by EMILY BEZERRA Staff Writer
“X-Factor” USA season two premiered this week on September 12. The hit Britain-imported show has two new judges, new talent, and new drama.
“X-Factor” is a television music competition franchise in which aspiring pop-singers are drawn from public auditions.
Simon Cowell, creator and executive-producer of “X-Factor”, is judging alongside L.A. Reid from season one. Replacing previous judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger are Demi Lovato and Britney Spears.
The first episode kicked off with an audition from Paige Thomas, 21-year-old mother and student in nursing school. The Rihanna look-alike wowed the judges with her version of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down.”
Following Thomas’ promising performance was Shawn Armenta, singing an original song, “Candy Girl.” His song received negative feedback from all judges, including snide comments from Cowell. When Lovato prompted Armenta off the stage, he replied with, “I don’t use auto-tune like you.” The audience and judges were shocked by his insult and Spears asked who even let him on stage.
After Armenta’s trainwreck of an audition, the Californian boy band “Emblem3” took the stage and got the whole stadium dancing to their original song “Sunset Boulevard.” These boys even impressed the judges and got them singing along and moving. However, the most popular audition of the night came from Jillian Jensen.
Jensen was a victim of bullying her whole childhood and performed “Who You Are” by Jessie J, a song choice that expressed her pain. Lovato was able to closely connect with Jensen due to her similar past.
“When you sang you broke my heart,” Lovato said in response to her performance. Jensen’s performance even brought Cowell to tears and left all the judges speechless, literally.
On Tuesday, September 11, the four judges put their handprints in the cement on the famed sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard prior to filming the first “X-Factor” episode.
“It’s unfathomable that I’m doing that. My handprints are going to be next to superstars and icons,” says Lovato about being on Hollywood Boulevard.
At first, Cowell questioned whether Spears had what it took to be an “X-Factor” judge. However, Spears made it apparent she does not hold back her opinion, asking one contestant, “Who let you on stage?”
According to Cowell, the cameras will be going backstage to catch drama between competitors and behind-the-scenes moments. This season of “X-Factor” has only just begun, and audiences everywhere are in for a surprise.