Well, my crystal ball proved to be three-fifths correct: The Brewer Boys, Dexter Haygood (who I’m actually kind of worried about, guys), and Tiah Tolliver were all shown the door last night. The first night of live competition gave The X Factor a desperately needed ratings boost—11.4 million people tuned in—but what did it give us in return? For the most part, the proverbial hot mess.
There was something so ridiculous to me about thrusting these amateurs in front of an audience with a dozen backup dancers and pyrotechnics, as if they were doing a stadium tour. I’ve seen the U.K. version before so I knew what to expect, but it still came off as utterly absurd. (Kind of like the Simpsons episode where Bart becomes an instant TV sensation because of his catchphrase, then gets his own troupe of “I Didn’t Do It” Dancers.)
Of the 12 remaining acts, only one strikes me as having a shot at winning: Drew Ryniewicz, who sang a stripped-down and slowed-down version of “Flashdance (What a Feeling),” accompanied only by a projection of thousands of flapping doves. (?) The song was way too slow and halting, but it gave her a good a platform to show off her weird phrasing instincts and smoky tone. Oh, and Simon knocked off her last name: She’s now just “Drew.” Compared to Melanie Amaro, who looks and sounds dated, Drew feels fresher and more memorable, in the same vein as Feist. Plus she’s only 14. Lots of years ahead of her to try to make back Sony’s $ 5 million investment.
No one else has a legitimate chance, sorry. Drew is your X Factor. Anyone want to challenge that prediction? I should warn you I correctly predicted Scotty McCreery’s American Idol victory, but I’m willing to hear you make your case.
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