X-Factor finds its voice

In the search for the next “super-star,” X-Factor might have finally found its niche.


On Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, FOX premiered its third season of the X-Factor with fresh faces, wit, and most importantly, undiscovered talent. The two-day premiere delved into the search for the “X-Factor.” With a brief introduction of the new and old judges—former Destiny’s Child member and X-Factor U.K. judge, Kelly Rowland, worldwide solo artist, Paulina Rubio and returning judges Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell —and a recap of how the grouping of talent will be handled (final contestants will be sorted into Boys, Girls, Over 25’s and Groups), the show immediately transitioned to the auditions held in L.A., CA and Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 11 and Denver and Long Island, N.Y., on Sept. 12.

It’s obvious the focus for auditions this year is broadcasting talent while providing auditions that, while not fitting the “X-Factor” requirements of the judges, still provide humor for audiences. With almost three hours’ worth of footage, America has been able to meet some of the best–and worst—singers. Leather-clad 54-year-old Lillie McCloud gave a soulful rendition of Alabaster Box, making her a stand-out for the Over 25’s category. On the flip-side, Yosselin Marquez, 21, not only sang the lyrics of “Only Girl in the World” by Rihanna from her IPhone, she asked for Cowell’s name.

X-Factor makes a point to distinguish the amazing auditions from the “wretched” ones.

But for every eyebrow-raising audition, there were three jaw-dropping, game-changer ones after it. This particular format is a slow change from the past two seasons, where arguing at the judges’ panel and lengthy clips of bad singers cluttered the audition episodes. This season, all judges seem to flawlessly agree with each other over who they believe has the “X-Factor.” The focus on the talent is a breath of fresh air from the drama of other voice-competition shows and the shift may be X-Factor’s redeeming quality. Though there have only been two episodes, they foreshadow a season that could possibly outshine the previous two. And if not, the talent and personalities will sure compensate.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FORRylie Brown (15): blew the audience away with her acoustic version of Zedd’s “Clarity.” A shaky start with not remembering certain lyrics, her composure and blustering confidence as the song hit its climax garnered a unanimous “yes” from the judges. Duo/couple Alex and Sierra: went the acoustic route with “Toxic” by Britney Spears and not only did their smooth voices make the crowd cheer, but their quirky persona and hand-holding made Lovato gush and Rubio coo. Rachel Potters (29): strong competition for McCloud with a country version of “Somebody to Love.” Her vocal control was deemed “crazy” by Rowland.