Simon Cowell’s X Factor USA has been riding a bumpy road in its second season. What can go wrong, seemingly does.
Auditions were fraught with small but, significant issues like horrendous storms that saw already nerve-wracked contestants having to perform over claps of thunder, roof leaks and judges who concentrated more on the dripping roof water on their heads and desks than what the contestants were doing on-stage, Cowell needing to eat, eat and eat some more, co-judge, Britney Spears having anxiety attacks and allegedly having to leave to regroup, cameras trained onto Spears as though the entire show rested on her nervous shoulders, LA Reid seemingly ignored by cameras for the first couple of aired shows, a week’s worth of shows being delayed, half-aired or screwed up because of Baseball’s World Series with rain delays and still no Live Show Hosts being known to the viewers.
In spite of the seemingly incredible talent in this year’s line-up, the show has put far too much focus on the judges and their issues, squabbles and insecurities thus far.
In the wings and behind the scenes, is a potential threatening menace. Britney Spears’ parents are in court, dealing with a lawsuit, brought against them by Spears’ former manager, Osama (Sam) Lufti. Lufti is suing the Spears for alleged defamation of character in a book they wrote about their famous daughter’s meltdown and suing Britney Spears for breach of contract due to heavy drug usage. Lufti is also suing Britney’s sister, Jamie Spears for assault and battery, alleged to have taken place in 2008 when he states that Jamie hit him.
Reportedly, Spears had been popping up to 30 pills over a 36 hour period, mainly amphetamines just prior to her breakdown, locked herself in a bathroom for hours and shaved her head in an attempt to beat drug testings. Included in that list of drugs was Crystal Meth, which dogs had sniffed out and Spears later admitted were hers.
Reportedly, Spears break-up with ex, Justin Timberlake was the beginning of the decline down a steep slope for the star’s mental health. Meanwhile, the Spears Camp, while agreeing that the break-up was a factor in Spears’ breakdown, are also pointing fingers at Lufti, who they claim, was “selfish” and controlling even Spears’ personal life.
Meanwhile, back at the X Factor Ranch, it appears that some semblance of regrouping is taking place as the new hosts have been signed on and are reportedly ready to go on air.
Mario Lopez of “Save The Bell” fame and Khloe Kardashian have been given contracts to act as co-hosts on stage for the live shows.
This will bring on even further potential issues and problems as Kardashian has openly admitted that she’s afraid of being fired from her co-host spot since she’s never been a host. Kardashian has admitted that she will be standing nervously beside Lopez who has had some hosting gigs in the past, hoping to not to screw up.
LA Reid clearly demonstrated his dissatisfaction in the show’s producer’s choice of him mentoring the “Over 25 Group”. Reid made it plain by both actions and words, on camera, that he did not want or like the choice handed to him. He openly told the group of 6 contestants, sent to his home (rented properties for the show and not really the judge’s true homes) to be weeded down to the 4 he will be working with for live shows, that he did not want them and wasn’t happy. He let them know that he “wanted a winner” in his group and that they were already “the underdogs”. Those statements must have boosted the moral of that group, who were already nervous. It was akin to telling them that they were “has-beens” at their ages and didn’t stand much of a chance of winning. Reid instantly became a pin that burst bubbles and certainly disgusted a lot of viewers.
The show will go on but, the question remains as to how long, before one or several of these stars, explode, implode or break down?
If I were a betting woman, I’d bet that we don’t get through the season without a number of meltdowns, mistakes, fights and plain out-and-out, ridiculous antics by the panel of judges and hosts this season. We may see Spears and Khardashian have some interesting shows and moments with both of their insecurities, Reid go hard on his group of contestants and, show anger/displeasure towards fellow judges’ criticisms of his group and contestant melt-downs.
One thing is for sure. If Cowell was looking for a controversial judging panel and hosts, he’s certainly got them. Cowell is also not exactly the most stable of people, himself with his own breakdown just prior to auditions earlier this summer.
Frankly, it’s looking more and more like X Factor has become properly titled…though not because of the contestants but because we just don’t know which of these judges and hosts will have more meltdowns or emotional issues. It’s quite the line-up that sadly threatens to overshadow the contestant’s lime-light. Mind you, Simon Cowell thrives on controversy, the drama and attention so, it’s right up his alley and likely designed to go that route.
X Factor (USA) 2012 has real issues and two new hosts that may be added to the “troubled list”.