'The X Factor' Recap: Melanie Wins + The Year-End Awards
Ordinarily I give shows like this the full mega-diary treatment, but ‘X Factor’ doesn’t seem worthy.
This show is a disappointment by most measures. To wit, last night’s show did about a third of the demo rating of ‘Idol’s’ finale last may. So, I can’t quite give this the full mega-diary. So instead, I’m going to whip out the first annual X-Factor Awards.
First, congratulations to this year’s winner Melanie Amaro. I look forward to seeing your Pepsi commercial and then never hearing from you again until you’re brought back as a musical guest for one of next year’s results show. Enjoy your FIVE MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE. I’ll never forget when the producers pretended you were eliminated and then you developed an odd Caribbean accent in the last couple weeks.
Anyway, on with the awards.
Worst Judge: Nicole
The easiest, no-brainer award of the year. Nicole stretched the definition of the position to its limit by refusing to judge, crying at every chance she got and making every commentary about herself. It’s hard to figure out why the producers put on such a repugnant human being in the middle of their panel, but hopefully that will just last one season.
Best Judge: Paula
The biggest upset of the year. Somebody must have gotten Paula’s meds right because she provided lucid, informed commentary about every aspect of each contestant’s performance all year long. Singing, stage presence, selling a song, all were fair game for Paula this year as she advised as well as she criticized. Who knew she would be the reasonable one on the panel?
Worst Change from ‘Idol’: The Judges’ Bickering
Having the judges act as mentors sucked a lot of the air out of this show. Rather than hear anybody actually criticize one of the contestants, we were forced to watch them yell at each other and talk about how each mentor was ruining their prodigy’s career.
Even worse, it totally took the teeth out of Simon. Rather than hear him eviscerate contestants, we had to listen to him call L.A. an idiot or Nicole a dumbo and never got to see him really lay into a contestant. When we watch Simon we want to see Simon. Not some watered-down version of him.
Best Change from ‘Idol’: Boot Camp Week
The best performances of the year came out of boot camp week where the contestants were put into groups that played to everybody’s strengths. Great sounds and a lot of fun. Maybe it was Auto-tuned. I don’t know, but I really liked it. Too bad none of the groups lived up to that.
Best Musical Guest: Florence and the Machine
It was almost a bad idea to have her on. Florence is so good that she demonstrated the difference between these hopefuls and a real pro so thoroughly that it was impossible to imagine listening to amateur singers anymore. She always wows wherever she goes, but her brilliance was most apparent on this show by a measure of contrast.
Worst Musical Guest: Tinie Tempah
I still have no idea who this is or why they were allowed to appear on national television.
Worst Steve Jones Moment: Telling Judges to Hurry Up
Steve Jones had a horrible go on this show. Be it his ridiculous suits, his lack of a personality or basically any time he talked, he was the weakest of the weak links on this show. Never was this worse than when he kept yelling at the judges to give him a choice. Way to make yourself even more unlikable, Steverino.
Best Steve Jones Moment: His Overly Excited Reactions to Everything
I don’t know what I liked better, “Super Great Comments” or “Super Cool Stuff”. Basically everything was super to this giddy cheerleader. I’m pretty certain a contestant could have farted into a microphone and Jones would have been choked up with delight.
Worst Performance: Anything by InTENsity
I think they performed twice. Once on the performance show, once on the save-me song. Thankfully that’s all we got. I’m not sure why the producers decided to stick a bunch of kids together in a group and have them scream like a bunch of kids at a birthday party being conducted by a clown with a ukulele. I’m even less sure why Paula put them through to finals. Oh well, shows why the groups lasted about as long as most fruitflies.
Best Performance: Josh Krajcik doing “At Last”
It took to just about the very last performance, but it was worth the wait. On Wednesday’s show, Krajcik delivered the full package: his own cover of a song with a great vocal. The way he changed the melody and connected to the song showed real promise. Too bad he got beat in the final.
That’ll close the book on ‘X Factor’, but don’t worry – I’ll be back for more ‘Idol’ in January.