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The X Factor (UK)

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Robbie Williams announced on Instagram that he and Ayda won't return to the judging panel this year.

Also, there are apparently going to be two versions this year:  an All-Stars season and one with celebrities.  They haven't announced the timing for either, and I'm curious about whether AXS would air them in the U.S.

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They've finally made an official announcement for the start date of Celebrity X-Factor.  It will debut on Saturday, October 12.  AXS will air the first episode in the U.S. on Monday, October 14 at 8 PM Eastern.  Simon, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger are the judges.  Nicole confirmed her involvement when she appeared on Kelly Clarkson's talk show today, while she was talking about all the international flights she has been taking.  It has been reported that for the All-Stars edition (for which Nicole wouldn't be available because they will be filming the third season of The Masked Singer), Paula Abdul will take the other judges' chair.  I don't know if this is official or just speculation at this point, as a lot of the "news" about this show comes from tabloids.

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The guy (Jeremy?) in that duo with the dancer from "Strictly Come Dancing" didn't handle receiving criticism very well.  I didn't think the judges were that mean; they tried to keep it light-hearted and somewhat positive and not just tell them how bad they sounded.  It was interesting when all of the younger contestants geeked out over Kevin McHale.  I guess they were just the right age when Glee was a pop culture phenomenon.  I saw only a few episodes.  In one, Kevin was singing "Hey Ya" at a double-wedding reception.  It was fun.

I finally saw an interview that Paula Abdul did on Wendy Williams' show a few weeks ago (which never aired here because our station is screwy).  Wendy did ask her about possibly judging the All-Stars edition.  She replied, "Maybe," and said it in a way that Wendy (probably correctly) interpreted to mean she is still negotiating.

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When Simon introduced the new twist where people can put a voted-off contestant into the finale, I thought at first that he was going to throw out the result entirely and just keep No Love Lost on the show.  I don't really think this will help their ratings, which are apparently terrible.  At least the result of the public vote meant that he couldn't save Martin yet again.  I know the people on the show and studio audience were fond of him, but Simon seemed to think the public had such an attachment to him that the ratings were hanging on his presence, even though he wasn't getting votes.  I believe Vinnie will probably win because of his emotional story, and the audience seems to have fun during his performances.  I can't imagine the recording contract making a huge difference for any winner. 

The All-Stars edition has now been scrapped and replaced by some contest to find a new band.  The rumor was they were having trouble getting former contestants to do the show, though Honey G was apparently available.  The others who commented all seemed to say, "No thanks."  I don't know that I will watch the band edition because it seems really hastily thrown together.

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Why did Simon force poor Vinnie to stay on the show?  Simon was like, "You can win," but I don't think his offer to bow out was because he was disheartened or suffering a lack of confidence over being in the bottom two.  I don't think he is really interested in winning or a recording contract and singing career; it seems more that he wanted to have some fun and do something his wife had wanted him to do.  Now it appears that he has done all he wanted to do with the show and would like to move on.  When the question kept being repeatedly asked about "Why do you want to win?" everyone else said it was what they wanted more than most everything and that they were going to change the world.  Vinnie said that he didn't want to have to be around for the finale because he had a commitment to a golf tournament, and that he didn't want to learn more songs.  I think the public noticing that he wanted to go probably contributed to his being in the bottom two (he didn't sound great, but that didn't stop the vote before).  His performance in the sing-off was gut-wrenching and would have made a nice send-off, if Simon had let him go.  I think ratings are still awful either with or without him.  AXS certainly doesn't care much about it here either, and I'll have to watch the semis in the original airing Monday at 5 because they aren't showing it on Thanksgiving even though 3 PM (roughly) Thursday is one of their few usual airings.

I read that Nicole is in hot water for shoving her boobs in Louis's face because it's inappropriate for the "family hour."  There are also rumors that she has been seeing one of the guys from Try Star (rugby group).  It could just be rumors, but if not, couldn't they wait until the show is over?

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I was a little surprised that Megan won, although she has a very pretty voice, because of the hints they had dropped on the show about her reality show past and her behavior then.  I thought there might be a backlash, but of course some reality show stars have very large fanbases, or maybe her performances and the fact that she was apparently on her best behavior helped with the "redemption" angle.  The song she reprised reminded me of the type of song they have people sing on American Idol finales, although of course she wrote it herself.  It was nice, but the part where she sang that out of a hundred nos, you only need one yes made me think of what Lady Gaga kept saying over and over while promoting A Star Is Born

I wonder why they wouldn't tell who was second and third; they could have squeezed that in.  Jenny's performance of the Christmas song was lovely.  I didn't see all of her "Edge of Glory," but it made me laugh that she did that one again because a friend who was visiting when the episode where she first sang that aired just HATED her version.  It was no surprise that V5 were out in 4th after the previous times in the bottom two/three.  It's hard for a contestant from outside the U.K., though Saara Aalto of Finland came in second a few years ago.

I don't know if AXS is showing the band show (with apparently only Simon and Nicole judging, guess Louis can be off celebrating).  They didn't gave great time slots for the Celebrity edition and the commercials were terrible.  They used to just show ads for their own shows over and over, which wasn't as bad as these.

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I came across a snippet of an interview that Nicole Scherzinger did on Wendy Williams' show, and she revealed that she has been in a relationship with the guy from the rugby group (Try Star according to one of my above posts; I wouldn't have remembered) ever since they got together on the show last year.  This surprised me a little, but she certainly does like her sports stars!

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