Have you music lovers been following The X Factor show on Fox? Here’s some good news. The network announced on Wednesday that they have ordered a second season of The X Factor, which is “music to the ears” of those of us who love outstanding, dynamic singers and Simon Cowell. I hate to say it, but the singers on this show make those on American Idol look like elementary students - neophytes. The X Factor is a slicker, more high-tech production show with lots of pizzazz, glamour and stage prowess. And the singers are absolutely brilliant. It feels like I’m at a live concert when I watch it with performances rivaling those of Katy Perry, Beyonce, and more.
The singing competition series may not have nabbed the 20 million viewers judge Simon Cowell initiall expected, but it has been performing steadily since its Sept. 21st premiere. The show's most recent two-and-a-half hour live episode averaged 11.78 million viewers.
"I am absolutely thrilled with the news," Simon Cowell said in a recent statement. "I have loved making the show and I want to thank Fox, our sponsors and most importantly, the fans for supporting The X Factor."
According to T.V. Guide, Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative entertainment: "The X Factor is a monumental success. It's won every night it's been on the air, the talent is phenomenal, the live shows are spectacular and picking it up is a complete no-brainer. Simon and his team have done an incredible job with the show, and I'm absolutely thrilled to bring back The X Factor for another fantastic season."
In its first two weeks, covering four two-hour episodes, the U.S. version of The X Factor has averaged about 12 million — a number with which Cowell is now pleased. He initially wanted 20 million when they launched, but he says that he is “back in the real world and seeing this grow naturally.” He is happy about the numbers. And he should be. The X Factor's ratings are starting to pick up, and last night’s show brought in 11.8 million total viewers and a 4.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demo! To give you an idea, the show's ratings had a 10% rise from last week's episode, and a 13% jump in total viewership! Not only that, but last night's episode received the highest ratings in the 18-49 demographic since the series premiere in September!
Cowell acknowledges that there are a lot of singing-competition shows to compete with stateside, including The Voice, The Sing-Off, and American Idol (where he had his previous judging stint), which attracted 25 million in its first Cowell-less season last year.
By the way, one of the contestants, Melanie Amaro, who Simon is mentoring, has stated that Simon is a big teddy bear off-camera. "On camera, he's like this big tough guy, but when the cameras come off, he's a big teddy bear," she told People magazine of her mentor, 52. "He's so sweet and he's loving and he's hugging and he's kissing. And he's just like, 'You're awesome!' "
Cowell, who's competing against his co-judges Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid, has a good reason to dish out the positive reinforcement. "He's trying to give you his motivation," Amaro says. "He's trying to help you as much as he can. He's being Simon."
On Wednesday night's episode, which marked the first time viewers could vote for the contestants, Cowell told her, "Right now, you're the one to beat."
"I was shocked, and I was happy," Amaro, 19, says of the compliment. "I was like, 'Wow, he sees that I'm working really, really hard.' "
Amaro mixed things up a bit on Wednesday by singing the Eagles' song, "Desperado." And it was beautiful. My favorite of the night.
Being a Simon Cowell fan, I love Simon Cowell and his honest critique of performers. (And I always secretly knew that he was a big teddy bear on the inside). And being a consummate music fan, I love The X Factor and hope it is around for a long, long time. Let me know what you readers think!
The X Factor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox. And visit the official site: www.thexfactorusa.com for the latest info, as well as this column.