SyFy: Face Off Renewed For Season Five

face off

Via Press Release:


Season Four Currently Airs Tuesday Nights At 9PM ET/PT on Syfy

NBC Universal LogosNEW YORK – March 18, 2013 – Syfy’s critically-acclaimed hit reality competition series Face Off will return for a fifth season of mind-blowing special effects ingenuity, offering a new group of rising SFX make-up artists with the opportunity to compete and showcase their imagination and creativity. Production on the new season begins April 2013 in Los Angeles for a Summer 2013 premiere.

Face Off continues to prove itself as a ratings hit, earning critical and viewer accolades alike, and we are proud to bring the series back for another stunning season,” said Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy, and Co-Head of Original Content, Universal Cable Productions.

Season four of Face Off currently airs Tuesday nights at 9PM ET/PT on Syfy. In its fourth season, Face Off is averaging 1.6 million viewers 18-19 and 2.7 million total viewers in Live +7.

In tomorrow night’s all-new episode, the remaining four contestants face off in a challenge inspired by Syfy’s highly-anticipated new series,Defiance, which premieres Monday, April 15 at 9:00PM ET/PT. The remaining four artists – Eric Fox of Riverside, CA; J. Anthony Kosar of Lisle, IL; Kristian Kobzina of El Segundo, CA; and Wayne Anderson of Fort Meyers, FL — head to the lab where they meet Kevin Murphy, the Executive Producer of Defiance.

Defiance is an epic drama that will unfold as both an original series and a multi-platform video game – the first-ever convergence of television and online gaming, featuring an interconnected world between the two mediums as they evolve together into one overall story. The artists learn that the world of Defiance features a myriad of incredible aliens and that their Spotlight Challenge is to create the offspring of two of them. To help inform and inspire their makeups, they are surprised with a trip to Toronto where they visit the incredible set of Defiance. After meeting the cast and crew, they excitedly head back to Los Angeles to get started on their designs. When they return to the lab, the reality that this is their last chance to make it to the finale is palpable, and their frayed nerves show as each of them struggles to bring their huge concepts to life. It all leads to an incredible showing on the Face Off reveal stage where their alien creations are presented to special guest judge,Defiance director Michael Nankin.

The competition culminates with the season four finale on Tuesday, March 26 at 9PM ET/PT when the final three contestants face the incredibly difficult task of creating waterproof makeups for the spectacular show, Le Reve: The Dream at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art. As a member of the multi-generational family dynasty whose name is synonymous with the make-up effects field, actress McKenzie Westmore brings expertise to her role as host of the series. Some of SFX world’s most celebrated figures return to judge the competition — multiple Academy-Award winner Ve Neill (The Hunger GamesPirates of the Caribbean), industry veteran Glenn Hetrick (CSI: New YorkHeroesBuffy the Vampire Slayer), and creature designer Neville Page (AvatarPrometheus). World-renowned Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore serves as the contestant mentor.

Face Off is a production of Mission Control Media with Dwight D. Smith, Michael Agbabian and Derek Atherton serving as executive producers.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

FOX: ‘COPS’ Season 25 Premiere Date Announced

Via Press Release:



Annual All-New “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Edition Airs Saturday, December 22   

Milestone 850th Episode To Air This February

The milestone 25th season of COPS premieres Saturday, Dec. 15 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX, during which the veteran show will go on duty in Toledo, OH; Sacramento, CA; and Portland, OR. The following week on Saturday, Dec. 22 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT), COPS will debut another unforgettable edition of the annual special, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” highlighting Portland, OR; Alameda County, CA; and Las Vegas, NV. The trailblazing show remains one of the longest-running primetime series currently airing on broadcast television and will celebrate its landmark 850th episode in February.

This season, the Emmy Award-nominated reality series will cover the U.S. from coast to coast and profile some of the country’s finest law enforcement professionals and more interesting suspects. COPS will film with police and sheriff’s departments in California, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia. The show also will revisit Kansas City, MO; Sacramento, CA; and Broward County, FL, where the original pilot was filmed.

For nearly a quarter-century, COPS has followed law enforcement agencies in more than 140 U.S. cities and has filmed in Europe, Asia and Central and South America. It was the first American television program to follow police in the former Soviet Union. A true pioneer of the reality television phenomenon, creator and executive producer John Langley is often credited with introducing the signature “video vérite” style of COPS, a camera technique that notably influenced TV advertising, news reporting and other network and syndicated programming.

