The X Factor (TV series)

:"For the original UK version, see The X Factor (UK)"

"The X Factor" is a television music talent show franchise originating in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for the massively successful "Pop Idol". The competitions, now held in various countries, are contested by aspiring pop singers drawn from public auditions. The "X Factor" of the title refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The prize is usually a recording contract (in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly ranked contestants). The judges are: Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh.

Format

The show is primarily concerned with identifying singing talent, though appearance, personality, stage presence and dance routines are also an important element of many performances. Some acts also accompany themselves on guitar or piano, though almost always over a backing track.

The competitions are usually split into four categories: vocal groups (including duos), solo female singers aged 14–24, solo male singers aged 14-24 and solo singers aged 25 and over (both males and females). [citenews|url=http://xfactor.itv.com/footer/about.htm|title=X Factor official UK site|publisher=X Factor site ref: contestant's age groups|accessdate=2008-09-28]

There are four stages to "The X Factor" competition:
*Stage 1: Auditions (applicants have to go through two auditions with producers/record label judges, then third audition is with the proper judges of the show)
*Stage 2: Boot camp (successful auditionees undergo a further selection procedure)
*Stage 3: Visits to judges' houses (finalists are chosen)
*Stage 4: Live shows (finals)

Variations in the format

*There are two special pan-regional versions of "The X Factor". These follow the normal "The X Factor" format with the exception that contestants come from different countries in the region where it airs:
**Arabia: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia.
**United Kingdom: United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
* In the fourth UK series the age limit was lowered from 16 to 14, creating a 14–24 age group. This was split into separate male and female sections, [citenews|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu9iZ7Vcx88&NR=1|title=Dannii Minogue 2007 interview|publisher=YouTube RELEVANT SECTION FROM 3:08|date=16 August 2007|accessdate=2007-08-17] making four categories in all: 14–24 males ("boys"), 14–24 females ("girls"), 25-and-overs, and groups.
* "" is a celebrity special edition of "The X Factor" in the UK and Colombia.

"The X Factor" series

As part of Simon Cowell's deal to remain on "American Idol", a United States version of "The X Factor" cannot be produced.

Dispute over rights to format

Simon Fuller, the creator of "Pop Idol", claimed that the format of "The X Factor" was copied from his own show, and, through his company 19 TV, filed a lawsuit against "The X Factor" producers FremantleMedia, Simon Cowell and Cowell's companies Simco and Syco. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4462378.stm "X Factor copyright case adjourned"] , BBC News, retrieved 15 May 2007] A High Court hearing began in London, England in November 2005, and the outcome was awaited with interest by media lawyers for its potential effect on the legal situation regarding the copyrighting of formats. However, in the event the hearing was quickly adjourned and an out-of-court settlement was reached at the end of the month. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4482216.stm "X Factor copyright case settled"] , BBC News, retrieved 15 May 2007]

"Euro X Factor"

It was revealed by the "Daily Mirror" newspaper on 9 December 2006 that Simon Cowell has intentions of launching a "Euro X Factor" within two years. [ [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/northernireland/tm_method=full%26objectid=18235996%26siteid=89520-name_page.html "EURO FACTOR EXCLUSIVE"] , "The Mirror", 9 December 2007.] The show, if launched, would feature European countries staging their own "X Factor" contests, with a winner announced for each. The individual winners would then take part in the "Euro X Factor". The concept is similar to that of "World Idol" and the "Eurovision Song Contest"; however, unlike these shows "Euro X Factor" would progress over a number of weeks, with one act eliminated each week, until an eventual international winner is found. It is anticipated that such a show could attract over 100 million viewers per episode, which would make it the world's biggest talent competition.

Irish X-Factor

On an episode of TV3's Xposé aired on August 15, 2008. Simon Cowell hinted at a possible launch for an Irish edition of the X Factor series.

Criticism

The Danish version of The X Factor has been criticized by Danish music-contract expert and consultant for The Danish Musicians' Association (Dansk Musiker Forbund) Mikael Højris.

According to Højris, the contracts for participation in the show are unfair for participants and almost amount to serfdom to DR1 (the channel airing the show), stating that clauses in the contracts forbid the participants - whether they pass the first round or not - from performing or participating in any other musical event for three months.He also criticises the fact that participants are obliged to travel at their own expense to any location that programme requires them to be present at, and that participants are not paid during their participation in the show, even if participating prevents them from attending a regular day job. [ [http://www.berlingske.dk/article/20071218/kultur/712180019/] , 'Berlingske Tidende', 18th of December 2007]

References

External links

*itv.com|id=xfactor|title="The X Factor"
* [http://www.myspace.com/thexfactoruk "The X Factor"] Official MySpace page
* [http://www.dr.dk/dr1/xfactor/ "X Factor"] Official site of X Factor Denmark at DR
* [http://www.talkbackthames.tv/index.php?s=programmes&b=14&bc=17&abc=84 "The X Factor"] at talkbackthames.tv
* [http://www.xfactornews.com "The X Factor 2008 - The very latest X Factor Downloads, News and Gossip] at xfactornews.com
* [http://www.thexfactor.com "The X Factor - Show News & Gossip"] at thexfactor.com
* [http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/category/x-factor/ "The X Factor"] at Unreality TV
* [http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk/xfactor.asp "The X Factor Gifts"] Official Gift Shop
* [http://www.xfactor.rai.it "The Official site of The X Factor - Italy"] Official site of X Factor Italy


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