After being on a two-week hiatus due to Fox televising Major League Baseball games, "The X Factor" U.S. returns with live episodes that begin on Oct. 29, 2013.
On Oct. 23, 2013, Fox announced that as of Nov. 6, 2013, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite acts using the Shazam app. Voting will continue to be available through toll-free phone numbers, texting and online.
According to the press release: "Viewers will be able to SuperVote – cast multiple votes at one time – via TheXFactorUSA.com, The X Factor USA app (data and message rates may apply), the Shazam App and Facebook at Facebook.com/TheXFactorUSA.
"To SuperVote, fans can allocate any number of votes for one contestant or multiple contestants, for a total of 50 votes (across all online voting destinations), and in a unique interactive experience, they can adjust their vote selections as performances happen during the show. When the voting window officially opens, fans can submit their final votes – all at once. [Only fans with a registered Facebook account in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be able to cast their vote(s) online.]
"In addition to online voting, fans will continue to be able to vote during the voting window via toll-free calling, as well as text messaging (standard text-messaging rates may apply). The first voting results will be revealed on the results show on Nov. 7, 2013."
With the announcement that there will be a Top 12 on the Nov. 6 episode, that means four of the Top 16 contestants will be eliminated in the previous week.
As of now, Fox has tentatively scheduled Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, 2013, as either for "The X Factor" or Major League Baseball's World Series, depending on how many games the 2013 World Series will have. If "The X Factor" airs on Oct. 30, it will be for two hours. If "The X Factor" airs on Oct. 31, it will be for one hour.
And then there's the question of whether or not there will be a "wild card" contestant on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013. (A "wild card" contestant is a previously eliminated contestant who is brought back into the competition for another chance at winning the prize.) In a statement on Twitter, "X Factor" executive producer/judge Simon Cowell said that he wanted a "wild card" contestant again this year, but this time, he hinted the public might be able to choose who will be the "wild card" contestant.
On Oct. 9, 2013, Cowell tweeted: "You never let great talent go. Pauline's top 4 would not have been my top 4. Should we have a wild card. Let the public pick. What do you think? If we did this. You guys not us would make the decision. Will keep you posted. I would love it to happen. I will do my best to make it happen. And you will choose the person or group you want as your wild card pick. Reading your comments tonight made me realise we should do this. It seems like the fairest thing to do."
Cowell has made it obvious that he thinks that judge Paulina Rubio made a big mistake in eliminating Timmy Thames, the teen singer who seems to be heavily influenced by Michael Jackson. But if the "wild card" vote is up to the public, then someone else could end up being the wild card.
In the show's first season in 2011, Cowell chose Melanie Amaro to be the show's "wild card" contestant. She ended up being the first winner of "The X Factor" U.S., but Amaro's singles have flopped, and the release of her first album ("Truly") has been postponed to an undetermined date.
In the show's first season in 2012, Cowell chose Diamond White to be the show's "wild card" contestant. She came in fifth place, but she didn't get a record deal.
If there is a "wild card" contestant of 2013, then that contestant will be a contestant who made it to the Top 40 this year and performed in the controversial Four-Chair Challenge.
"The X Factor" grand prize is a record deal with Sony Music. The U.S. version of "The X Factor" is no longer offering an additional cash prize of $5 million. Instead, that cash prize has been reduced to $1 million, after the show's first two winners (Amaro and Tate Stevens) failed to have substantial music sales in America.
Here's a reminder of who was in the Top 40 this year. The contestants whose names are asterisked and in bold type are those who made into the Top 16.
Girls (female solo singers ages 12 to 24), mentored by Demi Lovato
- Khaya Cohen*
- Danielle "Danie" Geimer*
- Ellona Santiago*
- Rion Paige*
- Rylie Brown
- Bree Randall
- Primrose Martin
- Ashly Williams
- Jamie Pineda
- Simone Torres
Boys (male solo singers ages 12 to 24), mentored by Paulina Rubio
- Carlos Guevara*
- Josh Levi*
- Carlito Olivero*
- Tim Olstad*
- Stone Martin
- Al Calderon
- Isaac Tauaefa
- Timmy Thames
- Chase Goehring
- Isaiah Alston
Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over), mentored by Kelly Rowland
- Jeffrey Adam Gutt*
- James Kenney*
- Lillie McCloud*
- Rachel Potter*
- Victoria Carriger
- Kristine Mirelle
- Lorie Moore
- Jeff Brinkman
- Allison Davis
- Denny Smith
Groups, mentored by Simon Cowell
- Alex & Sierra*
- Restless Road* (country group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Andrew Scholz, Colton Pack and Zach Beeken)
- Roxxy Montana*
- Sweet Suspense* (pop group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Celine Polenghi, Millie Thrasher and Summer Reign)
- Forever in Your Mind (pop group formed on "The X Factor" with former solo contestants Emery Kelly, Jon Klaasen and Ricky Garcia)
- Girls United
- Wild Thingz
- Good News
- Yellow House Canyon
*Contestant act in the Top 16
Oct. 28, 2013 update: Fox has confirmed that four contestant acts will be eliminated on Oct. 29, 2013. In addition, "The X Factor" U.S. will introduce real-time poll results during this episode. Click here for more details.