I think we can all agree that the US version of The X Factor is a hot mess.
Since the day it started, something just seemed really off.
The producers focus more on the visuals than on the vocals (though season 3 has seen less visual vomit than the previous season. Remember Paige Thomas coming down from the ceiling in season 2?), and the judging panel has always been second rate. The letdown also seemed that much worse because the expectations placed on the return of Simon Cowell just weren’t met.
Worst of all, the rating for the show have never been impressive, in fact they have always been disappointing. The show should have been the next American Idol, but instead the question of whether or not it will get another season comes up every year.
I thought for sure the show had reached it’s end in the midst of it’s many, many problems:
1. Paulina Rubio. I could leave out vowels, and this sentence would make more sense than just about everything she says. It goes way beyond language, and into a territory I can’t even begin to understand!
2. Restless Road. Simon just won’t admit that these boys are not the next Rascal Flatts. He continually tells them that there is a place in the market for them, but the only place they belong is on a crappy country themed cruise ship through Hell.
3. Demi Lovato. Every time she says, “I am going to be completely honest…” I can’t help but wish her hair stylist had said the same thing.
4. Mario Lopez. Yes, Khloe Kardashian was a terrible host and getting rid of her was a good decision. Too bad they didn’t do a clean sweep.
Well, I thought the show had reached it’s end… until the shows best act showed what an asset they are.
From their audition of “Toxic” at the beginning of the season, Alex & Sierra have always showed themselves to have a star quality. In an age of The Lumineers & The Civil Wars, their sound is definitely marketable and welcome. Plus, their chemistry is crazy and they are both extremely good looking people (can we just take a moment to think about how good looking their future child will be?).
They showed themselves to be frontrunners from the beginning with creative song choices and a dynamic stage presence, but then something crazy happened that The X Factor isn’t used to… their cover of “Say Something” went #1 on iTunes.
Until that moment, The X Factor has kind of been a cultural joke. Simon Cowell tried so hard to strike gold again, but each week the show just gets more dull (and Mario Lopez gets more annoying).
With the winners of the first two seasons (Melanie Amaro & Tate Stevens) turning out to be duds, the X Factor came into season 3 with a desperate need to find the next Kelly Clarkson/Carrie Underwood.
Side note: I think they found the next Whitney Houston (let’s take a moment of silence for Lillie McCloud, and then listen to her stellar vocal below), but nobody seemed to be too excited about her.
[Lillie seriously sounds just like Whitney would have if she didn't get into all those drugs. But seriously, why did the X Factor sabotage their best vocalist? And don't try to tell me that her terrible line in the group performance of "Cry Me A River" wasn't sabotage!!]
The rest of the acts left competing for a record deal (where did the $5 million go?) have virtually nothing to offer, from the absolutely awful Restless Road (seriously, Simon’s credibility shoots down every time he gives them a standing ovation!) to the bland Carliot Olivero. If you took out Alex & Sierra from the mix, the X Factor would be set up to have another winner fade into the abyss with that Javier guy from the first season of The Voice.
Alex & Sierra have a real chance at winning the whole thing, as proved again tonight by their haunting performance of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” (check it out below). They also have a very good chance of topping Fifth Harmony as the most successful act to come out of the show.
Beyond all these things, is their newfound popularity enough to save the show? If they continue to gain attention on iTunes and YouTube, will that be enough for Fox to renew this sinking ship?
If Alex & Sierra win, and their performances continue to go to #1 on iTunes, I think that Fox might just take one more chance on Simon & Co. I know that I am not the only one dying to buy Alex & Sierra’s debut album, and I think that buzz might mean we will have to deal with this hot mess for at least one more year.
UPDATE: Alex & Sierra’s cover of “Gravity” is already
#7 #6 #2 on iTunes.
[But please fire Paulina. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE!]
***Need proof that Alex & Sierra are good enough to save the X Factor? Check out the performances below, paying special attention to their STELLAR “Say My Name.”
[Maybe the best performance EVER on the show. Even as Beyonce's biggest fan, I can't get over how good this version of the #classic Destiny's Child song.]