Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones Leave X Factor

It’s house cleaning day for Simon Cowell and Fox. After just one season, the host and two judges are out. While it was expected that the wooden host whose name nobody can remember would be out, and that there was no path forward for Nicole as a judge, the amount of carnage comes as a surprise.

Paula Abdul’s selection as a judge confused me. The only possible logic behind it was the hope that Idol fans wanted to see her and Simon back together again, but at the end of the day, the reality is that people are over her (I thought we already learned that from Live to Dance). Strangely, Paula seemed more competent by comparison, as she was joined by an also pointless judge, Nicole Scherzinger. The two of them combined to refuse to do the job they were hired to do: judge. It’s interesting that they got rid of Cheryl Cole for no apparent good reason and thought this was the better way to go.

They’re joined by Steve Jones, the judge who’s not at all Ryan Seacrest. In 5 years, he’ll be even more forgotten than Brian Dunkleman.

Remaining on the panel with Simon is the other potentially competent judge, LA Reid. The problem with this show is that judging doesn’t seem terribly relevant regardless. It’s all a competition for the judges, not just the singers. That leaves them praising acts they should criticize and criticizing acts for no reason. It’s either a show about bragging rights for the judges or a show about finding the best singer. The two don’t seem to go hand in hand.

Now the search is on for some new judges. At the top of the list seems to be one of the biggest names in the business, Mariah Carey. Not being pregnant with twins, perhaps now is a better time for her to give it a go.

As long as Fox is doing a bit of winter cleaning, I have a suggestion. Get rid of all the judges on American Idol who refuse to judge. That will leave you with a nice round number, zero.

The X Factor Season 1 Winner

The top 3 performed for the last time in The X Factor season 1 Episode 25. Tonight, after two hours of lame filler, either Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, or Chris Rene will be announced as the first American The X Factor winner.

I can’t picture any of LA’s or Paula’s contestants having had a chance to actually win this show, though LA did manage to have one somehow survive the process. Nicole and Simon had much stronger lineups, and both of them also have one contestant competing for the prize of a $5 million contract that they have no hope of making worthwhile. More than that, it’s about bragging rights for the judges, which they have made blatantly and annoyingly obvious throughout the season.

I keep seeing Justin Bieber on every channel. If you didn’t get the memo, he’s got a Christmas album.

1 hour down, 1 hour to go. That brings us to our first result. In third place is Chris Rene. I’m not sure how he made it this far, as he had one of the weakest voices in the competition. However, if he can capitalize on the success of Young Homie, which has 10 million views on Youtube, about the same as the other two have combined, he’ll be set.

That leaves Melanie Amaro and Josh Krajcik on stage to battle for the title. The X Factor season 1 winner is Melanie Amaro. Not surprising. She’s been doing Whitney and Mariah all season with ease. The first round goes to Simon.

In spite of the disappointing start, The X Factor has been renewed for season 2. It may only be half the size of Idol, but it’s still moderately competitive. I’m not sure what to make of this show. With The Voice and now this (forget about The Sing Off… it was DOA), the market is oversaturated by shows that are basically all the same. At least America’s Got Singing Talent differentiates itself by pretending to give variety acts a chance. The thoroughly random scheduling didn’t help matters any. Complicating things was the bickering judges who are more interested in winning than judging. By its very nature, the mentor twist is a problem because they always praise their own acts without offering criticism, and unnecessarily tear down the other acts and each other. Granted, they’re still better than the American Idol judges, who suck. Sure, Nicole Scherzinger is lame, but even Paula’s better than the AI rejects. As for the wooden host, he’s no Ryan Seacrest. To that end, rumor has it Steve Jones is out as host, and Nicole is in.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 25

In the bottom for the fourth time and unable to be saved by the judges for a change in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 24, Marcus Canty was finally eliminated. Tonight the finalists sing two songs each.

Josh Krajcik
Song: Uninvited with Alanis Morissette
LA: Surreal. Natural pairing.
Paula: Couldn’t think a better way to open this competition.
Simon: Little intimidated. 8 out of 10.
Nicole: Giving and wonderful.

Chris Rene
Song: Complicated with Avril Lavigne
Nicole: A little shaky.
Paula: Energy and relevance.
Simon: Felt the total joy and confidence. That could be a record.
LA: Really at home.