Created by John Langley, COPS is produced by Langley Productions, Inc. and Fox Television Studios. John Langley and Morgan Langley are executive producers. Doug Waterman serves as supervising producer and Zach Ragsdale as producer. “Like” COPS on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter @COPStv and join the discussion at #cops.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For photos and more information on COPS, please visit]



SyFy: Megahit ‘Face Off’ Renewed For Fourth Season

Via Press Release:


Currently in its Third Season, Brian Grazer Appears in Next Week’s All-New Episode of Face Off, Tuesday, October 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Followed By Hot Set at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy

NEW YORK – October 8, 2012 – Syfy has renewed its critically acclaimed hit competition series Face Off for a fourth season, it was announced today by Mark Stern, President, Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. Slated for a 2013 premiere, notable guest appearances on tap for season four include Bryan Singer and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau. Dwight D. Smith, Michael Agbabian and Derek Atherton of Mission Control Media will return as executive producers.

Face Off has proven itself as a quality, signature series for Syfy,” said Stern. “The success the series has achieved in its three seasons – from both a critical and ratings standpoint — establishes a strong foundation as we continue to build the momentum for season four. It’s a pleasure to continue to showcase talented special effects artists with this addictive program.”

Face Off is currently in the middle of its third season airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This season to date, including only Live + Same Day playback, Face Off has averaged 986,000 million viewers 18-49 and 1.7 million total viewers. In its first five episodes with Live +7 viewing, Face Off is currently topping the second season by five percent among viewers 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.6 million) and three percent among total viewers (2.6 million vs. 2.7 million). Face Off is also up eight percent among viewers 18-34 (755,000 vs. 829,000).

In the next all-new episode airing Tuesday, October 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer makes a guest appearance offering tips to the six remaining artists for the week’s Dr. Seuss-themed challenge.

Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art. McKenzie Westmore hosts. Judging the Face Off competition are some of the most renowned names in the SFX world — three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill, famed special make-up effects artist Glenn Hetrick and feature film creature designer Neville Page.

Immediately following Face Off Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT is an all-new episode of Hot Set, the visually stunning competition series in which two Hollywood production designers compete in an extreme design challenge to create original movie sets inspired by the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. This week’s competing designers – Thomas Brown and Brandy Alexander — are challenged to create an original set inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Face Off and Hot Set are both productions of Mission Control Media, with Dwight D. Smith and Michael Agbabian serving as executive producers. Derek Atherton also serves as executive producer on Face Off. Aliyah Silverstein is an executive producer on Hot Set.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site ( <> ), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

VIC’S REVIEWS: ‘Alaska State Troopers’ (National Geographic – Sundays, 8:00 p.m.)

Follow one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation, patrolling alone on unforgiving terrains. Responding by land, air, and sea—with backup sometimes days away—these troopers patrol hundreds of miles of rugged terrain in bone-chilling temperatures to protect the people and wildlife of Alaska. Whether it’s overturned snow machines in 22-degree weather, violent chainsaw crimes, volatile fishermen zigzagging down waterways, thieves stealing essential village items, moose-hunting checks, gunman confrontations in the wilderness, or intoxicated gold miners blocking roads—being prepared for anything is just part of the job.

Cameras ride along with Alaskan State Troopers as they keep the streets safe and hunters honest while at the same time taking advantage of the breathtaking landscape that Alaska State Troopers are lucky enough to call “their office.” -NatGeo

Score:     80 out of 100

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I have to give credit to NatGeo for providing several episodes of Alaska State Troopers on YouTube, uncut and for free (they also charge on YouTube for full seasons, so that’s saying something).  While we can’t post them to our channel without a guarantee of a copyright strike against us, we have posted them at the end of this review for you to enjoy while they are still up.  At the time of publishing there was one episode from season one and nine episodes from season two.  Enjoy!

NatGeo’s Alaska State Troopers is not just another pedestrian Cops knock-off… y’know, like the kind of crap that permeates Spike TV on a regular basis; the typical police cruiser/fleeing suspect chase show where we see endless loops of speeding perps and footage consisting almost entirely of bad dash-cam video.  No offense to Spike (you guys do air the Star Wars films, after all), and I can see where some might offhandedly dismiss it as Cops in Alaska, however, I think that comparing AST to its well-known predecessor and  less-than worthy successors does a disservice to this very original series. I grew to enjoy the show and I became a steady viewer of it after the first season which aired back in 2009.  At first, it was just a show that would serve as background noise while I would write or do some studying (something I still do with Ancient Aliens or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), but every now and then I’d glance over at the TV and get pretty involved with the way the show was delivered to the audience, with the first feature being the obvious: the photography.

