The dismissal of Gamu Nhengu from last year’s UK X Factor was one of the most controversial moments in Cheryl Cole’s three years as judge, but in a bizarre (and uncredited) twist of events, she popped up in the USA incarnation last night… as her version of ‘Walking On Sunshine’ was performed by Rachel Crow.
Fox have already green-lit a second season of The X Factor USA, meaning those pining for a Simon Cowell comeback to the UK edition will probably be disappointed.
Despite not reaching Simon’s own personal ratings goal, the show has still gone on to be a huge success for its network, and as a thank-you it has been green-lit for a return to the air in 2012.
But can he please PLEASE sack off Steve Jones? As Tool Academy showed us, Rick Edwards is the much funnier T4 alumnus, perhaps he should be jetted over…
As far as 2011 is concerned, Simon is the runaway favourite to be this year’s winning mentor. 14-year-old Drew – who has dropped her surname Ryniewicz – is the current frontrunner on 9/4, with second-chance hopeful Melanie Amaro close behind on 3/1.
Josh Krajcik is doing it for Nicole Scherzinger’s Over 30s on 4/1, while Simon’s third girl Rachel Crow is fourth on 10/1.
All three of Paula’s Groups and Nicole’s other two acts are at the wrong end of the list, with InTENsity the outsiders on 40/1. LA Reid’s trio of boys sit firmly mid-table.
As was the case for the UK X Factor this year, judges in the US version had to each pick one of their own acts to send home in last night’s first live show.
The live show airs tonight on ITV2, but read on for spoilers…
Phillip Lomax was chosen by LA Reid to pack his bags, therefore keeping ‘Astro’, Chris Rene and Marcus Canty on to face the public vote next week.
Nicole Scherzinger spared Stacy Francis, LeRoy Bell and Josh Krajcik, meaning the end of the road for Dexter Haygood.
Paula Abdul struggled with the groups decision, but kept Lakoda Rayne, Stereo Hogzz and InTENsity, forcing out brothers The Brewer Boys.
Finally Simon, who chose five girls at Judges’ Houses, had to get rid of two hopefuls. He kept Rachel Crow, Drew Ryniewicz and last-minute addition Melanie Amaro, meaning Tiah Toliver and Simone Battle left the competition.
Simon Cowell bent his own rules on The X Factor USA‘s Judges Houses reveal episode, deciding that bringing four of his final 8 girls wasn’t quite enough.
We all are familiar with the “I’VE MADE THE WRONG DECISION” incidents that have been injected to previous UK X Factor series’, where Simon decides an error has been made and that, actually, someone he’s decided to send home does deserve another shot.
And US audiences got to experience that for themselves when he deemed it unfair to send 19-year-old Melanie Amaro home – so he is taking a ridiculous FIVE contestants through to the live shows.
And we thought four was excessive on the UK series…
Surviving the cull in the Girls and heading through to next week’s first live show are panel-dividing Tiah Tolliver and pre-teen Rachel Crow, alongside Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz and re-selected Melanie Amaro.
LA Reid, who had Rihanna at his disposal for Judges’ Houses, chose early favourite Chris Rene along with Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley, Phillip Lomax and Marcus Canty.
Nicole Scherzinger’s Over 30s include the popular weeping mother Stacy Francis, and a trio of men – Josh Krajcik, Dexter Haygood and LeRoy Bell.
Finally, Paula Abdul’s Groups include loveable siblings The Brewer Boys, custom-made ten-piece InTENsity, boyband The Stereo Hogzz, and girlband Lakoda Rayne.
It has to be said, though – isn’t the US DRAMATIC MAKEOVERS bit surprisingly less epic than ours?
The X Factor USA is moving at breakneck pace – spending only two weeks on the auditions, the boot camp episodes have already aired and they’re now just a fortnight away from the live shows.
We get to see on ITV2 tonight who will be mentoring what category, but if you can’t wait that long…
Unlike the UK judges/categories arrangement, which turned out to be quite predictable, producers on the other side of the Atlantic have decided to go against the grain. Nicole Scherzinger will, surprisingly, mentor the Over 30s. Elaine Gibbs, Tiger Budbill, Leroy Bell, James Kenney, Josh Krajcik, Christa Collins, Dexter Haygood and Stacey Francis will work to make her Live Shows selection in next week’s Judges Houses episodes.
Paula Abdul has the momentous task of mentoring the groups, including he Stereo Hoggz, 2Square, 4Shore, The Brewer Boys, Illusion Confusion and The Answer. There are also two groups formed from rejected soloists.
LA Reid has the boys, who are Brennin Hunt, Brian Bradley, Skyelor Anderson, Nick Voss, Tim Cifers, Phillip Lomax, Marcus Canty and early favourite Chris Rene. This leaves Simon Cowell with the girls, who are Caitlin Koch, Tora Woloshin, Simone Battle, Drew Ryniewicz, Rachel Crow, Jazzlyn Little, Melanie Amaro, and Tiah Tolliver.
The X Factor USA continues Wednesdays and Thursdays on ITV2.
Looks like Gleeks have Stopped Believin’… only half of the show’s season two audience followed it to Sky1 last night
Season 3 kicked off with 640,000 viewers – not a disasterous number by Sky1 standards, but a significant drop on the 1.2 million who tuned in for the finale of the last season on E4 in June.
Meanwhile, The X Factor USA entertained 1.13 million, a strong figure for digital channel ITV2 but not as high as Celebrity Juice, which aired directly after the Simon Cowell debut with 1.2 million viewers.
Oh, and Educating Essex (see my review here) got off to a solid start on Channel 4 with an audience of 1.4 million.
The early reviews are in for tonight’s first episode of X Factor USA… and the critics prefer Cheryl Cole to replacement Nicole Scherzinger.
The show hit headlines around the world when Cheryl was fired from her role and replaced by Nicole, who was originally signed up to present the series alongside Steve Jones. But, it seems, Simon had it right first time…
The New York Times says “The opening episode gives a surprising amount of screen time to Cheryl Cole. In the premiere she just kind of disappears mid show, without much explanation, and suddenly Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls is in her chair. It’s a downgrade.
“Ms Cole showed glimmers of being interesting; in two seasons as a judge on The Sing-Off on NBC, Ms Scherzinger was a pretty face but, judicially speaking, not much more than a seat warmer.”
The LA Times agreed, saying of Cheryl “on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie accent”. They added that Scherzinger is “more interested in tearing up and out-glamming American Idol’s Jennifer Lopez than bringing much to the commentary”
The Chicago Tribune said “Scherzinger doesn’t come off as an obvious improvement.” Ouch!
Steve Jones was also poorly recieved, with the Boston Herald saying he’s “so far in the background, he might as well be on another network”.
Seems that, with the critics at least, Cheryl gets the last laugh! Now we just need to see if the viewers agree…
‘The X Factor USA‘ is premiering on ITV2 next week, it has been confirmed. And judging by a new 8-minute preview, that’s not soon enough.
Kelly, Tulisa, Louis and Gary have been keeping us all entertained but it does n’half look like the US version will be worth a look.
Sob stories out in force, eh.
The show will screen on ITV2 in an opening double bill next Thursday and Friday (September 22nd and 23rd), just one day after airing in the US. It was initially thought that ITV2 would sit on it for a few months until the UK version finished, but wisely it looks as though they’ll just get on with it straight away.
The first episode will feature the snippets of footage filmed with Cheryl Cole before she was dumped in favour of Nicole Scherzinger.