Tonight’s the night for one of the most anticipated new shows of the fall season, The X Factor. The series will reunite former American Idol judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell and many believe that it will be the biggest hit of the season.
Though the premise of The X Factor is similar to that of American Idol, there are a few key differences: the judges (Cowell, Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid) will work with contestants that are split up into categories of groups (men younger than 30, women younger than 30, and over-30); artist performances will be very elaborate production numbers; and the winner gets a $5 million recording contract with Sony.
Unlike the other new shows of the season, it seems that critics have been given just clips of the premiere. They still have opinions though and here are some highlights:
Salt Lake Tribune: “Certainly people are going to tune in to see the reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Yes, he’s obnoxious, but Cowell is probably the most honest judge on reality TV.”
“Watching Abdul is kind of like watching NASCAR. You know if you watch long enough, there will be some horrifically messy crash that everyone will be talking about. And the two of them together are almost inexplicably entertaining.” …
“But, essentially, this is American Idol. It will probably be more successful than Idol has been in recent seasons. It will probably cause a further decline in Idol’s ratings when that show returns in January. Not because it’s different, but because it’s the same as American Idol used to be. Because it has Cowell and Abdul.”
Houston Chronicle: “For anyone who yawned through this year’s sweet and safe Cowell-free season of American Idol, the judges’ combustive chemistry may be the new show’s real X factor.”
Baltimore Sun: “The X-Factor is worth watching based on the gamble alone. Fox is all-in with Cowell’s brain-child, and it will either be the thing we’re all talking about at the water coolers all fall and winter or it could be one of biggest flops in television history. It will be epic in some way.”
LA Times: “As with American Idol, the heart of the matter remains the astonishing talent that emerges from the roiling tank-top-clad masses, hand-wringing families and colorful back stories, and there appears to be talent a’plenty, including one performance (which I will not spoil by naming) that could easily have been the winning final song of any singing competition.” …
“As the show continues, other differences may emerge — Cowell has said the judges will act as mentors to the contestants — but for now the ratings will gauge two things: How big an appetite for singing competitions Americans still have and how much they really missed Simon Cowell.”
What do you think? Will you give The X Factor a chance? Is it worth watching or should it be quickly cancelled?
Image courtesy FOX.