December 27, 2012
Britney’s Been Fired From ‘The X Factor’ (Thank God)
So, Britney‘s getting “fired” from The X Factor. Allegedly. As one of her most unwaveringly loyal fans, I say: Thank God.
At some point early after the souped-up season premiere, it became painfully obvious that Britney slowly began running fresh out of fucks to give to the tedious, long-winded series.
She shined bright like a Diamond White at first during the audition rounds, providing an unscripted zinger or two and being playfully cast in editing as the unimpressed pop princess. But her personality quickly became muted as the live shows began, allowing the rest of the panel–including the always eager, constant spiller of truth tea (and best actual judge) Demi Lovato–to take the reigns, leaving Britney to look like a goofy face-making guest judge on a weekly basis.
Of course, I’ll miss the weekly outfits–both good and bad. I’ll miss her incredible Spearitual vocabulary (“True star.” “Amazing.” “Constructive criticism.” “Keesha.”) And I’ll certainly miss the Holy Spearit’s endlessly adorable, highly GIF-able moments–the “Ice Ice Baby” armography, the lightning strike terror, the “Oh God, they’re playing ‘Scream & Shout'”, the Fifth Harmony shady side-eye.
But I won’t miss seeing Britney labeled “boring” or “dull” by the press, eager to watch her come undone on live television. I won’t miss the fake, fumbled “arguments” with Simon. I won’t miss hearing Britney getting booed for anything apart from a glowing review. (For that, each member of the audience should be buried alive in a pile of unsold copies of Bionic.) And I definitely won’t miss devoting 3 hours of my life each week to see how her hair looks.
And judging by her glazed-over look, gum chewing, empty stares off into the rafters, clenched jaw grins and terror-filled eyes towards the end of the competition, B probably won’t be too sad to see herself go, either.
Perhaps more importantly, though: The US edition of X Factor is an embarrassment to the franchise. X Factor UK‘s produced actual stars–names that have actually carried internationally: Leona Lewis. Olly Murs. Little Mix. Season 7 of the UK X Factor alone brought us Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd, and a little boy band by the name of One Direction.
Last year’s X Factor US, by comparison, brought us Melanie Amaro–a capable R&B-pop flavored vocalist who’s now three singles deep and yet to chart, with an album still nowhere in sight–and Rachel Crow, a little girl made briefly famous after having her entire life ruined by Nicole Scherzinger. (Note: She is just one of many.)
And now, we’ve got a new winner to watch (and by that, I mean forget about after a month): Not the increasingly amazing girl group Fifth Harmony, not Celine Dion-channeling wunderkind/space alien Carly Rose Sonenclar, but good ol’ country boy
Taylor Hicks Tate Stevens as this great, God-fearing nation’s reigning winner. Golly gee.
Having Britney on X Factor was a nice little diversion from her painfully obvious absence from the music scene in 2012, and a solid exercise in getting the notoriously shy pop goddess (especially post-2008) to break out of her increasingly hardened shell. But it was high time to walk away from (or, I guess, not be invited back to) this silly, scripted world of fake drama, over-the-top spectacle for the most mediocre of performers and mile-a-minute tears. (So, so many tears.)
Was she really going to return for a second season, anyway? Doubtful. Besides, with a $15 million check from FOX in the bank and plans for an eighth studio album underway, Britney’s got way more important things to focus on than shading CeCe Frey every week.
So, so long X Factor USA! And here’s to the return of Britney, our True (Pop) Star, in 2013.