Done in documentary style,  AST is beautifully filmed by a host of well-known cinematographers including Josh Becker and Jason Fierst, whose credits include Frontier Force and I (Almost) Got Away With it. The audience is regularly treated to beautiful aerial shots of surrounding snow-covered mountains, hills, valleys and lakes that are scattered across the Alaskan landscape, in locales such as Wasilla and Anchorage. The camera coverage of Alaska is absolutely stunning and amazing to watch, so there is never any wasted “filler” footage, there. We are drawn into the show by the different locations that the brave troopers cover. Usually, an episode will alternate between these locales and we ride along with a variety of troopers, each with their own unique personalities, incredible tales and history. These troopers are diligent, strong and have amazing stamina to not only weather the climate that Alaska beats down on them but to have to deal with hunters, roadkill, drug dealers, meth addicts and even the occasional inebriated Alaskan or two.

Veteran voice actor Marc Graue (Fallout, Resistance 3) provides the narration for AST and is pitch perfect here. Graue has a great voice and he can pull us into the drama with that velvet tenor of his. He carries the show’s narrative as we meet up with the various troopers that include troopers Howie Peterson, Dan Cox, Abraham Garcia and Lance Ewers who represent just a few of the troopers from different regions of the great state.

As far as the “main cast of characters” goes and what I truly appreciate about AST, these guys are hardcore, real and they have an amazing capacity for taking what Alaska dishes out… even when it’s not from a human. Snowstorms, ice storms, fog, moose, bears, etc., they see it all. At times they are dispatched to move hurt animals from the side of the freeways. They do it mercifully, with compassion and are not shy about displaying emotion. In one episode  a trooper even tracks down an injured Moose and has to put it down. This is pretty heavy stuff from an unscripted police show.

Sometimes, our heroes are dispatched to chase wanted felons and criminals while enduring poachers and moose season. Some of the braver troopers get called out with frequency to very isolated areas and deal with arrest warrants and dangerous felons that hide out in log cabins, run down shacks, mountains and rusted-out trailers. These are usually the very militant types that don’t take too well to trespassers… even if they are the law.

DUI on the 4th of July is one of the many standout episodes of the series. The troopers have to contend with some very rowdy party goers who are enjoying themselves a bit too much and as usual, we see our troopers handle stressful situations with professionalism and grace. Then, some other troopers handle a very precarious search and rescue on melting ice. I have to really give these officers credit and respect for all they do. What differentiates this show from Cops and the rest is that the show’s director,  Brian Michel,  gives us raw, real and very visceral footage here and no two episodes are the same. We get some fun and frivolous stuff like a dude trying his damndest to hide from the troopers while he is clearly in plain sight to some more serious stuff like when a poor meth-addicted girl cries for help from her addiction. It’s all very emotionally gripping.  So all in all, AST is a very engaging series from NatGeo. Kudos to them for making me look up from my laptop and involving me in some captivating TV.  

As an aside, in an awesome display of the show’s popularity, some puppies were dropped off at dog Shelter in Kentucky and two pups were named Trooper Dahl and Trooper Peterson after the brave officers from the show.  Read about it here.

Season four of Alaska State Troopers starts this Sunday, October 7th.

SyFy Renews ‘Haunted Collector’ For Third Season

Via Press Release:



NEW YORK – September 17, 2012 – Syfy has renewed its hit paranormal series Haunted Collector for a third season. The series, which demonstrated significant viewership gains during its second season by jumping 18 percent in Adults 18-49, will return with 12 all-new episodes in 2013.

Eminent paranormal collector John Zaffis and his team of investigators respond to SOS calls from around the country by individuals and businesses who’ve been terrorized by items that have been taken over by paranormal spirits and/or energy.

Through careful research, Zaffis works with the owner to find the best solution to the ghostly problem, such as returning the item to its owner, burying the object in its place of origin or storing it in his paranormal museum in Stratford, Connecticut.

During season two, Haunted Collector averaged 532,000 Adults 18-49, 663,000 Adults 25-54 and 1.17 million total viewers, growing +5 percent / +18 percent / +6 percent, respectively, versus season one. Haunted Collector also ranked #7 in Adults 25-54 and #10 in Adults 18-49 among cable entertainment programming in its 9-10PM (ET/PT) time slot.

