Given all the hype and promotion that "X-Factor" received and its longevity as a staple on British TV, there was a high expectation that it was something different...something special that deserves our attention. In the end, I came, watched and it's...okay. 'Okay' as in entertaining TV but nothing different than a lot of other shows that have a similar format.
Thing is, we have an established American Idol, which has earned a place in the hearts of TV viewers. It's even more surprising since Simon Cowell, the creator of X-Factor, was instrumental in AI's growth. For whatever reason, perhaps boredom or the desire to prove that he can create a superior show that will eat into Idol's numbers, Cowell depature doesn't seem to have hurt Idol in the least. As expected, he plays the role of X-Factor show grouch, which also adds nothing new to the show.
Upon evaluation of the performers, X-Factor seems to have better quality singers in a wide range of ages. To its credit, X-Factor doesn't have an age limit as does AI. The usually flaky but-not-like-she-used-to-be, Paula Abdul, who was picked up by Cowell as one of his X-Factor judges, doesn't really do anything for the show. She's just...there. The real "cement" of AI, Ryan Seacrest, in his role of interviewing the aspiring singers and hosting duties, gives AI a spark that X-Factor seems to lack. To put it bluntly, Steve Jones ain't no Ryan Seacrest. He's another one of those just...there.
In the end both shows offer aspiring singers, some of whom can actually sing, the opportunity to be on TV and perhaps their one and only shot at stardom. What is missing is something to distinguish the shows from being mirror images of each other.
Quick un-official curiousity poll/question: do you prefer American Idol or X-Factor?