“The X Factor” just named Melanie Amaro its first winner. The Floridian won a recording contract with a $5 million prize. While she makes plans for her dream house she plans to purchase for her mom with the money, reality TV fans prepare for the next round of singing competitions. “American Idol” is just around the corner, debuting it’s second season on January 21.
Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson are all returning to judge the competition, jetting across the country looking for the next Scotty McCreery or Kelly Clarkson. Nigel Lythgoe shared with reporters that this season will be similar to last, make completely minimal changes. Now that “The X Factor” is over, it’s fair to judge whether the two shows were more similar than just a show that shares the same audience. So, was it fair for reporters to throw “it’s just another American Idol” in creator and executive producer, Simon Cowell’s face? Not at all!
Steven Tyler put it best, when he told Zap2It that the shows are completely different. The biggest difference is the audition process. On “American Idol,” the contestants audition for judges at cities across the country, go to Hollywood and either make it to the live show or not. Once they are on the show, fans vote from the first live show until the end. “The X Factor” focuses more on auditions that live show. Yes, the contestants audition around the country, but in front of thousands of people, not just the judges. They then move on to group auditions, concluded with boot camp at the judges home. Those who make it through boot camp then move on to the live shows. On the first live show, the judges make the tough choice of who to eliminate before fans are able to vote during the second live show.
The second biggest difference is that the judges mentor groups of contestants on “The X Factor.” One judge mentors the girls, one mentors the boys, one mentors the groups and one mentors the “over 30s.” During the mentoring process, the judges picks the song and performance style. On “American Idol” the contestants choose their own music and performances, only guided by vocal coaches and choreographers. Last season they also had access to the SAME celebrity mentor like Will.I.Am each week.
One minor difference on “The X Factor” is contestants can sing songs more than once! Rachel Crow repeated a song she used during auditions, while third place Chris Rene sang his own song THREE times throughout the season. The production of songs on “The X Factor” were always extravagant in comparison to what you would see on “American Idol” as well. Sometimes this worked in favor of artists, while sometimes it was too much and overshadowed the talent.
Of course there were obvious differences as well. Instead of three judges, “The X Factor” had four who always tried to sway the votes to their artists. The prize was $5 million on “The X Factor” instead of $1 million like on “American Idol,” and the age range was larger on “The X Factor.”
Are you more of an “American Idol” or “X Factor” fan? “American Idol” premieres January 18 at 8p/7c on Fox.