Thursday, June 21, 2018
TV and Media

Focus is on new faces as 'X Factor' begins second season

She can't really say much about how everything went.

But St. Petersburg teen MacyKate Marshburn couldn't stop gushing about the new judges added to Fox's singing competition The X Factor; stars she met back in June while auditioning in Kansas City.

The 14-year-old said Britney Spears and Demi Lovato bring a much lighter chemistry to the show, inspiring younger singers to audition and watch. They join returning veterans L.A. Reid and show creator/executive producer Simon Cowell as judges in the show's second season.

"I feel like everybody's hyped (to see) Britney Spears, because she hasn't done so much TV recently," added the singer. "A lot of Disney fans are waiting to see Demi, who has had her problems and can really relate to us. It appears to me they have a lot more fun."

That may come as a relief to Cowell, who has complained for days about NBC's decision to pit an hour of its hit singing competition The Voice against tonight's return of The X Factor at 8 p.m.

Last year, Cowell told me an NBC executive assured him that The Voice wouldn't be a brazen X Factor rip off (the former American Idol star also executive produces NBC's hit summer series America's Got Talent). So during a teleconference with reporters last week, Cowell admitted he was "p---ed off" that NBC had added a third night to The Voice's debut week.

"It's a spoiling tactic," Cowell said. "They don't want people to see this first episode."

Cowell hasn't announced who will host the live episodes, though the star has said he's partial to using two people, admitting on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime show Tuesday that reality TV star Khloe Kardashian is "definitely up there in the running."

Still, as X Factor faces off against The Voice tonight, there are four issues to look for as the two shows air in the same timeslot for the first time.

Issue No. 1: How much is too much? The Voice returned Monday to 12 million viewers, but that was down nearly 40 percent from its February debut (to be fair, that was after the Super Bowl). Tonight's face-off will be the first time two highly-hyped singing shows clash directly, risking overload for fans who may already be tiring of spinning chairs, cheeky judge banter and heart-tugging feature stories on contestants.

Issue No. 2: Can Britney overcome her erratic image? Known for unreliable performances and stints in treatment almost as much as her music, Spears nearly walked off X Factor on the first day after a panic attack. Even as Cowell insists that Spears is the show's toughest judge, she comes across as disconnected and a bit passive in interviews.

Issue No. 3: Can either show break a big act in the United States? Cowell has a great track record of minting music stars on TV, including Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and One Direction. But they all came from his British shows; so far, neither the U.S. X Factor nor The Voice have had much impact on music charts.

Issue No. 4: Can either show make us care about the contestants? As each program focuses more on unknown contestants and less on superstar judges, interest wanes. Cowell promises the retooled X Factor will show more of the audition process to get the audience engaged in the fight for a $5 million prize.

It's the final irony: amid all the talk of big-name judges and hosts, making the regular people shine just might be the key to victory in this new war of the singing competitions.

Comments

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 22

TODAYBaseballYankees at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDodgers at Mets7 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rockies8:30 p.m.FSFCFLWinnipeg at Montreal7 p.m.ESPN2College baseball, World SeriesMississippi State vs. Oregon State3 p.m.ESPNArkansas vs. Florida8 p.m.ESPNHorsesRoy...
Updated: 1 hour ago
MegaCon Tampa Bay celebrity guests include ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Doctor Who’ stars

MegaCon Tampa Bay celebrity guests include ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Doctor Who’ stars

MegaCon Tampa Bay has announced a lineup of celebrity guests that will likely conjure a mix of excitement and nostalgia among local geeks.They include Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who currently plays Negan on The Walking Dead, Christopher Lloyd, best known f...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Miss Vanjie talks her ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ exit, memes, drag roots

Tampa might have the worst track record when it comes to contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race.Both queens who hail from the Cigar City were eliminated right away during their seasons. Alisa Summers was the first boot on Season 4 in 2012. Then on Season ...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, June 21

TODAYBaseballRed Sox at Twins1 p.m.MLBMets at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBCubs at Reds7 p.m.MLBBlue Jays at Angels10 p.m.MLBCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas Tech8 p.m.ESPNUGolfPGA: Traveler’s Championship3:30 p.m.GolfHorsesRoyal Asco...
Published: 06/20/18

Sports on TV/radio for Wednesday, June 20

TODAYBaseballDodgers at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMarlins at Giants3:30 p.m.FSFMariners at Yankees7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCollege baseball, World SeriesOregon State vs. North Carolina7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals Championship6:30 p.m.GolfHor...
Published: 06/19/18

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, June 19

TODAYBaseballOrioles at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas2 p.m.ESPNTexas Tech vs. Arkansas7 p.m.ESPNGolfPGA Professionals c...
Published: 06/18/18

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 18

TODAYBaseballYankees at Nationals7 p.m.MLBRays at Astros8 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Giants10 p.m.FSFDiamondbacks at Angels10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesOregon State vs. Washington2 p.m.ESPNNorth Carolina vs. Mississippi State7 p.m.ESPN...
Published: 06/17/18

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, June 17

TODAYAutosXfinity: Iowa 250 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS2Xfinity: Iowa 2505 p.m.FS1BaseballMarlins at Orioles1 p.m.FSFRays at Yankees2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMAstros at Royals2 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners (in progress)5 p.m.MLBCubs at Cardinals8 p.m.ESPNCollege b...
Published: 06/16/18

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, June 16

TODAYArena FootballPhiladelphia at Albany6 p.m.CBSSNAutosTrucks: Iowa 250 qualifying4:30 p.m.FS2Trucks: Iowa 2507 p.m.FS1BaseballRays at Yankees1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Orioles4 p.m.FSFTwins at Indians4 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners8 p.m.FoxCFLHa...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 15

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 15

TODAYArena FootballWashington at Baltimore7 p.m.CBSSNAutosNHRA: Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying6 p.m.FS1BaseballRays at Yankees7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Orioles7 p.m.FSFCFLToronto at Saskatchewan9 p.m.ESPN2GolfU.S. Open10 a.m.FS1LPGA: Meije...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18