It wasn’t easy participating in a conference call with ten people, but that's exactly what this correspondent for The Morton Report, along with representatives from other media outlets, did on the morning after The X Factor’s first elimination episode.
They are an odd bunch, this InTENsity group, culled from various X Factor contenders, single acts, duos, groups. They hail from all across the fruited plains and, as they assured those of us on the other end of the phone line as we pried and tried to get them to admit to some dissension in the ranks, they intend to remain an act and move forward to an eventual goal of entertainment success.
Indeed The X Factor continues on. There are four judges mentoring various acts in the final dozen. Simon Cowell, who also participated in a conference call before this series began, is mentor for the female finalists. Paula Abdul mentors the groups. Record producer L.A. Reid mentors the male finalists with lead singer for The Pussy Cat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger, grooming and guiding the final acts of those over 30 years of age.
In a turn of events that many would allege to be of great significance, the first round of audience voting for X Factor contenders had two groups landing in the bottom two. Of course Paula Abdul was filled with enormous angst and tears were shed.
As the ten young folks on the other end of that conference call line asserted, the sentiment is that America did not “connect” with the groups the way they did with the individual singers. In fact that was also Paula’s teary complaint the night she was faced with having two of her mentored acts landing at the bottom of the voting pile.
Though, I suggest softly, I’d have voted for ousting InTENsity too and if not them, then I would have voted to boot out the other group that also was at the bottom, Stereo Hogzz.
Whether I connect with these two selections, or not, would not be a reason I’d proffer for my mythical thumbs-down vote. Frankly I think they were the two worst acts of the final dozen and evidently the rest of the country agreed with me.
It is the judges who decide which of the bottom two acts as voted on by America gets the boot. Stereo Hogzz will live to sing another week by judge fiat. InTENsity will be going home to face the dubious feat of overcoming staggering logistics to keep their fabricated and invented act moving on.
Which makes me wonder why on earth the action of creating a new act from many failed ones was taken by the producers of The X Factor. Simon Cowell did continuously make reference to InTENsity being a sort of Glee act, making me snort. I thought The X Factor was dedicated to finding the talented passed by due to age and circumstance, not creating whole new acts to rise on the coattails of already established acts.
Which is not to say that the young and very sincere talents of InTENsity aren’t filled with fervor for a successful future that they vow will happen. They very sweetly also denied any tension on the set of The X Factor, assured us that Paula Abdul challenged Mother Theresa for sweetness and goodness, laughed that while there was some tension between the judges that deep down they really loved each other.
There’s another act crafted from individual contenders that has Simon as a mentor. Lakoda Rayne consists of four girls who are very pretty, can carry a tune, and do okay. My suspicion is that the Lakoda Rayne creation is another X Factor attempt to force musical success based on beauty, youth, and some passable voices.
Hardly any mysterious “X” factor that exists in natural born artists.
I’ll end with a bit of gossipy snark and a prediction for the winner.
I’d lamented on the endless pathos of many contenders for this series in my first piece on this competitive reality series. The source of one of my biggest irks was Stacy Francis, a “single” mother, abused and scorned, having little ability to share her voice, sobbing and gifted and now over 40 with time for fame running out.
Some research by myself and many others reveals that, ahem, Stacy had quite a few singing gigs in her lifetime, including one of a Scientology cruise ship. Above, a pic of Stacy with another famous actor. A search of the Internet shows Stacy being quite the gadabout, hardly a lonely single mother, alone and abandoned with only her talent for comfort.
As for winners of this thing, there are three contenders who impress: Leroy Bell , Josh Krajcik and, for now, my choice to win this thing, Melanie Amaro.
The X Factor airs on FOX,Wednesday nights, 8p/7p.
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