Watch out “American Idol,” “The X Factor” is up and running with its first season in the U.S. Originating in the U.K., “The X Factor” is a talent show series that has received an abundance of recognition worldwide.
This year, in the U.S. version, more than 100,000 people auditioned to win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music. Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, previous judges on “American Idol,” join Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger and record executive L.A. Reid as judges in the series. “The X Factor” process includes four stages: auditions, bootcamp, judges’ houses and the live show.
Contestants are under the most pressure during auditions, when they must show off their best talents in front of the four judges. If the majority of the judges approve, contestants move on to the next round. In bootcamp, contestants are sorted into four categories: men, women, groups and performers older than 30 years old. Each person has to reveal his or her talent through singing, dancing and performing in front of the judges. They are evaluated individually and as a group.
If contestants survive bootcamp, they move on to an even tougher level of the competition: the judges’ houses. In this round, each category of contestants is assigned to perform at one of the judges’ homes. Each judge selects the best act to move on to the live show. The live show only includes the best of the best. The judges provide guidance to contestants in their individual categories on what to sing, what to wear and how to stand out in the crowd and ultimately win the competition. Every week, the judges evaluate the contestants, but in the end it’s up to the audience to decide who has the “X factor.”
The one significant difference between “The X Factor” and “American Idol” is that while “American Idol” is only open to solo artists, “The X Factor” is open to duos and groups. Additionally, the age requirement for “American Idol” is between 15 and 28 years old, while “The X Factor’s” minimum age requirement is only 12 years old. “The X Factor” airs on Fox on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 8-10 p.m.