The Smackdown: X-Factor vs. American Idol

So, Friday night I tried to save the world through alcohol again. Needless to say, this was ineffective, and left me with nothing but the shards of my dignity, and the lingering effects of a 2-day hangover. On a positive note, since I spent most of my Saturday on the couch, I had ample opportunity watch the 4 episodes of The X-Factor I had DVR’ed.


For those of you who live under a rock haven’t seen it, The X-Factor is basically American Idol with a few twists. Anyone can compete- not just young kids, and the contestants are broken up into four grops: Boys, Girls, Over 30’s and Groups, each of which is mentored by one of the judges.

I love both shows… but if I had to choose just ONE? I know that X-Factor is trailing  AI in the ratings department… but I don’t think that  is enough to really make a determination. Instead, I think this question would best be answered by conducting an official smackdown- comparing the two shows using three arbitrary really important categories of MY choosing: Judges, Best Contestant Sob Story, and Most Cringeworthy Audition. So let’s do it. Ding Ding! Round 1.

Round 1: Judges

American Idol:

American Idol has had a revolving cast of characters- but most recently, they were music producer Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and huge mouth fame. Hmm. On one hand, JLO, although no Kim K, is pretty to look at, and is apparently demanding $20 million to return next season, which earns her HUGE Diva points in my book. But on the other hand, Stephen Tyler is creepy, and hits on all the young female contestants. Plus Randy’s constant use of the words “Dawg” is beginning to grow tiresome.  Toss-up.


In the X-Factor corner, we have Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul (both Idol alums) former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, and music producer L.A. Reid.  I mentioned the hate-on I have for Nicole in this post, but I think it’s overcome by the other judges legit credentials, and Simon’s sexy v-neck t-shirts.  Plus, they win a few points for having the highest number of facelifts and botox injections of any group of four people, ever. 

Round 1 Goes to: X-Factor  


Round 2: Best Contestant Sob Story:

There is some stiff competition in this category- because as everyone knows, contestant sob stories are a ratings goldmine. Everybody loves a good cry now and then. Plus, it makes us feel better about our own, comparatively less sucky, lives. Win-Win.  

American Idol:

In its 10 seasons, American Idol has had no shortage of debbie-downer contestants. In fact, Billboard recently did a recap of the best ones.  My two favourites however, are Chris Medina, whose fiance suffered brain damage in a car accident 2 months before their wedding, and now he’s  her caretaker; and Jim Verraros, the kid with two deaf parents, whose “only wish is that they could one day hear him sing”. Tearjerker. Seriously.


X-Factor has had its share of sob stories too in its comparatively short run. There’s Dexter Haygood, the 49 -year-old wannabe James Brown impersonator who was once homeless on Skid Row, and now has a penchant for bedazzled jean jackets; and Stacy Francis, the 42-year-old stay at home mom  who “doesn’t wanna die with this music inside of her”. Hmm. tough call.

Round 2 Goes to: American Idol.

Sorry Dex & Stacey.. but a brain-damaged fiance pulls trump card. Everytime.

Round 3: Most Cringeworthy Audition:

American Idol:

Again, there is no shortage of these – as cringeworthy auditions rank right up there with sob stories as ratings gravy trains. In fact, giving a bad audition is a lucrative enterprise in itself- sing badly enough and you might become famous in your own right. Like Chinese exchange student William Hung ,  for example, who performed a rousing rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She bangs” on Season 3.  William gained a cult following, and was offered his own record contract to make an entire album of badly massacred pop songs. Way to go, William. I’m sure you’ve made your overbearing Asian parents extremely proud.

The X-Factor:

William has some stiff competition from Geo Godley , the registered sex-offender looking dude who performed his original song “I’m a Stud”, as he dropped his pants, exposing all of his naughty bits to the entire audience. Homeboy had to be dragged offstage by security, and Paula was so disgusted that she ran backstage and threw up.

Round 3 Goes to: X-Factor.

 Well done, Geo. Nothing has ever made Paula yak that hard… except for that time she O.D’d on Xanax.

So X-Factor pulls out the win by a score of 2-1. Even though this smackdown was completely pointless, as I would never, ever choose between the shows on my DVR. There’s room in my life for all you, my little reality show children).

Question of the day: Are you a fan?? Which do you like better- AI or X-Factor???


8 thoughts on “The Smackdown: X-Factor vs. American Idol

Add yours

  1. We’ve only got X Factor in the UK – its compulsive viewing until the live shows. I only enjoy watching people make idiots of themselves. And now we are on the live shows I switch over to the Strictly COme Dancing because no one on X factor this year seems to be able to sing in tune (or is that because i am nursing a 2 day hangover)


  2. Good questions, all of them, Bree; however, the thing that strikes me Most is that you’ve got some UK followers. Has your blog gone viral???

    Love ya little sis and I wish I was there to share in your hangover pain!


  3. I don’t watch either of them anymore, though I used to. For me, Paula was such an aggravating presence, I would vote for the other show just to not have to watch her. It irritated me so much that she was such a dumb-ass, and high most of the time and yet got paid all those gazillions of dollars. Its enough to make ME throw up!


    1. Yeah- she’s pretty crazy… but I’ve gotta admit, I find the way she slurs her words and never knows what’s going on sort of endearing… she’s like a sad little lost puppy. But a high one.


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