With the premiere of The X Factor less than two weeks away, the show’s promotional engine has pulled out all the stops, releasing an eight-minute extended promo?featuring two auditions?yesterday after FOX’s NFL coverage. After an oddly gendered set of judge introductions, in which Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid talk about how much they’ve given up in order to “gamble” on the new show, and Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul just talk about their excitement for the upcoming season, and lots of quick-cut visual glimpses at auditions, and some of the show’s ad libs, the promo gives us Rachel and Stacy, two contestants who wow the judges with their renditions of, respectively, “Mercy” (by Duffy) and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” That neither contestant would have been met American Idol‘s age requirement is, of course, not a coincidence, but both auditions are stellar nonetheless.
If that weren’t enough to get viewers excited for the show, TMZ is now reporting that Rihanna will appear as a guest judge during the season, to help Reid choose which contestants to mentor. Rihanna previously performed during last year’s finale of the UK original X Factor.
Speaking of X Factor UK, its eighth series?and its first without Cowell at the judges’ table?is already in full swing, and we happened to see (thanks to Nervous Acid), and be enamored by, one particular audition: Lascel Wood‘s rendition of Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody.” Check it out: