|Demi Lovato, Britney Spears,|
Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid
The Simon Cowell show is straining to be relevant, apparently, by ditching any pretense of being its own show and just becoming American Idol, except with new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato joining Simon and L.A. Reid.
The best part of the revamped show's second season is the "last" button on your remote control.
One click and you're back to the much better The Voice on NBC or, better yet, at least for this week, the extraordinary Wagner's Ring Cycle on PBS.
Last year, The X Factor began its strained attempt to be good. First, it dropped its best asset - British judge Cheryl Cole. And, by the time its first season was over, it dumped host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
Whether you liked them or disliked them, their ousters were ugly and only added to The X Factor's uncomfortable public display of desperation.
If Britney and Demi, and whoever the host will be, bring the show relevance (and, more to the point, viewers) is anyone's guess. My guess is "no."
That said, the show is following a not-terrible format: American Idol-type auditions (cruel, not funny), coupled now with behind-the-scenes cinema verite footage of, ugh, Simon, Britney, Demi and L.A. being their seemingly staged selves, with some good ol' fashioned scripted elbow-ribbing banter.
The X Factor's biggest problem, though, is going up against The Voice. That "last" button brings you from what feels like American Idol 10 years ago (good then, tired now) to a fresh, glitzier, more entertaining show with better singing, whether you go to The Voice or Ring.