Haunted Collector is produced by Gurney Productions. Executive producers are Scott Gurney and Deirdre Gurney.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

VIC’S REVIEW: ‘Chasing UFOs’ (National Geographic – Friday, 10:00 pm)

A team of trained investigators sets out to uncover the truth about UFOs. But they’re not just looking for more stories on extraterrestrial activity—they want answers. Risking it all, this team of scientists and UFO researchers investigate and dissect some of the most mysterious sightings on the planet to unearth stunning new evidence. The data they collect on these adventures paints an entirely new picture of what we know about these strange lights in the sky. – Nat Geo

Rating:     50 out of 100

Chasing UFOs is a very strange and peculiar amalgam of various “paranormal reality” shows. It is a blend of some more cerebral and methodical ghost hunting shows mixed in with the zaniness of your average UFO/Alien programs such as UFO Hunters and the zaniest of all alien documentary shows, the grand poobah, Ancient Aliens, I must admit when the show was announced I was intrigued on how they would pull off something like chasing UFOs around in the skies. Especially when the chasers themselves, Ben McGee (The Skeptic), James Fox (The Believer and man, does he ever believe) and the cute, spunky leader and Tech person, Erin Ryder, are so damned earth-bound. I was curious indeed.

Being a sucker for these paranormal shows (that are becoming more and more prevalent), I bit the bullet and tuned in. Having devoured shows like this in the past like SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, History’s UFO Hunters and a bevy of other shows from A&E and even Bio, I expected a familiar approach and philosophy throughout the program. Boy, did I get blind-sided. First, I set my expectations way too high… my fault. Second, I was spoiled by how serious and informative most of these show try to be no matter how funky it all came across. Chasing UFO’s, sadly is a bit of a letdown but I stuck it out because it does have its charms. They are few and far between, but enough to warrant a re-watch of other episodes that do progress nicely while the chemistry between our “chasers” improve and entertain.

So, where I’m going with this is that the strongest asset, in my opinion, is the cast themselves. They come from diverse backgrounds and their home base is in California. They travel the country tracking down witnesses, experts, retired astronauts and just about every other type of UFO zealot and weirdo. In the show’s defense, though, they do track down very respectable  citizens such as law enforcement officers and military personnel., which does add to the credibility, somewhat, with emphasis on the “somewhat.”  The “chasers” come across quite friendly and familiar with each other and when “in the field” they have a good rapport and seem very dedicated to their individual beliefs, but unfortunately, it’s just too ludicrous at times when we get to the actual chasing and science.

The set up for each episode is done capably (interviews, facts and confessionals) but then the night-time treks into places like the Everglades, swamps, forests, caves and woods (even a place in Brazil where aliens have been spotted roaming and living off the land.) are incredibly lame and uneventful. Where is the science? They seem to just be going out with all this expensive tech and camera gear and point at the sky at any light that passes by and freak out. They even walk around with a rig that sticks out from the shoulder and closes in on the faces. How about cameras that look out into the sky, instead? Duh. Ryder, on several occasions, has tripped, screamed, jumped and cursed at just about everything. One episode she almost has a stroke watching a vid in a van of a light in the sky that turns out to be some kind of reflection. It is always nothing. Nothing concrete or even remotely extraterrestrial. It’s quite laughable at times. The “data” is always inconclusive. Well, duh. The Three Stooges can gather data and chase UFOs better. I know, I’m being harsh, but I must be honest.

Chasing UFOs should just be called Chasing Lights in the Sky or Chasing Animals that Live in the Forest.  While investigating they also act like total buffoons. They trip over things, argue, get their jeeps stuck in mud and get lost in snake infested swamps. Actually these bits are what I like about the show. It’s frivolous, funny and a welcome diversion from the corny investigative side of the show. Ben is the skeptic and my favorite of the 3 . He’s down to earth and authentic while James is clearly the Fox Mulder of the show.  I respect his fervor though. He even gets visibly upset and cries after hearing a witness testimony. Ryder is appropriate eye candy but all of her foolishness (some of it very funny and dare I say endearing) and cursing detracts from the show. Hey but who cares? They are chasing UFOs!

So in closing, this show is just too unreal to really be of any serious merit. I get the feeling that sometimes it may even be a bit scripted. Even thought the banter between the three seems natural and the only thing that is worth watching. The investigations are trivial, boring and feel in no way credible. I have to mention one episode where they are supposedly chased by military agents in boats protecting the launch facility at Cape Canaveral. It was hilarious. You’d think it was some black ops force or Navy Seals hunting them down to protect some government conspiracy. This show had potential early on but while the cast is at times very serious about UFOs, it’s their actual cartoonish chasing that is pretty dead on arrival. Chase this show down at your own risk.


MTV Announces ‘Jersey Shore’ Ending After Upcoming Sixth Season, U.S. I.Q. Collectively Rises by 20%…

As expected, MTV has announced that they are canceling the highest rated series in the history of their network, Jersey Shore.  The unscripted (albeit heavily scripted) series following the exploits of twenty-somethings in South New Jersey that audiences have watched drink and screw their way through life will begin its sixth and final season on October 4th with a retrosepctive called – and we’re not kidding – Gym, Tan, Look Back will air on September 6th, ahead of the MTV Music Video Awards show.

