Now that "The X Factor" U.S.'s controversial Four-Chair Challenge episodes have aired (Fox televised the last Four-Chair Challenge episode on Oct. 10, 2013), viewers all over the Internet are weighing in with their opinions. And the consensus is clear: Most viewers love country trio Restless Road, but they hate judge Paulina Rubio.
Based on Internet comments, most viewers also hate the Four-Chair Challenge, because viewers think it humiliates some contestants by telling them they are in the top four in their category, only to abruptly replace them with a rival contestant if the judge/mentor for that category changes his or her mind. As a result, the contestants often pathetically beg not to be eliminated. And, of course, many of the contestants emotionally break down and cry — even those who end up not being eliminated.
Restless Road is the clear fan favorite of the "X Factor" U.S. groups this year, but out of all the solo contestants, R&B singer Lillie McCloud seems to be getting the highest praise from viewers for now. Many viewers believe that McCloud is the best vocalist on the show this year.
Here's a summary of who made it into the Top 16 of "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013. These contestants will perform on the show's Season 3 live episodes, which begin on Oct. 29, 2013, after the show takes a two-week break due to Major League Baseball games televised on Fox.
Here are the Top 16 contestant acts on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013:
Girls (female solo singers ages 12 to 24), mentored by Demi Lovato
- Khaya Cohen
- Danielle "Danie" Geimer
- Ellona Santiago
- Rion Paige
Boys (male solo singers ages 12 to 24), mentored by Paulina Rubio
- Carlos Guevara
- Josh Levi
- Carlito Olivero
- Tim Olstad
Over 25s (solo singers ages 25 and over), mentored by Kelly Rowland
- Jeff Gutt
- James Kenney
- Lillie McCloud
- Rachel Potter
Groups, mentored by Simon Cowell
- Alex & Sierra
- Restless Road
- Roxxy Montana
- Sweet Suspense
It remains to be seen if an eliminated contestant will be brought back into the competition as a "wild card."
Based on Internet comments, where is what most "X Factor" U.S. viewers love and hate about the show this year:
LOVE: Restless Road. This teenage male country trio is like One Direction meets Rascal Flatts. Just as he did with "X Factor" U.K. boy band One Direction (the "X Factor's" biggest selling act worldwide), Cowell formed Restless Road by putting together contestants who originally auditioned as solo singers but were rejected as solo singers. The members of Restless Road are 19-year-old Andrew Scholz, 18-year-old Colton Pack and 18-year-old Zach Beeken. Restless Road wowed the audience with the group's first "X Factor" performance (of Keith Urban's "Somebody Like you") during the Four-Chair Challenge episode that aired on Oct. 10, 2013. Restless Road is also obviously Cowell's favorite in the Groups category. And to ensure that the Restless Road wouldn't get any viewer votes split with another country act in the Groups category, Cowell strategically eliminated all other country acts in the category.
Here is a sampling of comments about Restless Road from "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page and YouTube channel:
"They were absolutely, mind-blowingly amazing! Lol I would love it if they win."
"I think they are the best of the groups.
"I don't even like country and they made me like them. Ya can't deny perfect chemistry and talent."
"Sexy sexy sexy! Amazing voices!"
"My favorite!! Love them!! I knew they were going to be good, the best!"
"Love their group name, love their stage presence, love the fusion of all their voices, love everything about them!"
"Good group. I'm excited to see where they go!"
"They are so going to make it to the finals! In love...."
"Simon is really a genius, individually they are just normals singers, but in a band OMG! They can really win it!"
"This was a HOMERUN! Reminds me of a young and more hip Alabama. Wow."
"Im not really into country music but damm these three for sure can sing they will probably win the show.. smart move Simon."
"Wow wow wow, Simon just knows the business, these boys are going to be something special, their niche is a slightly more mature group of screaming girls and includes every single woman watching!!!"
"I LOVE THEM!! They should be the winners!!"
"The only people I'm genuinely rooting for and care about in this competition."
HATE: Paulina Rubio. Between her garbled English, airhead comments and questionable decisions, Rubio is not endearing herself to many "X Factor" viewers, who say she should be fired. During the Four-Chair challenge episode that aired on Oct. 9, 2013, Rubio was famously booed loudly when she eliminated Tim Olstad and replaced him with Timmy Thames. The decision was so unpopular and the crowd protested so loudly, that Rubio changed her mind and brought Olstad back into the competition. Thames was eventually eliminated. This is probably the last season for "The X Factor" U.S., but if the show has any chance of being renewed, then don't expect Rubio to be back for another season on the show.
Here is a sampling of comments about Rubio from "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page and YouTube channel:
"Paulina was not judging based on talent.....horrible agenda judge."
"Paulina is a bigger idiot than i thought!!!! she's sick!!! i hate her now!! i still can't believe Stone Martin's gone!!"
"Worst judge ever!"
