X-Factor cutting down for season 2

So X-Factor USA might’ve had some of the best TV ratings next to Idol and it had a massive prize for the winner Melanie Amaro. The judges were all full of opinions (and themselves) and sometimes it seemed to be more of a competition about who chose the right song for their respective contestants rather than about the talent who performed them. Nicole Scherzinger became one of the most talked about – and in a not good way– when she decided not so save 13-year-old Rachel Crow from elimination.

The result? She has been cut, but she’s not the only one. Her fellow judge Paula Abdul has also been relieved of her duties according to E Online. On their site they state, “Believe it or not, Fox has informed Simon Cowell‘s longtime friend Paula Abdul she won’t be needed for the series’ next installment”. Awkward for Paula….

If that wasn’t enough, the host of the show Steve Jones has also been given the boot. Adios, ciao… thanks for coming. So now it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take up the hosting duties as well as the empty seats on the judging panel. The rumour mill has dropped Mariah Carey‘s name already, but Kelly Rowland seemed to hit the right spot in the UK, so perhaps she’ll be hopping across the pond back to her home country. Or will it be a Simon vs LA Reid fest? Barring Nicole’s little rants, it pretty much was that… a classic case of “Mine is better than yours”

M-Net has the X FACTOR U.S!

This is great news for all of you who have had Simon Cowell withdrawals. Pay channel, M-Net has secured the rights to showcase reality TV phenomenon X Factor U.S.  The new US version of the show will kick off in early October following the conclusion of Idols season 7. In addition to seeing Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid you’ll also get to see the lovely Nicole Scherzinger on the judging panel.

Unlike Idols, this is open to everyone who has (or thinks) they have a singing talent. Groups, solo artists, young, old… anyone can enter. Oy vey,  you know that this is going to be well entertaining. The Americans have some real gems (good and bad) and those gems all make for some hilarious TV. What will the winner of this competition win? A whopping $5 million record deal. How’s that for #winning, wow! Past winners of the hit show include the likes of Leona Lewis, Shayne Ward and Alexandra Burke. While Ward and Burke have enjoyed a significant amount of success internationally, Lewis shot to instant stardom globally after winning this show. Well that together with her massive hit “Bleeding Love”. So you know this show isn’t messing around.

On bringing the X Factor to local audiences, Channel Head Pierre Cloete said: “Following the success of American Idol we can’t wait to see the entertainment X FACTOR U.S. has in store.”

My thoughts? I think this is a big scoop for the channel. I look forward to watching this and it’s going to be interesting to see how the next season of American Idol does alongside the X Factor. I also think a show of this nature will be embraced very well by local audiences, so stay tuned for X Factor SA… I feel. Hey, production peops, if you decide to do a local version, I’ll be happy to audition for the hosting duties!!

The X Factor kicks off on M-Net and M-Net HD on DStv this October.

Cheryl dropped from UK X Factor too

WTF… Cheryl Cole has now been dropped from the UK’s X Factor judging panel too? This follows last week’s news that the  producers of the American version of the hit show had decided to terminate her contract, just four episodes in. Apparently she wasn’t getting on very well with Paula Abdul and the producers were worried her accent was a little too thick for American audiences. When the British version’s judges were announced yesterday, Cole’s name was not included in that lineup. Instead, they’re going with Louis Walsh, Take That’s Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child and Tulisa Contostavlos of N-Dubz. Kelly’s American accent isn’t an issue clearly. CheCo must be well bovvered now.

I smell an exclusive OK magazine deal coming on worth loads of little Pounds and speaking of Pounds, it’s believed Cole will still pocketed a whopping 1.2million Pounds for the four episodes she shot in the US.

It’s interesting that her accent has been described as too thick. I mean when Paula Abdul used to be on Idols and on some ‘liquid diet’ , it was difficult to make out what she was saying half the time. At least Cheryl is extremely easy on the eye and she is relevant at the moment. Will this help her get her big break States side or will she settle for Mudd Island and what it has to offer? I guess only time will tell!

Simon Cowell exits American Idol… who will fill his spot?

So Simon Cowell made a big announcement yesterday at the TV Critics Association press tour when he announced (and signed) that he is leaving American Idol after this series, the 9th series. Next year the music mogul will be bringing the American version of British show, X-Factor to TV screens. Now last year speculation was rife that Mr Nasty would be leaving the show- and that news was hot the heels of the news that fellow judge Paula Abdul had indeed decided to leave the show. Here’s what he told Ryan Secrest on his KIIS-FM morning show, “I think you gotta know when it’s time to go. I’d always wanted to bring that other show over here, and at one point I was going to do both shows. But, you know about overexposure Ryan, you can’t be on TV too much. So that was really the decision. I thought about at staying on and doing both shows, but then I thought people would genuinely get sick and tired of me.” So it’s made me think about a bit:

1. Was the pay not enough for Mr Cowell? Possible answer. He has so much moola already, it doesn’t matter.
2. When Paula left she said she had other options. Does this mean she could be a fellow judge, yet again with Mr Cowell on American X-Factor?
3. Do they not like Ellen? Possible answer. Ellen seems like an easy soul, who couldn’t get on with her!
4. Could Ryan Seacrest become a judge and double up as the host? He is one of the busiest people in the entertainment industry, he knows what it takes to crack the charts and hit number one and he has a huge influence on creating stars (the Kardashian clan for example).
5. Will the 9th season of American Idol be the last for the franchise? It is the most popular show on TV, but Simon Cowell is in my opinion one of the reasons. Does he make the show? No the talent does, but he most certainly is a big factor!
6. Is he losing his appeal by being too ‘overexposed’?
7. You need a nasty guy on the show, so a suggestion… Randall Abrahams could be good!

What do you think? Holler! Oh and for South Africans out there, 3pm, M-Net… on Sunday. American Idol starts. It’s a date!

Abdul won't be returning to Idol this year

Twitter is so useful… the real Paula Abdul (verified and all) tweeted yesterday saying she would not be returning to the show. Here’s what she said:

” With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL. I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day1become an international phenomenon. What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all”

Apparently she was in wage talks with the hit show bosses, but clearly it didn’t go as well as it did for Ryan Seacrest, it seems. He doesn’t seem over the moon by the news either, saying “I have read what u have read and I am shocked and saddened about Paula.” Oh well life goes on, perhaps they could take South African judge Mara Louw on instead…