'The X Factor': When the Cameras Weren't Rolling
Simon's slice of humble pie, Rachel Crow's fans and Nicole marriage proposal
By Minh Nguyen
Special to MSN TV
MSN TV was behind the scenes at last night’s “The X Factor,” and we thought the show was missing the “X.” We stepped backstage to the dressing rooms where we were inches away from Chris Rene. He was in the zone and didn’t notice anyone else as he practiced singing, making dance moves and smiling ... to himself in the mirror. We also saw an older gentleman getting his makeup done. We later put two and two together and figured out it was Clive Davis. Melanie Amaro was calmly getting her hair "did." Rachel Crow was standing around smiling and talking to people we didn’t recognize.
Inside the auditorium, it was supposed to be Pepsi Challenge night, but it ended up just being another two-song night (aka, there was no theme). Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger rocked it to “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” as they came out to the audience at the beginning of the night. The Warm-Up Guy instructed us, “You cannot be too loud or too rude.” The audience was neither loud nor rude. They were the mildest we’ve seen since covering this show. We weren’t even a little scared … since there was no shaking inside the auditorium. The auditorium is not as big as it appears on TV, and there is a huge monitor on screen that tells us how much time there is left in between commercial breaks. Also, there were people who mopped up the glitter on the stage the whole night between the commercial breaks.
During the breaks, Simon and LA (almost always) leave and come back. Paula and Nicole seemed pretty friendly with each other. They got their makeup and hair retouched and talked to each other. Steve Jones loves his Aquafina. At one point, we saw him grab a bottle out of a man’s back jean pockets, toss it in the air and take a sip. LA blew kisses, waved and at one point took his white towel (that he had wiped his sweat from his forehead off) and threw it for the audience to catch. At a different commercial break, LA got his head sponged/powdered. LA also said a lot of nice things about Clive Davis, “He is the greatest. (The audience clapped.) And you’ve got to make more noise for him than that. (The audience clappedlouder) Thank you. That’s my hero. That’s my godfather. I learned from Clive, so if you don’t like me ... I’m kidding. I love you. Clive, (it’s) good to see you.”
We sat next to three guys in their twenties holding “We Love Rachel Crow” signs and cheering her on. Later, when Simon said, “It is important someone your age is choosing their own material,” one of them shouted, “It’s about time she got to pick her own song.” We later sighed in relief when we found out they were related to her. Rachel also had her second grade teacher there, who said, “Her smile just made a huge difference in my day every day. I like to dance, and we used to do the Macarena. There were 16 kids and she was the best (dancer).” Another audience member was a contract plumber from Paso Robles celebrating his 27th anniversary with his wife. He was trying to win “The X Factor” finale tickets in a dance contest but lost to a male flight attendant that was doing some weird butt move.
Simon ate humble pie. He said, “That was painful,” when he admitted to how good Marcus Canty’s performance was. The most exciting moment during the breaks was when Nicole got a marriage proposal from an audience member. Unfortunately, when the Warm-Up Guy asked if he had a job, he couldn’t answer and the Warm-Up Guy moved on. The audience really reacted well to Josh Krajcik, Chris Rene and Melanie Amaro. By default, we’re predicting Rachel Crow and Marcus Canty will have to sing for their lives.
"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
I was not shocked, neither were my own children. Yes, I thought Marcus was better, and I believe that I know music and talent. I did not find it a travesty, so I have a BIG doubt that Rachel was better. I am especially NOT mad at Nicole and do NOT want to insult her. She did her best, she did her job--left it to America, and they said Rachel wasn't ready. I also like LA. I am not upset at the show. It's grand.
I just watched the show this morning and am so so so so upset. I agree w/other comments here completely. Why have a sing-off if the best does not win. I do not think it is a true competition at all if a judge doesn't truly vote for who he/she thinks did the best job...even if it is not the one they mentored. Unless the process changes and all judges are made to vote honestly, then their so-called expertise is useless as I see it. If there was still a deadlock after all judges voted, then I say keep them all and let AMERICA decide. That is the only fair way to handle a deadlock situation. The horse is already out of the barn when the sing-off starts so I don't think it is fair to go back to the vote from the night before. As someone else comments, Simon has changed the rules before and I definitely think he needs to bring Rachel back and let her be part of the final. It is a matter of dignity if this show expects to continue to pick up more viewers.
The X Factor - too many variables for any of it to be fair. Why bother to have these glamerous "judges" other than to dress up the show with bling. Nicole sold out and did not vote for the best performance. L.A. didn't even vote for the right reason - he shouldn't be a judge. Anyone who knows music and talent knows Rachel out performed Marcus. If Marcus did indeed receive more of the votes why not let it stand as such. The flawed system of letting the public vote is another issue, but too distressing to discuss here. All those extreme dance numbers with the contestants should be eliminated. They are vulgar distractions and do not impress anyone. One real point is that this is another way to pit the two big beverage producers against each other for exposure to the public: Pepsi-Cola and big red, Coca-Cola. Notice I use the old fashion names which will tell you my general age. Pepsi people, wake up and disassociate with all this money sucking garbage. I would go to see Rachel and buy her music - stay true to yourself girl, the world is full of trickery, you are the best regardless of what Nicole and LA say. If the producers had any real concern for this show they would bring you back. After all, they break all the other rules, why not break the rule of once out you are out. So bloggers, lets get Rachel back. She (along with Amara (sp?) is better than all the men in the competition. It looks like this competition is in it for the short run. With all the money, effort, and time spent in making this an interesting competition they have "blown it" - to use one of Simon's oft used phrases.
I don't think LA did the honorable thing. He knew Rachel Out sang Marcus but it was his singer - who deserved to be sent home - he spent three weeks in the bottom two - what does that say about his ability to sing. If Nicole understood the way the two were feeling (she said she did because she had been through this herself) she should have had enough courage to do the right thing and not made it a deadlock. Also people complain about Simon but LA has been unprofessional and often mean with his comments and has been too pro his team. He should vote for the BEST act as should Nicole.
First of all I don't think Nicole is a fair judge. She is a false person.She knew that Rachel was much better than marcus. He was in the bottom three times. Doesn't
that tell you something. He trys to push to much. Rachel is a natural born singer.
If the judges came to their senses, they should take her back, and try again. She did the same thing with Drew!!! Nicole should not be on the show!!! She is a wimp! My other favorites are melanie and josh. Chris does not live up to them!!
What happened tonight was a travesty. I could not believe that Nicole had the audacity to vote for a deadlock. Really Nicole? Seriously? Nicole after what you did to this amazing young talent you did not even have the capacity to speak to her on stage, instead you hid behind your fake tears. Was that because you finally realized what you had just done? I used to be one of your fans Nicole but now that I know what you truly are like well... I think as a Mom I would support my children idolizing a talent like Rachel instead a coward like Nicole.
I cannot put into words the disgust I felt with the voting tonight.....you have to replace LA and Nicole.....they are not judging the true talent.....I could not believe you kept "wimpy face" and sent Rachel home. There was no comparison tonight. The judging should have been a no brainer....I will not watch this program next season. Simon.....get true judges....not b--- kissers and phony.
Rachel....U rock.....God has given you this talent.....I cannot wait for your first CD.