"Send Paulina home!!!! She sucks!"
"I'm not trying to be mean, but I am trying to state my opinion, and i'm just wondering how in the world is Paulina gonna help their careers? Like what can she possibly give them that can help them?"
"Paulina needs to go...do not bring her back next year!"
"Get rid of Paulina and Demi. Both are poor mentors!!!!!!!"
"What a moron! The boys will not win this year. Paulina needs to go!"
"Paulina has mental problems stone Martin shouldof stayed all the judges have disappointed me except for Simon !!!!!!! Love you stone Martin."
"Why do you make stone martin cry paulina ,, i hate u paulina."
"She has got to be the worst judge ever on any singing show ever. Unreal some of the terrible singers she kept and good ones she let go wow. Well the boys group will all end up going home really fast."
"Worst judge!!! They should have simon picking all singers... he's the only one that knows talent.... letting Stone go was a big mistake!!!"
"Worst judge ever send her home."
"She is embarrassing to the Latin community."
"For people who didn't watch on television, Paulina switched Tim for Timmy, then brought back Tim and let go of Al Calderon. The only person going home should be Paulina. She made some horrible choices."
LOVE: Lillie McCloud. This 54-year-old grandmother (who looks like she's 34) has been a fan favorite ever since her stellar audition (performing CeCe Winans' "Alabaster Box") was shown in "The X Factor" U.S. Season 3 premiere on Sept. 11, 2013. McCloud is a professional singer who has previously had record deals and some minor hits on the Billboard dance charts under her stage name Nicole McCloud, but she's never hit the big time. Although some viewers have been complaining that McCloud's extensive background in the music industry makes her too experienced for "The X Factor," other viewers believe that she has every right to be in the competition since she currently does not have a record deal and she was never really famous. If McCloud does not win on "The X Factor," there is almost no chance that "X Factor" record-company partner Sony Music will sign McCloud due to her age (an unfortunate prejudice that the music business has), but this exposure that she's getting on "The X Factor" should help her book more gigs. She's the type of singer who might end up doing a Broadway musical.
Here is a sampling of comments about McCloud from "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page and YouTube channel:
"LILLIE MCCLOUD!!! WILL BE IN THE FINALS!!! x factor , star, talent, beautiful, amazing, a voice that gives you goosebumps!"
"People always criticize the best singers.. who cares about a record deal she had in the 80'S. That was ages ago. What matters is that she isn't relevant now and doesn't have a label now. It's fair game for everyone. This show doesn't require you to be a teenager that hasn't had a former singing gig."
"It doesn't matter if she has albums, she made it on the show fair and square. I don't think there is a rule that says 'Thou shalt not have any previous albums before entering the competition.'"
"I don't care how many Albums she has already or who she has sang with!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE HERRRRRR!!!!!!"
"I love her voice , her personality and actually she reminds me Whitney ..."
"If Kelly could have only kept one person it should be Lily McLeod. She is truly a star and a winner. She's the one to beat."
"She is wonderful!!! Every time she sings I cry. I just love the X-Factor! It is clearly the best talent show on TV, hands down!"
"I dont know any of the songs that she sings but when she sings its like she's strorytelling in a way.. The song and voice just pierce through my heart."
"Her voice reminds me of a classic and beautiful Disney song, it brings back good memories, I don't know if it is just me."
"Please let her win. :( pleasee..god please...let her win."
""Her voice touches deep within my soul! This is what music was made for!"
"She's so amazing...! Im not gonna lie, this seasons talent is not as good as last seasons. So the X Factor really needed this boost of talent."
"She is just f*cking phenomenal. Astonishing. I'm speechless."
HATE: The Four-Chair Challenge. Since the "boot camp" and "judges' houses" phases of the competition were eliminated on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2013 (probably to due to budget cuts), the Four-Chair Challenge served to replace boot camp and judges' houses. And most viewers don't want to see the Four-Chair Challenge or any "chair challenge" on "The X Factor" again, for the reasons stated above. In fact, many viewers say that they were so turned off by the Four-Chair Challenge that they say they won't ever watch "The X Factor" again. The Four-Chair Challenge episodes didn't do much to help the show's ratings, which are peaking at 7 million U.S. viewers an episode and averaging about 6.5 million U.S. viewers per episode. It's about a 50 percent decrease from the viewership that"The X Factor" U.S. was averaging in its first season in 2011.
Here is a sampling of comments about the Four-Chair Challenge from "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page and YouTube channel:
"I prefer last year when the contestants went to the judges homes. Hate the 4 chair challenge. It is humiliating to the contestants!"
"I completely agree. It's really not fair this way."
"I don't lkie these 4 chairs either, I think it is cruel to the first 4 they sit on a chair."
"I agree, its screwing up and playing games with the contetant minds. By screwing with the mentality would screw up their self esteem where they are afraid to FAIL!!!! IN LIFE."
