The X Factor The First Reviews
Early reviews of Simon Cowell's The X Factor , which debuts tonight (Wednesday) on Fox, suggest that critics can't figure out what the "X" in "X Factor" is all about. New York Times TV critic Neil Genzlinger comments that "this series, which has billed itself as a new type of competition show, really just remixes the well-established gimmicks of the earlier entries in the genre." And the talent appearing on the first show, culled from the early auditions, is unimpressive, says Genzlinger, except for a 13-year-old singer named Rachel Crow who appears "just as casual viewers are realizing that The X Factor, despite its $5 million prize, is the same-old-same-old and are reaching for their remotes." Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune notes that during the show Simon Cowell comments about one contestant's act "Most of it is very copycat." Comments Johnson "Reality-show impresario, heal thyself. X Factor is knocking off American Idol. " The only distinguishing change "The cups sitting prominently in front of the judges and cameras at all times bear the logo for Pepsi, not Coke." Robert Bianco in USA Today agrees that the show amounts to "the same-old same old." However, he says, there's one major difference "Simon. He's the gold standard, the judge against whom all others are judged, and his presence is enough to make Factor a factor."