The X Factor
POP BITS. She was easily the most controversial thing to happen in The X Factor’s 2010 series – besides some of the fashion choices, seriously it looked like an explosion in a Quality Street factory some weeks – but after being unceremoniously booted out of boot camp by Chezza Cole, fan favourite Gamu Nhengu is back and better than ever with her brand new solo single ‘Shake The Room’! Exciting!
Fortunately for us, ‘Shake The Room’ is a bit of a belter and one hell of a debut single for the X Factor finalist that should have been – it’s catchy, it’s instantly hummable and the classy, vintage vibe of the video mixes well with the polished almost-retro and R&B sound that Gamu’s going for, making it a fun-as-hell tune that does everything a good party song should do. Gamu’s vocals are incredible on this and the fact we haven’t heard them in almost three years is a damn shame.
We’d love this to get to Number 1, hitting back against the controversy of her exit – besides it’s a damn good song and in a perfect world all good songs should get success. Welcome back, Gamu – we’ve missed you!
Listen to ‘Shake The Room’ below now.
POP BITS OUT
On last year’s X Factor, Tulisa took the notoriously difficult Groups category to victory for the first time; mentoring Little Mix from outsiders to national treasures. Kelly Rowland took the astoundingly good Girls category and somehow fluffed it, Gary Barlow did a good job with the Boys and Louis Walsh’s Over 25s… Well, the less said about them, the better (not that we didn’t love them).
And now, with Kelly Rowland out and Nicole Scherzinger in, the judges have been given their categories for the 2012 run… via a phone call with Mr Simon Cowell himself.
So, who has what? There are spoilers ahead…
After weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks) of speculation, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato have finally been unveiled as Paula Abdul and
Cheryl Cole’s Nicole Scherzinger’s replacements on The X Factor USA’s judging panel. For Demi, still only 19 years old, an enviable $1 million payday. For Britney? A ridiculous $15 million. But will they be worth the cash?
In terms of media attention, of course they will – especially Britney. Every week there will be at least one story (most probably false) on a US gossip website claiming she’s having a meltdown, ignoring her acts, being a diva behind the scenes and/or sleeping with Simon Cowell. Demi may fall victim to reports of suffering from her broad array of personal demons (the poor girl’s had to deal with bulimia, bipolar disorder and addictions to substance abuse and self-harm over the past couple of years), but, at least for the first few weeks of the series, Britney will be all anyone will be talking about.
Will they be good panellists? For Britney, all we can do is hope. Since she infamously hit rock bottom in 2008, her recovery has consisted largely of being placed on a complete media lockdown. Every interview has been carefully scripted to the point where this particular radio chat from last year, where she flashes the occasional funny face and laughs the odd laugh, has become all too rare (check out her X Factor questioning as well – interesting!).
In all honesty, it’s Demi who we think might just steal the show. She’s fiesty, she’ll speak her mind, and if she ever performs during a live show, she’ll smash it. This is a massive opportunity for her and we’re nervously predicting that she’ll grab it with both hands and come out the other side all the better for it. We just have to hope that neither her nor Britney join Steve Jones, Nicole, Paula, Cheryl Cole, Kate Thornton and so many more on the pile of people who’ve been chewed up and spat out by the Cowell talent machine.
Today’s (maybe) the day! Britney Spears (maybe) and Demi Lovato (maybe) could (maybe) be announced as new additions to The X Factor USA’s judging panel at the Fox Network’s Upfront presentations in New York. Maybe. US gossip sites suggest that both singers signed their final contracts over the weekend, and instead of doing something boring like releasing a press statement or saying “YEAH I AM DOING X FACTOR” on Twitter, producers apparently reckon it’ll be more dramatic if they turn up ‘unannounced’ to confirm it in person. Then again, we’ve lost count of the amount of times rumours have popped up saying an announcement is on its way, so who’s to say if this is just more baseless speculation? In the meantime, please enjoy our amazing photo (above) of what the panel might look like this time tomorrow…
With news that The Voice UK’s viewing figures dipped to 6.6 million on Sunday’s results show – 4 million lower than the 10+ being pulled in during the audition rounds – critics are starting to write the BBC singing competition off as “too boring”, “too arrogant” and “a bit wobbly”.
So what’s the problem? Back when the show first started in March, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Viewers loved the fact that no bad singers were humiliated, and when the show clashed with Britain’s Got Talent it managed to attract around double the audience size. So what’s changed?!
OK, so we all whine and moan about how melodramatic The X Factor is, we all like to call the show a fix when someone we like gets voted out, and we all get outraged whenever Tulisa claims never to have heard of one of Aretha Franklin’s most iconic hits. But the fact that we were even able to get so irritated by it in the first place is a sign of how gripping it is. Surely it’s better to be provoked into a passionate rage than to not be provoked at all, and that’s the major difference between The X Factor and The Voice at the moment. How can that be fixed? We’re not sure. It would completely undermine the whole point of The Voice if it resorted to media-baiting hysteria, but it needs an injection of something. It lacks, pardon the pun, a certain X factor (‘X factor’ in the old sense, that is).
Both formats are flawed. The X Factor will gladly take a tabloid-grabbing wildchild like Frankie Cocozza over an astonishingly talented singer like Team Jessie’s Toni Warne, but what The Voice doesn’t quite realise is that an astonighingly talented singer doesn’t necessarily translate into record sales. If One Direction and Jaz Ellington were to bring out a new single on the same day, it wouldn’t take a chart geek to accurately predict who would go to No. 1, regardless of who was technically ‘the better singer’ (we’re not saying One Direction aren’t good singers, but you get the point).
Another problem The Voice seems to be having is that we can’t really connect to any particular artists because we only get to see them once every two weeks. Of course the upside of splitting Teams Will and Tom from Teams Jessie and Danny is that each Saturday show is only 90 minutes rather than three hours, but is there a way the format could be tweaked next year such that we can really get behind someone?
Why do you think The Voice is struggling? Do you agree or disagree with what we say? Leave your comments below.