Have You Been Watching.. US X Factor?

The Saviour of X Factor?
Drew swapped her surname for a dodgy haircut..
Fed up with Kitty’s crap singing (someone buy that girl a skirt!), Kelly’s nonsensical Americanisms (may she put it down) and Craig Colton’s weird mouth? Well why not give US X Factor a try, because the show seems to have recovered from a shaky start and is finally hitting its stride. Admittedly there’s also quite a lot of nonsensical American-chat here, but unlike in the UK version, it’s punctuated by some decent performances.

Even Steve Jones, who was described as “utterly irrelevant” by some word-monkey at the New York Times, seems to have improved his standing with viewers and celebrity women-folk alike. Indeed at last count he had been linked with at least 30 single ladies of various renown, the most high-profile of which is X Factor judge Nicole Sherzinger, who split with her go-kart champion boyfriend Lewis Hamilton just a few weeks ago. Jones has denied rumours that they are an item when speaking to the press this week, but ran off as soon as he realised that his pants were on fire.

He later risked losing yet another pair of briefs when he insisted that Paula Abdul was not angry with him after he cut her short as she droned on during a live broadcast the other day. “When I interrupted Paula she wasn’t mad at me,” said the Welsh lothario. “It was a two-hour show and we’ve got to get through it otherwise we’ll literally fade to black and won’t have any conclusions and we can’t have that.”

Quickly changing subject, Jones explained that he had “about five producers screaming ‘Steve, shut up!'” in his ear, before going all Fritzl on us. “I love Paula,” he said. “If it weren’t highly illegal I would lock her in a box in my basement and keep her there. She’s a very attractive lady.”

Anyway, moving on..

The bookies currently rate Simon Cowell’s talent-urchin Drew Ryniewicz (who seems to be distancing herself from her surname on account of the fact that it’s unpronounceable) as the favourite to win the crown, although her recent rendition of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ was overshadowed by her Fruit Pastille outfit. Melanie Amaro is also well fancied – not by any blokes of course – but she’s got a cracking voice.

LA Reid’s rap prodigy Astro (Bryan Bradley to his mum) and Nicole’s strategically-shaved Yeti Josh Krajcik are also in the running for glory, although whether the former can win the competition without singing a note remains to be seen. Yet even if he does leave before the final, you feel he has a promising career ahead of him and the standard of all the remaining acts is of the highest quality. No wonder Cowell is unwilling to return to Britain and sit through Kitty Brucknell.

The Stereo Hogzz’s rendition of “Rhythm Nationâ€? was another outstanding performance and the group looked more like seasoned veterans than amateurs when they performed last weekend. With clean choreography, impressive harmony and a flare for spectacle, The Hogzz are should also make a strong challenge in Abdul’s category. As for the rest of the solo guys, they aren’t quite as stand-out as the impressive list of females, but Marcus is probably the frontrunner at the moment, although such things fluctuate from week to week.

Of course, there have been some pretty terrible contestants as well. Out of the 12 finalists, InTENsity were easily the worst and their cheesy outfit coordination and kids-bop rendition got them eliminated in the first round. Californian hobo Chris Rene is also struggling, as is Stacy Francis, despite their strong auditions.

Fortunately, X Factor USA has not yet begun letting parody contestants through (i.e. Jedward and
Wagner), maybe because they have enough talent not to need them. Who’s going to win? My money’s on Melanie..