Thursday marked the fourth and final audition episode of Fox’s “The X Factor,” which means now we can start getting down to the business of the show.
Truthfully, four audition episodes are plenty. Unlike “American Idol,” which drags on the audition rounds for weeks and weeks — last time around they were 31 weeks, I believe — “X” is ready to move on, which is a good thing. They still need to justify the whole splitting-the-talent-pool-into-separate-teams thing, which is one of the gimmicks that instantly turned me off of NBC’s “The Voice.” What do I care who has the winning team? Do I really want one super millionaire’s team to win over another? (That’s part of the reason I don’t care about sports.)
In terms of contestants, a little bit of 14-year-old Brian Bradley — introduced on Thursday’s show — went a long way. Despite the fact that he’s in middle school, he came on with more attitude than Kanye West at a Taylor Swift fan convention. And while his original song, “Stop Looking at My Mom,” was undeniably catchy, the entire audition was a bit off-putting. I mean, the kid said in five years he’s going to be better than Jay-Z. Dude, in five years you’ll still be two years away from being able to legally drink! Slow down.
The flip side of the overconfident Bradley was 16-year-old Jazzlyn Little, who was so meek and shy it looked as though she wanted to disappear when she was talking with the judges at the beginning of her audition. But when she belted out a big time version of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down,” she did so with so much confidence that it seemed like what came before was strictly an act. Producers pulling strings, or is Little really that shy? When in doubt when it comes to reality TV, always side with fake.
Still, I’m feeling better about “The X Factor” than I was after the first two episodes, but it’s still far too early to form an opinion about the show. This is a long haul — “The X Factor” will be with us until Christmastime — and we’ve only just begun. I think the true test of the show will come when we get down to the live episodes, when we can see the judges’ personalities really come out — and we can see if Nicole Scherzinger actually has a personality, or if what we’ve seen so far has been all smoke and mirrors. We’ll soon find out.