"The X Factor" U.S. executive producer/judge Simon Cowell has now given details about how the show decided which contestants will go on to perform in the live episodes. In an interview published by Yahoo! Music's Reality Rocks blog on Sept. 11, 2013, Cowell revealed that the show implemented a Four-Chair Challenge that has been used in the Dutch version of "The X Factor."
As previously reported, those "Four-Chair Challenge" episodes were recorded on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9, 2013 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Admission was free and open to the public. These episodes will be televised on a date to be announced.
As previously reported, "The X Factor" U.S. eliminated the "boot camp" and "judges' houses" phases of the competition in 2013.
In "boot camp," about 200 contestant acts were narrowed down to 32.
During "judges houses," the 32 contestant acts would be separated into certain categories, and each category would be assigned a judge as a mentor. The contestants would stay at a luxury house to prepare for their performances in front of their mentor/judge and a celebrity guest mentor. The judge, with assistance from the celebrity guest mentor, would then decide which contestants to eliminate and which contestants to keep in the competition.
There are typically 12 or 16 contestant acts that are selected for the live episodes. The contestants who make it to the live episodes are then voted on by the public.
Sources say that "The X Factor" U.S. four contestant categories in 2013 are:
- Girls (female solo singers ages 12 to 24)
- Boys (male solo singers ages 12 to 24)
- Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over)
It has not yet been announced which categories have been assigned to which judges to mentor.
In 2013, since there was no "boot camp" and "judges' houses," they were replaced by the Four-Chair Challenge, which involved six contestants from each category being put in chairs and narrowed down to four contestants in each category. The judges were allowed to change their minds and switch out or switch in contestants from their mentor categories.
Cowell explained in the Yahoo! Music interview: "Yes, there was something which we took from the Dutch version of the show. It's called 'The Four-Chair Challenge,' and it replaces the Boot Camp and Judges' House rounds you mention. When we shot it, we had no idea if was going to work. We just shot it Sunday and Monday this week, and I thought it was spectacular television; it was really dramatic, very exciting, and you got to know the contestants better. I think the audience will like it, I really do."
In the interview, Cowell also responded to criticism and complaints from several contestants, including Panda Ross, who were suddenly eliminated at boot camp in 2013 without getting a chance to perform for the judges. He said of the decision to remove boot camp from the show: "It wasn't last-minute. Everyone was flown in because we deliberated while they were there. We went through all the tapes. It was similar to what we do over at 'Britain's Got Talent'; we've always done it that way, and it's worked well for us.
"I get the fact that certain people probably felt disappointed that they couldn't have a second chance, but then again, 40 people were selected, which is still quite a lot of people. I can understand why they're pissed off, but I know we chose the right people."
Unfortunately for Cowell, these changes to "The X Factor" U.S. aren't not going to help the show's downward spiral in the ratings. Many viewers are saying that they are sick of Cowell and his antics on screen and off screen.
I have already reported that there is a huge public backlash against Cowell because he had an affair with Lauren Silverman, the wife of his close friend Andrew Silverman. She is now pregnant with Cowell's first child and is due to give birth in February 2014. Lauren and Andrew Silverman (who have a 7-year-old son named Adam) got divorced in August 2013, about one month after the pregnancy made the news. In divorce papers, Andrew Silverman cited Lauren's adulterous affair with Cowell as the reason for the divorce.
Here is a sampling of comments on Yahoo! Music in response to Cowell's interview:
"I personally think x-factor will be kicking the bucket soon. True, The Voice's winners haven't done anything but i think ppl like the dynamic between the judges so it will be on for several more yrs but at the same time everything is about the judges and i don't think anyone remembers most of the winners name or any other contestants."
"All these shows need to disappear."
"The biggest problem with these talent shows is letting the public vote. Then it becomes a popularity contest. The teen girls go with the heart throb who has no talent, the teen boys go for the girl who fills out her clothes the best. If you are going to judge talent, then only the judges should be the ones voting. And get a panel of music producers instead of a bunch of celebrities. Simon has always been my favorite judge on both Idol and X Factor because he isn't a performer. He calls it like he sees it and he is mostly right all of the time."
"The Voice has superstart judges too, but something just works better with that show. I think it is the way the judges are humbled and want to win. Don't like Christina, though. Shakira was much better."
"Finally, a fresher start. Those shows seemed to have devolve into the media focusing on who's going to be the next judge or how much will FOX be paying them, it never made ant sense to me, we watch because of the contestants, we are listening for the talent of the contestants, the name I assume they want us to remember and support is the contestant, so why did it ever focus on the judges? The media had completely under estimated the viewers."
"Just go away please."
"Emblem 3. How they got as far as they did/have is beyond me. My favorite performance was when the dude who doesnt own a shirt sat up there and pretended to play the guitar."
"Simon Says, Yes he's Right but a lot of People are already turned off. Plus there's too many of these Shows Flooding the Market.....Sorry Simon."
"This has to be the biggest loser ever."
"How about you're over, Simon? You were a novelty back in the day, not anymore, you are just so annoying nowadays. Stop trying to make X-factor happen. You are already rich! Just retire and shut up already!"
"The hell with you Simon you worthless slime. Why don't you find another best friends wife you can steal and get pregnant. The Voice is the best and highest rate cause its entertaining, unlike those other singing shows."
"Now that the days of squawking judges are over, when will the days of reality shows that are supposed to be talent contests but are actually popularity contests going to be over?"
"Cowell just go away , and make room for another wannabe."
"I think Simon is the biggest squarker....can't stand the guy!!!!!"
"I liked britney as a judge a lot...too bad she was canned..should have been lovato...couldn't stand any of the judges last year and yet, we are still stuck with urban...lovato and urban..bad casting..simon, what happened to you...?? Can't think anymore...???"
"Now if only squaking tard cowell would go away ...."