Melanie Amaro
Song: I Believe I Can Fly with R Kelly
LA: A little overshadowed.
Nicole: Best that she could in that key.
Paula: (Trying to talk while some morons keep chanting Melanie so you can’t hear her.)
Simon: Incredible duet. Fantastic version of the song.

Josh Krajcik
Song: At Last by Etta James
LA: Such a rock star. Just like I first envisioned you.
Paula: Great job tonight.
Simon: All about you, what we liked about you in the first place.
Nicole: So proud of you.

Chris Rene
Song: Young Homie (Original)
Nicole: Thank you so much for that gift.
Paula: You are magic. (And Paula needs a pill.)
Simon: That was your $5 million song.
LA: Poured all of yourself into that song.

Melanie Amaro
Song: Listen by Beyonce
LA: $50 million performance.
Nicole: You empowered me.
Paula: Stellar performance.
Simon: You’ve proved some of the greatest singers in this world are from this country.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 26, where we will find out who The X Factor Season 1 winner is, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 24

The top 4 performed in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 23. Tonight 1 more will be sent home, hopefully 1 of LA Reid’s acts, and the judges won’t be able to stop it

Chris Rene is safe and through to next week’s finale. Melanie Amaro is also safe.

For the 4th week in a row, it comes down to a battle between Marcus Canty and somebody else. This time, he’s in the bottom two with Josh Krajcik, or so it appears anyway. Wooden host guy tells us the results are in no particular order. This week, the judges’ action (or inaction as the case may be with Nicole or Paula) cannot save Marcus.

Josh Krajcik is the final act to enter the finals, giving Simon, LA, and Nicole one person each. Marcus Canty has finally used up his ninth and final life.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 25, which airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 23

Marcus Canty was saved yet again in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 22, as Rachel Crow went home on the heels of Nicole’s unwillingness to actually make a decision. Tonight the final 4 perform two songs each.

The Pepsi Challenge is back, and this time they didn’t screw it up. The contestants will sing songs chosen by the viewers.

Marcus Canty
Song: I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men
Nicole: Bringing sexy back.
Paula: Give me 150%.
Simon: Sang well. But the staging didn’t fit.

Chris Rene
Song: Fly by Sugar Ray
Nicole: You just make me feel good.
Paula: You have the gift to communicate.
Simon: Not the best vocal. Good performance. 7 out of 10.
LA: Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Melanie Amaro
Song: Hero by Mariah Carey
LA: Really, really good. Predictable.
Nicole: Love that America chose this song.
Paula: Your voice is impeccable. You made it work, in spite of Simon.
Simon: Not karaoke. Bloody fantastic.

Josh Krajcik
Song: Come Together by The Beatles
LA: I rather enjoyed that. Best from you in a few weeks.
Paula: I would pay anything to see you perform live.
Simon: You’ve come back. A massive shame if you don’t make the finals.

Marcus Canty
Song: Careless Whisper by George Michael/Wham
Nicole: Unexpected song, but you did your thing.
Paula: Love that you took a ballad and made it up tempo.
Simon: Horrific. Wrong song. Grotesque performance. A joke.
LA: Look like a champion tonight.

Chris Rene
Song: No One by Alicia Keys
Nicole: You don’t have the best voice in this competition, but that’s not what this is about.
Paula: A performance to get you into the finals.
Simon: You just delivered big time.

Melanie Amaro
Song: Feeling Good
LA: Everything it takes. Not predictable.
Nicole: Melanie Amaro anthem.
Paula: Letting go, and I love it.
Simon: This is why we brought this show to America. Your greatest performance so far.

Josh Krajcik
Song: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
LA: Lacked excitement.
Paula: If this were the finals, you’re the one to beat.
Simon: Great song, great emotion, sincere. Put you into the finals.
Nicole: Like a beautiful prayer.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 24, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 22

The top 5 performed in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 21. Tonight 1 more will be sent home.

Josh Krajcik is safe. Chris Rene is safe. Melanie Amaro is safe.

Marcus Canty and Rachel Crow are in danger of elimination. The judges need to take a hint and quit playing favorites. This is Marcus Canty’s third trip in a row to the bottom two, while Rachel is there for the first time. Sure, this is certainly an opportunity for them to take out a threat, and therein lies the flaw in The X Factor format.

