The X Factor, "Live Results Show #6": faking it

Quick Take: The X Factor, "Live Results Show #6"
Fun Fact: Nicole Scherzinger can't act. 

Rachel Crow

Review: The X Factor, “Live Results Show #6”
(S0121) This is getting painful, and I’m not talking about watching little girls sob on stage when the cruel hand of fate squashes their glittery pink dreams with its iron fist (though that’s sad too). No, with four contestants stuck on this over-produced train wreck, the cracks are starting to blow wide open and it would be funny (okay, it’s a little funny) if I wasn’t busy being appalled by the way everyone on this show with an ounce of power acts.

The point of shows like The X-Factor and American Idol and whatever other “talent show” clones are hogging the spotlight is to do three things:

  1. Watch auditions and laugh at untalented people.
  2. Find a legitimately talented contestant and cling to him/her with fanatical loyalty.
  3. Tune in weekly to cheer them on/talk smack on everyone else and watch the sea part and a musical messiah present himself.

Right? Something like that?

Look, my brain is ¼ cynical bastard, so I’ve made peace with the fact that reality shows aren’t real. That’s why when I do play in that end of the pool, I usually cling to things like Hoarders and Deadliest Catch because they’re awesome and I can justify them as edutainment. No, I didn’t make that word up. The accompanying textbooks make great substitutions for broken sofa legs, FYI.

But when I tune in to a talent show, where the idea is that someone performs and is judged for that performance, I don’t expect to see the man behind the curtain popping out for chat.

Rachel Crow was the better performer tonight, hands down. She’s consistently been advanced week after week, and for a thirteen-year-old, her professionalism, poise, and bubbly stage-presence is delightful, in stark contrast to her fellow teen-contestant, Astro and his constant better-than-you attitude.

Rachel found herself up against Marcus Canty for the last spot on next week’s show. This was Marcus’ second appearance in musical deathmatch. I thought Rachel was a shoo-in.

I was not impressed with LA Reid’s refusal to even applaud for her after her performance. There is no aspect of The X-Factor that riles me more than the judges’ stakes in the contestants. How is a judge supposed to remain impartial if they are also meant to act as a “mentor” to a certain contestant?

They can’t be impartial and on The X-Factor, they don’t even try to pretend anymore.  What’s more, they can’t even act civil to one another or their poor contestants at this point in the season.

So LA votes for Marcus, but I saw that coming because he’s his man and The X-Factor isn’t really a talent show so much as it’s a pissing match between the judges.

But still, there were three judges left. I knew Simon votes for Rachel because she’s one of his. Paula follows suit and I glance at the clock and realize that there’s still five minutes left, which is weird, because The X-Factor never ends on time. It always ends with Steve Jones rushing the judges through their votes and just barely wrapping up before Bones starts.

Wait for it.

Nicole immediately starts crying because that’s how she lets the audience know that this is dramatic. She says that she knows Rachel was the better performer tonight but she just…(SOB)…she just can’t do it.

It sounds completely ham-fisted and fake and I once again, can’t help but notice that things are wrapping up pretty early tonight on The X-Factor, like the powers that be knew we would need the extra time. Jones needles her along asking if she wants to go to deadlock.

“I can’t make this decision.” She says into her palm, either hiding her shame or trying to read the ink-smudged lines hastily scribbled on her hand.

Deadlock means that America gets to vote again, which means Rachel is screwed because child performers are creepy and Marcus Canty is hot.

Whatever. Drew’s meltdown last week was awkward because she devolved into a crazy person before our very eyes, but this week, Rachel’s was unwatchable because I legitimately liked her and despite appearances, I'm not a completely heartless person. It's just tiny, like the Grinch's.

Good job, Rachel. You're awesome.  When you get a recording contract (and you will), there’s a space on my iPod with your name on it. 

By MaryAnn Sleasman

About the author

MaryAnn was raised by television because her parents were too cheap to get a babysitter. Some people have fond memories of summer camp, she has Salute Your Shorts rerunsStalk her on Twitter at @radium_girl.

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1 Comment
On: Friday, December 9, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

edutainment, sweet !


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