Of the X Factor Auditions (TV Review)

X Factor Judges

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Britney Spears is a judge on the X Factor, and because I’m a crazy super fan, this meant that I would actually consider watching the program. I’m pleased to report that she is an honest and critical judge – even the haters can’t argue that. I was expecting the auditions to feel like American Idol, considering that it’s a similar concept (find the next American – better yet, GLOBAL – superstar) with Simon Cowell on the panel. I was wrong, very wrong.

I’ve always felt that the intention behind the American Idol auditions were to make fun of people. They weren’t concerned in their editing to showcase the talented individuals. They wanted crazies, ugly, and terrible singers who genuinely believed that they had talent. I always felt bad for the people auditioning and would wait until the top twelve were chosen to start watching the program. I hate witnessing people embarrass themselves – especially on a national level. It makes me uncomfortable.

Based off the two episodes of the X Factor that I’ve watched I can already tell I like this program better. Instead of trying to make me laugh at bad people, whoever is in charge of editing the program clearly has one goal – pull at your heart. The past few hours of my life I’ve smiled, felt immensely creeped out, laughed, sat in suspense, and cried. My emotions were a whirlwind of chaos as I learned of people’s life stories and watched them either succeed or fail. What I like so far about the X Factor is that they have been able to fairly balance the great and the terrible.

Plus, there’s an element of human interest (that’s how they attack your heart), and they don’t cheat by showing home footage to let me know that someone made it before they audition. Sometimes I’ll really like the person, want them to do well, but they can’t sing. Others are awful human beings who can sing. And when they are likable and can sing, it’s like magic, and I cry all over again.

Warning, spoilers. There’s the girl who was bullied intensely and delivered a powerhouse performance that inspired Demi Lovato to stand up and give her a hug, a man who once sang a duet with Britney in 1999 but failed in such a way that made my mouth drop open and tears fall (again), the little girl who sang like a jazz singer from the 50s, several girls who blatantly thought they were the most talented person to ever exist (some succeeded, some failed), and an unbelievably creepy guy who brought Britney flowers and butchered one of her songs.

I like the show, I didn’t think that I would get sucked into it, but it’s too late – I’m invested. Any show that can make me cry and laugh multiple times per an hour, in my opinion, is worth watching. And I’m a very devoted fan. Britney may have been the reason I bothered to check the X Factor out, but she’s not the only reason I’ll be watching the show.

Of Britney Spears and a Positive Body Image

Britney Spears Headshot

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If I didn’t already love Britney Spears before, I would now.

Somehow I missed when all these photos came out last year. As a  proud super fan I hang my head in shame.

Brit Brit chose to release photos from her Kohl’s Candies photo shoot with the photoshopped and original version side by side. This was a bold move for a celebrity, especially since their physical appearance is so important to the industry. And being a living legend she is watched by the public more than the average celebrity as her social life and physical appearance are under constant evaluation. Course, Brit is naturally stunning so the changes were minor: slight thinning of the waist and legs, removal of tattoo and bruises, and tightening the clothing to her body.

So why not just release the non-photoshopped version? My guess is that to show the two side-by-side people will see the difference. A visual reminder of the editing that occurs with magazines and ads.

There are still a lot of people out there who are naive in thinking that they need a perfect body like the faces they see on screens. It’s a nice message to send out that even with professional trainers and nutritionists celebrity physiques are not as they appear.

Britney Spears #1

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Britney Spears #2

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Of Britney Spears vs. Lady Gaga

Britney Spears vs Lady Gaga

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Once again the media has pinned Britney Spears up against yet another blond female pop star.

Back in the day it was Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears.

Now it’s Lady Gaga vs. Britney Spears.

Just the fact that it’s someone else vs. Britney Spears, it’s pretty obvious who the winner of the feud is, and always will be. Ms. Spears takes the crown … again.

Ms. Spears has yet to disappoint her fans. She is the queen of the comeback. She never released a less than satisfactory album, especially in the eyes of her fans. Her latest single Hold it Against Me is more than satisfactory and generates a lot of excitement at the club (I speak from experience). It also topped the iTunes charts in over 15 countries. Her fans are waiting in anticipation for her next video. Choreographer Brian Friedman told the press that “In every role, she is dancing. She is going to be dancing throughout the whole video.” Cementing my prediction that the video will not disappoint. Ms. Spears has never needed gimmicks. She just needs to be her sexy (slightly racy) confident self and bring her dancing feet.

With the release of Gaga’s Born This Way there was a lot of pressure on the new artist, and her little monsters were certain her single would be better than Ms. Spears. Personally I don’t she delivered. The Fame Monster was an original well orchestrated album, it was fresh, clever, and great dance music. Born This Way lost that Gaga vibe with the exception of a few moments where she speaks to the listeners. It is also incredibly similar to Madonna’s Express Yourself. The similarities have sparked a lot of conversations on the web. There is no doubt that the song will do well, but if this would have been released before Just Dance, I doubt it would have had as much success. At least not until the video was released, which is bound to be full of crazy costumes and weird make-up. Making me pose the question, if Gaga didn’t create this Elton John/Madonna hybrid image, would she be as successful? Based off her first album – yes, based off her latest single – no.