LA votes to save his act with a vote against Rachel. Simon votes to save his act and votes against Marcus. Paula votes against Marcus. Nicole does not want to do her job as a judge, so she sends it to a tie with a vote against Rachel. In the event of a tie, America’s vote is the deciding factor. Rachel Crow has been eliminated, and Marcus is safe yet again.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 23, which airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 21

Astro and Drew were eliminated in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 20. Tonight the final 5 perform two songs each.

Melanie Amaro
Song: Someone Like You by Adele
LA: Really good.
Nicole: Looked and sounded like a rockstar diva.
Paula: Great way to open up the show.
Simon: Not karaoke. You would have a hit record with that version.

Marcus Canty
Song: Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan
Nicole: Brilliant job.
Paula: It’s an even playing field.
Simon: Very, very good performance.
LA: Vote, vote, vote, vote. (Since nobody’s going to.)

Rachel Crow
Song: Nothin on You by B.O.B.
LA: Such a little star.
Nicole: Perfect song for you.
Paula: Beautifully fearless. Your best performance in the whole competition.
Simon: Great choice of song.

Josh Krajcik
Song: We Found Love by Rihanna
LA: Could never see you really doing that song.
Paula: Nailed it. Never in a million years would have thought that.
Simon: Agree with LA. Plus the dance routine was ridiculous.
Nicole: Versatile, relevant, current.

Chris Rene
Song: Live Your Life by T.I. feat. Rihanna
Nicole: Sounds like your own song.
Paula: One of the most fun performances.
Simon: Doing brilliant.
LA: Took it, made it your own, wrote your own lyrics.

They botched the Pepsi Challenge and chose Jif. So instead of the songs America chose, the contestants will sing songs of their own choosing, which they had to pick last night.

Melanie Amaro
Song: When You Believe by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
LA: You really thought of that last night, and it was that good today? Safe but amazing.
Nicole: Goose bumps.
Paula: When I close my eyes, I can hear Whitney and Mariah.
Simon: Sang incredibly.

Marcus Canty
Song: A Song for You by Ray Charles
Nicole: So honest, so much grace, and so much poise.
Paula: One of your best performances.
Simon: Good. But I’ve heard that before. A bit boring.
LA: Came back like a champion.

Rachel Crow
Song: Music and Me by Michael Jackson
LA: So inspiring. You’re the star we thought you were.
Nicole: Like an old soul in a 13 year old.
Paula: Every girl’s best friend and every parent’s daydream.

Josh Krajcik
Song: Something by The Beatles
LA: Ever so slightly karaoke but really good nonetheless.
Paula: So special, so grateful we found you.
Simon: Massive improvement. But you looked insane.
Nicole: Like the male Adele. Krajcik magic.

Chris Rene
Song: Original Song, I assume called Where Do We Go From Here? based on those words being repeated 128 times.
Nicole: Sky’s the limit.
Paula: This is what I’ve been waiting for.
Simon: Stroke of genius.
LA: Could not be more proud.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 22, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.

The X Factor Season 1 Episode 20

The top 7 performed in The X Factor Season 1 Episode 19. Tonight two more acts will be sent home again.

Chris Rene is safe. Melanie Amaro is safe. Rachel Crow is safe. Josh Krajick is safe. That give us 4 of the top 5, leaving 2 of the remaining 3 acts in danger.

As the person with the lowest number of votes, Astro has been eliminated. He’s lucky he got this far. At least his exit is classier than his near miss from a couple weeks ago.

The two remaining acts, Marcus Canty and Drew, are now at the mercy of the judges’ votes. For Marcus, this is his second week in a row in the bottom two. This marks Drew’s first trip to the bottom two, but her days are numbered regardless, particularly since the judges don’t care for her and have the goal of giving Simon a hard time.

After pretending he could go either way, LA votes to keep his act and votes against Drew. Simon blames himself and votes to keep his act with a vote against Marcus. Nicole votes against Drew. Paula makes it three votes against Drew. Marcus has now been extended his third life as the judges ignore the voting as usual.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The X Factor Season 1 Episode 21, which airs Wednesday at 8/7c on Fox.