So the new trailer of the X Factor premiered last night and while there are many that are all excited about the return of Simon Cowell and his reteaming with Paula, I had a different reaction.
Let’s be honest. At this point it’s just another singing competition show. For the American public, that has never seen the X Factor, the show is an amalgam of Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice. These kinds of shows do really well these days and it probably would have done decently anyway. But with Simon Cowell and his blend of “arrogance and obnoxiousness”, it’s sure to flourish.
Before The Voice premiered, there might have been some added excitement as to the format, but the Voice with its teams headed by celebrity coaches kind of stole X Factor’s thunder a bit. (Smart move NBC). Is there really a need for ANOTHER singing competition? Simon acts like “we’re searching for a superstar” as if that hasn’t ever happened before. (I also get a kick out of his answer when he was asked why he was leaving Idol and he would say it’s time, only to segue into virtually an identical show, but one in which he owns and profits more). But it’s a big prize and like IDOL and The Voice you don’t just win by coming in first place. So yeah it’s an opportunity for undiscovered talent to have a showcase in front of millions of people they wouldn’t otherwise get. Also, unlike IDOL groups can compete as well as all different ages, but once again, The Voice already had a duo compete and they had contestants that were over 30 and gasp! even 40 compete, so once again – been there, done that. One of the great things about the Voice was that you saw personalities like you haven’t before on Idol – Beverly, Javier, Vicci, Nikia. The show was really about the contestants and they all has a great champion in their corner who really believed in them. From the X factor trailer the contestants don’t seem to be the stars here.
Basically the one thing (and frankly it’s probably the only thing that matters) that’s unique about X Factor is that it has Simon. I’m sure there are many happy to see him back on TV. The trailer basically highlights that. After teasing us with what looks like a kinder, gentler Simon (and in turn mocks The Voice and even IDOL 2.0 for their niceness), The X Factor trailer segues into what FOX, and I’m sure Simon, wants to make abundantly clear. He’ll be the same cocky, or as the trailer quotes him (talking to a contestant but also clearly describing himself) “Arrogant, Obnoxious…” guy. They want you to know this isn’t the one of those kind singing competitions you have seen this last year. While I agree with many that IDOLs “nothing but praise” comments this year made the judging seem kind of pointless, it didn’t make me long for more of Simon Cowell to be mean and obnoxious. There’s a happy medium, I believe. I know I’m in the minority on this, and frankly I don’t care, but I find him at times to be so unnecessarily mean and hurtful. There were times watching IDOL when I would get upset at the way he would decimate certain contestants (and make unnecessary comments about weight etc) that I would not enjoy watching the show. Did Idol get boring by the end of this season? Absolutely, but frankly it was plenty boring Simon’s last season and at least this season I wasn’t yelling at the TV at how mean someone was being.
Look, I know I’m in the minority here, America loves their Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsay, Trump. They get off on watching people be mean and obliterate others. Frankly, I don’t. The FOX trailer to me basically says “arrogance and obnoxiousness are back” with massive egos aplenty, and if you don’t believe us as to how cocky we are/will be – “look, we ride in corporate jets” – right, because that’s really relatable to the average American. Oh and there’s Simon in his fancy car too. What’s the song playing? “Live and Let Die”. Okay message received – yeah no niceness here folks.
Some people applauded the trailer by saying this is what everyone is longing for, but it’s worth remembering that IDOL produced great numbers this year. Before you say “yeah but by the end of the season everyone was griping about the show” – well then, I give you The Voice, which is also kind and gentle, had ratings but ALSO had universal acclaim from viewers and critics alike. So based on numbers it doesn’t appear that being nice has hurt ratings. That being said, I fully expect X Factor to be huge and probably decimate every show in its path. But now that there are all these other singing competitions, I don’t feel the need to add a third and if the hook of this one is that Simon’s back and don’t worry he’s still an arrogant prick – yeah I think I’m not gonna be a regular viewer.
Check out the trailer for yourself: