After one listless and uninspired season on Fox’s struggling X Factor, US Weekly is reporting that Britney Spears “will get fired” from her role as a judge on the program. According to their report, there seem to be two main issues at play here. The first is her $15 million salary, which a source tells them is an awful lot “for her to say ‘amazing’ and offer half-claps.” Her mental state is also being reported as an issue, but not in the way that you might think.
X Factor creator/evil genius Simon Cowell is reportedly second-guessing his decision to cast the seemingly heavily medicated Spears on his show. “He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney,” a source tells US Weekly, which strikes us as one of those things that is okay to think but definitely not okay to say out loud. While there’s no denying that Spears lacks the ability to riff on an impromptu basis, this is not exactly what we in the business call “breaking news.” Ever since her head-shaving incident, she has been kept on a short leash by her team of caretakers, rendering her as a personality-challenged shell of her former rambunctious self (who, in her “defense,” does make hilariously inappropriate crazy faces on the reg). Cowell should’ve recognized this deficiency from the start, and not placed a foolish bet that the stress of being on live television twice a week would revert Miss Spears back to her dangerous and emotionally challenged self. That seems incredibly callous, even for someone generally held in low regard like Cowell.
Sure L.A. Reid may not be the huge celebrity draw for The X Factor like his co-judges Britney Spears, Simon Cowell or Demi Lovato, but his ear for talent is as seasoned as they come. L.A. Reid is known for his hand in leading music’s biggest acts–Mariah Carey, TLC, P!nk, Toni Braxton–to platinum success. His gift to spot a star the way a tiger smells its preys will be missed on the third season of The X Factor. Read more…
It’s a match made in heaven between Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on this season’s The X Factor. Both of the pop singers were the stars of the show on last night’s season premiere joining judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid. And if anyone was worried Britney Spears would be too easy on contestants, she dispelled that notion by coming out the gate swinging with harsh, but hilarious criticisms. “I want to know who let you on stage,” said Spears. “I feel uncomfortable with you even staring at me.” Ouch! Someone get that guy a band-aid. Well, that’s what a contestant is going to get from Britney if they insult Demi. Read more…
After months worth of hype and countless reports of behind-the-scenes drama, Fox finally debuted the American version of the hit international show The X Factor last night. Despite endless amounts of promotion of the debut, which featured the much anticipated reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the show started off modestly in the ratings. 12.1 million viewers tuned in last night, which is a far cry from American Idol‘s 2011 premiere numbers (21.6MM viewers). Simon has stated all along that his primary goal for the show is for it to beat American Idol and, well, it just might end up doing that over time. It certainly worked very hard last night to differentiate itself from the 800 lb. gorilla of the reality singing competition genre. Here are the Five Ways That Make X-Factor Better Than American Idol:
1) Simon Vs. L.A. Reid Is The New Simon Vs. Paula
With its original, three-person panel of judges, American Idol got a lot of mileage from—and won themselves a lot of fans by—focusing on the tense relationship between Simon and Paula. Like many great television couples of the past, the two bickered constantly, but over time, their relationship evolved from an antagonistic one into a more of a brother/sister dynamic. However, now that Simon has got a true titan of the music industry like L.A. Reid sitting opposite him at the judge’s table, there are bound to be some testosterone-laden, mano y mano flareups. Last night’s ep featured one such moment, where the two went toe-to-toe over a young black woman named Simone Battle who had the body of a Pussycat Doll and, well, the voice of a Pussycat Doll (which is to say, not much of a voice at all). Simon thought she had the talent (meaning: body) to become a “star,” while L.A. Reid—who famously told P!nk, “You’ll be a pop star, All you have to change is everything you are”—didn’t think she had the pipes to move along in the competition. Simon came out on top of that battle, but who will win the war?
Early on during last night’s MLB All-Star Game on Fox, the network took advantage of the number of eyeballs watching the game to debut their very first promo spot for The X-Factor, their new singing competition debuting this fall. And if there were any doubts before last night as to how Simon Cowell’s new show would attempt to differentiate itself from the newly nice —some would say toothless— American Idol and NBC’s ultra-positive show The Voice, they were eradicated approximately one-minute and seventeen seconds into this two-and-a-half minute long promo.
The promo begins in a hazy, fog-like state, with The X Factor judges Cowell, Paula Abdul (who, btw, is Botoxed to the gills), L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger presiding over a parade of terrible singers. If things don’t seem quite right, it’s because they aren’t: No, the X-Factor contestants aren’t going to be horrible, and no, Simon Cowell hasn’t traded in his trademark skintight crewneck tees for a cabled pink sweater because this is all a nightmare! By now, the spot intimates that we should know that Cowell would NEVER be seen driving a wussy, electric Chevy Volt (Side note: weirdest product placement in a long time, right?); rather, he’s the kind of guy who rolls around downtown L.A. with X-FACTOR vanity plates on his $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron EB. And while he’s working, he’s not here to make friends; instead, he’s here to roll his eyes condescendingly at Paula Abdul! In short, he’s still the same A-hole S.O.B. he’s always been (which is something that Cheryl Cole would certainly confirm).
And that, Fox is betting, will be enough to get people to tune-in when The X-Factor debuts on Wednesday, September 21. Will they be right? Well, we’ll have to see now, won’t we?
Well, that certainly was anti-climactic, wasn’t it? After Matt Drudge reported yesterday afternoon that Scotty McCreery annihilated Lauren Alaina in the popular vote by a nearly 2:1 margin and was going to be named this year’s American Idol, last night’s broadcast finale felt less like a victory lap and more like a really drawn out lead-up to a foregone conclusion. When Ryan Seacrest announced that the 17 year-old country singer from rural North Carolina had beaten the 16 year-old country singer from rural Georgia, both contestants momentarily winced, then looked at each other with the same kind of expression that you see on people who know that a surprise party is being thrown for them before they even walk in the door. Confetti shot in the air, J. Lo pranced around in a catsuit, and Scotty McCreery got kissed by more women on stage than he’s probably kissed in real life.
However, as former Idol champs like Taylor Hicks, Lee DeWyze, and Kris Allen will attest, winning American Idol is the easy part. Staying afloat in today’s highly competitive music industry is another story entirely, and it remains to be seen whether Scotty will be wholeheartedly embraced by the Nashville elite. While Idol has launched Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler into country stardom, it should be noted that during its ten season run, Idol has never produced a highly successful male country singer (unless you count Josh Gracin, which, sorry, we really don’t).
Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood is reporting that former American Idol mainstay Simon Cowell has chosen his fellow judges for the United States launch of the British musical competition The X Factor: Paula Abdul, music exec L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole.
So, you’re probably asking yourself, just who the heck is Cheryl Cole, anyway?
Brangelina Brood Leaves Prague
Bony Saint Angelina, Papa Pitt, and their tiny crew of kids boarded a private jet out of Prague this weekend. Are they headed home to New Orleans or could they be off to adopt another tot? [Just Jared]
Paris: G-Rated Sleepover with Pals
Paris invited friends to a weekend sleepover at her fave Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow where the group chowed on grilled cheese sandwiches and strawberry shakes and watch old movies. [NY Post]
Simon Blasts Kelly Clarkson
Idol judge Simon Cowell went after Kelly Clarkson, following her attack on? aging label head Clive Davis. Does the embattled pop star have any friends left in the business?? [TMZ]