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During The X Factor’s inaugural season, the Fox singing competition has definitely generated some scandals, headlines, and water cooler talk.
From Simon Cowell’s failed target of 20 million viewers to Twitter wars and death threats to the judges, the season has definitely created a lot of chatter among viewers. Here are X Factor’s 10 most talked about moments of its first season.
1. Simon Cowell’s 20 million-viewer fail. Everyone loves a little ambition, but Simon asked for trouble when he stated that he’d consider anything lower than 20 million viewers as a failure in his mind. When the premiere attracted about 12 million viewers, Simon was forced to come back to the real world.
2. LeRoy Bell creates the lip sync debacle. Sixty-year-old LeRoy Bell laughed it off after he missed his cue on a group number, which exposed that the performers were lip syncing. To those of us who cover these singing competitions, it wasn’t a big deal. But for the viewers, it became a huge scandal. That forced show reps to explain that only the group numbers are pre-recorded, so that the contestants could concentrate on their competition songs. Fair enough? For many viewers, it wasn’t.
3. Steve Jones interrupts Paula Abdul, and it’s downhill from there. It was the first live show and Twitter blew up when Steve cut off national treasure, judge Paula. It was really the first strike against him and he never quite won the crowd back. I feel bad for him, but I’m not surprised that rumors have started saying he won’t return for Season 2.
4. The judges manufacture groups. It was one of the early shockers of the season. The judges, in their infinite wisdom, decided that it couldn’t find enough groups to advance in the competition. So, they threw together acts they believed would work well together. And frankly, they should have let them go and pursue their solo careers like they really wanted. There was no way they had a chance at winning the competition. InTensity and Lakoda Rayne, I’m talking to you.
5. Marcus Canty is a dirty dancer. Going into a mid-November episode, reports surfaced that Fox had censored Marcus’ sexy choreography that week. As the artist performed, everyone wondered if the church boy would tone it down. Um, no. He slid across the ground between several female dancers’ legs for one thing. Later, he told me he didn’t think that crossed the line of his good Christian beliefs… and he didn’t look.
6. Melanie Amaro stages accent-gate. Take the fans’ shock about the sudden emergence of Melanie’s British Virgin Islands accent and double it, then you’ll know how I felt. I had interviewed Melanie several times since the show started airing and I never detected the accent. That’s not to say that I didn’t sense some kind of accent, but it wasn’t as strong as the one she unleashed on the audience more than halfway through the competition.
7. Stacy Francis takes on Perez Hilton. I’m never quite sure why Perez decides to go after someone, but Stacy became his target du jour this season. It started when he stated his opinion that the singer was too old to be a pop star. But, maybe he saw how much that blew up and decided to go on a full on mission to discredit her. We’ll never know how much that affected her longevity in the competition, but I’m sure she would have rather skipped that part of the fame.
8. Astro gives the judges’ (and America) some ‘tude. Chalk it up to youth, but it made for good TV. Thirteen-year-old Astro found himself in the bottom two with Stacy and had the nerve to say he didn’t want to perform his survival song. That didn’t go over well with much of the viewing audience and neither did the judges’ choice to keep him over Stacy. Add to that his claims that he didn’t believe the votes actually placed him in the bottom two and many fans were livid.
9. Rachel Crow’s epic breakdown after being eliminated. Twelve-year-old Rachel was the reason the show lowered the age requirements for contestants. She’s especially charismatic, cute, has an excellent back-story about her adoption, and she can really sing. But after America’s votes sent her home instead of Marcus, she was almost inconsolable onstage. At one point, she collapsed to the ground. That left many wondering if it was unfair to place young kids like her in a situation such as that.
10. Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul get death threats. Fans were especially angered when Drew Ryniewicz was eliminated – once again letting Marcus advance. Many viewers believed that the judges’ politics had clouded their ability to pick the person with the most talent. But, things got grim when the news broke that Nicole and Paula were receiving death threats and they were taking it very badly.
What was the most controversial moment of the Season 1 for you? Tell us in the comments section below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper