Within the first minutes of the "The X-Factor" season premiere, it was apparent what this show was going to be -- annoying, over-the-top, and for many music lovers over the age of 16, downright painful. It's not as though it was a musical masterpiece last year, but if episode one is any indication, this is going to be a long fall.
Pop, pop, and more popIs it possible that "The X-Factor" is slightly worse than last year? Yes. If ever there was any doubt what type of program you are watching, here are major clues you are tuned in to the pop music reality show:
The average age of the crowd is 14, and girls weep, cheer, and giggle if a leaf blows on stage. The singing is often off-key, but that doesn't matter if they are "hot." Feathered "Bieber"-style hair automatically earns a pass to the next round, and dressing for a 3 a.m. stroll down Hollywood Blvd. makes you a superstar. Welcome to the wonderful world of pop music!
Watch out for flying shoes
The premiere episode was predictable and self-inflated, but when so much energy is focused on flinging inanimate objects at the TV screen, it's difficult to be amused. " The X-Factor " can either be highly entertaining or make one convulse with fits of rage and running toward the Rush and Pink Floyd CDs.
The level of talent tonight was fair with a couple strong exceptions. Paige Thomas' version of "I'm Going Down" was impressive and got L.A. Reid to gush, "Girl, you're a star, it's time to get with it." And 19-year-old Jillian, a brave woman that endured the trauma of bullying, delivered a powerful, emotional performance.
As for the "Oh, no they didn't!" award, it's a tie between Shawn Armenta, who worked "day and night" on his act, but busts out awkward dance moves and average vocals, then mouths off when the judges criticized him.
However, the prize goes to Quatrele, who wore a bridal veil and heels, while singing a hit-and-miss rendition of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Here's the kicker -- they loved him, and he's moving on! Sad.
Brit, Demi, L.A., and the sexy beast
The big debut of Britney Spears was anti-climactic. She's okay, but seems to be in a trance half the time. When either appalled or thrilled, though, she'll snap out of it momentarily to rave or diss before returning to her own little world.
Demi Lovato: what can you say? She's bubbly, cute, stares at the monitor a lot and seems to be channeling her inner J Lo.
L.A. Reid: was he even there? Other than drooling over the Rihanna-esque lady, he was forgettable.
Simon: what are you eating? Why are you eating? Can you please stop eating while you are talking?! One more thing: you are either strapped for cash, or it is laundry day, but there are thrift stores in Los Angeles where you can pick up a new T-shirt for under $5. Sorry, Simon, but even sexy beasts should try a little harder on show night.