"Didn't one of the contestants describe it as 'the Hunger Games'?! I like it when they plead for their 'lives'. let's keep watching."
"This new xfactor totally sux they are suppose to be mentoring these pple not making them feel belittled. this is just awful and mean how they are doing this. hate the new xfactor go back to the old way."
"In all honestly they are eliminating people way to fast this year they should get rid of the four chair challenge because of that reason."
"I hate how y'all are sending soo many home soo soon!!! Let them all sing for a few more weeks! Dropping down to 4 this soon stinks!!"
"I agree, I hate the 4 chair challenge!"
"This format is terrible!!! I hate it!!! You are choosing who goes to the live shows based on only 2 performances?!? The judges house was my favorite part of the show. It mad ex factor different."
"The new format gives false hope to the contests."
"I don't like the way they're doing it this year. it's a ridiculous thing that 4 chair BS!"
"Doing the 4 chair challenge they are missing out on the 'growth' of some very awesome artists. They've eliminated too many too soon!"
"I felt like they eliminated too many from round 1 to round 2, when they went to the top 10 after only hearing ONE performance from each contestant. Maybe it just had to be done that way because hearing them all sing again would have been too much work/time, but still...their top 10 could have been better with another view of each singer. Then again (again), it kind of makes taking it from 10 to 4 easier--they're all pretty distinct and kind of "surprising" this way. I kind of like seeing the 4 chair challenge format. It has the judges making their cuts and decisions in front of an audience instead of in a quiet little board room. They have to make cuts either way, this way is more fun."
"Xfactor should just change it back to the judges house instead of this. Like sh*t the damn audience. I give up already"
"I want Boot Camp and Judges' House back. There they didn't have this horrible audience."
LOVE OR HATE: Alex & Sierra. This boyfriend/girlfriend duo is the most polarizing act on "The X Factor" U.S. this year. Viewers seem to really love them or really hate them. While Alex & Sierra's fans love the duo's cutesy public displays of affection on stage, Alex & Sierra's critics think that the duo's "cutesy couple" act is annoying and has gotten tiresome. Viewers are also divided over how talented they think Alex & Sierra are.
Here is a sampling of comments about Alex & Sierra from "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page and YouTube channel:
"LOVE you guys!! Watched your first audition at least 4 times!"
"Sierra!! You & Alex are fantastic!!! I love the innocence and purity of a young love...a love that you can see between you two everytime you look at each other. Don't pay too much time and thought to your "haters"...They are just miserable because they are already dead inside. I think you both are down to earth, laid back, and free spifited (as I am). You both are great and very talented. And Larry likes to see love and thats all i see when i look at you two...Good Luck!!"
"No no no... i wanna slap them... i'm actually puking right now."
"Am totally in love with you two. Alex & Sierra. Keep it up. Wish you guys to win the X factor. 100% supporting you guys."
"Demi does have a point here.. I mean I'm not saying they will break up or anything in a week or two or a month but still IF they would ever break up than what ? there is no group anymore and it can happen out of nowhere.. so Demi does have a point here."
"I dont know enough about music to give an opinion about that, but they are bankable, and to be honest that is REALLY what the x factor is looking for. I would buy any album they put out, speaking as a member of the general public."
"An unpopular opinion, but their voices are above average at best. It's just that the public is taken in by love, and not talent that would really blow people away."
"Sure, they are very cute together. And vocally they are not my favorite but they don't sound bad. I actually have heard bette duos on youtube but then those people didn't try out for the show. Anyhow, the only thing that really annoys me is whenever they start singing, the girl has this face, like it's cute when you're excited but I don't want to be seeing that every single time they perform. It WILL get annoying, if not now, it will eventually!"
"Usually couples on this show are cheesy and make me feel to slap them ..but these guys...I actually like them lol and they've got great voices to !!"
"They are the best in groups and one of the best act in this year."
"They need to stop acting like lovestruck 12 year olds already. We got it already in the auditions! and get some damn stage presence and use the stage more because their voices are actually pretty good!"
"Actually they are kind cute together. BUT they aren't the best vocalists and idk for me Siera doesn't have stage presence. She looks like afraid all the time. And i don't know what is their style yet."
"I honestly cannot see what people like in them so much. They're more sickening than adorable. I think what rubs me the wrong way is her, she hangs onto him way too much and always has to watch him as if she's a five year old. As live performers, he seems like he can hold his own but she seems way to lost. I think this is the biggest mistake Simon has made."
"They are so boring. roxxy montana is the best group."
"I like their voices but I hate the couple thing, I kind of find it annoying."
"YES YES YES YES me too she annoys the f*ck out of me the faces she makes and her annoying expression."
"Totally, the sticking the tongue out, the biting, the awkwardness, what the f*ck, isn't she like 22?"
"Such a cute couple. OMG. And their voices are so magical together."
"They're cute together but vocally they're not that good."