band from Seattle named Answer, ages 20-27. They started out by singing Happy Birthday to Nicole in harmony. They then sang Adele’s “Rolling in the deep.” The judges and the audience loved them and I agree. Although, I could not make it if some or all members of the band may have been gay. At least one looked a little feminine to me with his tight pants. Not that it matters, but some girls may be disappointed if they found out all were gay. Nicole at some point of the song mumbled to LA Reid “The girls are probably gonna like him” referring to one of the singers that looks a little more masculine.
And the final highlight of the show was 28-year-old hip-hop boy Chris Rene, who had been out of rehab for 70 days. Chris explains that he had been using all kinds of drugs since the age of 13 and now that he has a 2.5-year-old son, he wants to be clean and make money for his kid. He sang a hip-hop song in a slow tempo that he wrote himself, called “Young Hommie.” Before, I get to what the judges said, let me just tell you he gets my vote of the night as the best performer and I think he might be the winner this year or at worst he would be Top 3. Hopefully he would stay clean and out of trouble. LA Reid gave him a YES and said his boys Kanye West and Jay Z would be proud of him that he is the “Truth.” But he added as long as you promise to stay clean I would put you in. Simon said “maybe you need the show, but maybe we need you,” he added, “We have deal here with you that if we put you though, you are gonna stay clean, right?” Rene agreed. The ladies Nicole and Paula also loved him. All judges gave him a standing ovation and put him through.
So how does the show compare to American Idol? Well having Simon and Paula on the show brings back the same kind of vibe and energy, so it felt like I was watching another episode of American Idol. The shows are very much a like, with the main difference being that now we have a live audience at the auditions, which may help the judges come up with a different decscion based on their response.