*Here’s everything you need to know about Fox’s singing competition “The X Factor” before it’s US premiere on Wednesday:
As previously reported, former “American Idol” judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are together again at the judges’ table, joined by record executive Antonio L.A. Reid and singer Nicole Scherzinger, a former judge on NBC’s “The Sing Off.”
How it’s Different from “American Idol”:
“X-Factor” is open to both solo acts and groups. The minimum age is 12 and there is no upper age limit. Contestants will be divided into four categories: girls between 12 and 25, boys between 12 and 25, solo artists over 30 and groups. Also, some groups may be formed by rejected solo acts following the auditions.
Below, Cowell says he wouldn’t have gone through the effort of mounting a US version of the UK series unless he thought it would offer something different.
How “The X Factor” is Similar to NBC’s “The Voice”:
Each judge is assigned as a mentor in one of the four categories, assisting in song choices, styling and staging. Through the live shows, the judges will mentor the singers in their category while judging contestants from the other categories. Ultimately, the judges are competing to ensure that their act wins the competition, thus making them the winning judge.
How it’s Unlike Any Competition Show on Television
The winner will pocket a $5 million recording contract with Epic Records and a starring spot in a Pepsi Commercial to air during the next Super Bowl.
Also, “The X Factor” is more competitive than other talent shows, according to Abdul. When the judges met with TV critics in Beverly Hills last month, Abdul said many of the singers who auditioned ran circles around acts on the radio today.
“They are much more prepared,” she said. “They are students that have watched every different artist, and they understand the savvy business of the record business, of having to have something special that is not a copycat of other artists. And they come in, and it’s that feeling that I’ve wanted to feel as a judge even through all of the years of ‘American Idol’ that I’m discovering something I have never seen before. And it’s not just about having that brilliant voice. It’s about all of the other parts that fill the gap, and that’s that special, unique, bold, and daring style.
Reid, a Grammy-winning record producer and current Chairman & CEO of the Epic Label Group, notes how all of the TV singing competition shows churn out artists who have gone through the grooming process a bit backwards.
“Most of the talent in the traditional recording industry, they don’t get their recording contracts on by performing on stage. The stage performance comes after,” he said. “So it’s a very different platform because they are being judged as stage performers in the beginning of their career where there are many who have hit records, who only learned to perform after they’ve sold millions of records.”
One aspect of “The X Factor” that will spill over from “American Idol” is the histrionic relationship between Paula and Simon, which viewers will experience yet again beginning with Wednesday night’s 8 to 10 p.m. premiere on Fox.
Below, Paula explains.