Even we have to admit that Jersey Shore, although it makes your I.Q. drop by two points every time you watch it, was morbidly entertaining to a certain degree, but we certainly won’t be missing it.  The only reason we’re even reporting this is that it is the highest rated television show in MTV history and a pop-culture phenomenon.

But fear not, for those who are addicting to becoming dumber just from watching television, you can still catch the Jersey Shore spinoff, Snookie & JWoww as it was recently renewed by MTV for a second season.

FOX: Hell’s Kitchen Renewed For Two More Seasons, New Episodes Begin May 29th

Because we can just get Enough of Gordon Ramsay yelling at someone for burning the f*cking risotto, FOX has ordered two more season’s of their perennial hit competition-based reality show. Read the full press release below.

Via Press Release:


Season 10 Starts Cooking Tuesday, May 29 on FOX

FOX has ordered an 11th and 12th season of the Gordon Ramsay culinary competition series HELL’S KITCHEN. In the hit cooking series, aspiring restaurateurs are put through an intense culinary academy to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win a life-changing grand prize.

On Tuesday, May 29 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Chef Ramsay returns for the Season 10 premiere of HELL’S KITCHEN. Each week on HELL’S KITCHEN, as the teams are whittled down, the chefs get one step closer to earning the coveted black chef jacket. Eventually two finalists will compete head-to-head to impress Ramsay with their skills, and only one lucky chef will walk away with the ultimate prize.

Beginning Monday, June 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), HELL’S KITCHEN expands to twice per week with all-new episodes Mondays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesdays (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

HELL’S KITCHEN is produced by ITV Studios America in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Gordon Ramsay serve as executive producers. “Like” HELL’S KITCHEN on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter at @hellskitchenonfox, and follow Ramsay at @GordonRamsay01.

REVIEW: The X Factor – FOX (Wednesday, Thursday 8:00 p.m.)

Simon Cowell returns to FOX in the award-winning international phenomenon The X Factor. This new competition series, hosted by Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones, gives viewers the opportunity to help choose the next global superstar or breakout music group. The X Factor judges will travel the nation searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to make their dreams come true. Auditions for The X Factor were held this spring in Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Newark, NJ; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; and Dallas, TX. In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time a contestant auditions for judges Simon Cowell, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Cheryl Cole and Paula Abdul, he/she will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence it takes to become a global superstar or breakout music act and win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music. Those contestants who survive the first auditions graduate to “boot camp” and will be divided into four categories. Each category will be mentored by one of the show’s judges. Not only is it a competition between the hopefuls to stake their claim for the coveted win, but it’s also a showdown among the judges as to whose acts will dominate the competition and make it to the finals. The judges may have their say in how the competition progresses, but it will be up to America to decide who ultimately has The X Factor. – FOX

90 out of 100

Yes, that’s right, Simon Cowell’s new reality singing competition, The X Factor is absolutely fantastic and we are so glad to see him come back to American television and bring a sense of sanity and a level of legitimacy that’s been missing here for oh, so long. Now, we aren’t just referring the gush-fest that American Idol has become, we’re talking about the entire landscape of talent competition reality series, which frankly have been going downhill for a long time. When Cowell and Abdul left Idol, we knew that was the end.

Folks, before you even say it (because we know you’re thinking it), this is NOT the Fall version of American Idol.  Think of The X Factor as the far more refined, polished and mature version of American Idol.  It’s American Idol if American Idol went to finishing school.

As far as the competition itself is concerned, again, this is not American Idol and there was an interesting exchange between Cowell and Reid where Cowell pretty much had to explain to Reid that this was not American Idol (without coming right out and mentioning American Idol, but you got the point) and that it’s less about the talent and performance that they are bringing to the table today and more about whether or not they can be worked with and fine-tuned into becoming a star, hence it’s about ‘The X Factor.” And thank goodness that Cowell did that, because we in the audience needed that explained to us as well.

If you haven’t seen the premiere, yet, believe it or not, Simon Cowell has become a kinder and gentler Simon Cowell and in fact, Antonio “L.A.” Reid is even more Simon than Simon is.  In the beginning, we thought the less-sarcastic and less mean-spirited Cowell was going to be disappointing but he turns out to be quite refreshing because it’s obvious how seriously he takes this compared to how he took American Idol at the end.  He realized that that show had become a caricature and so was he.  He’s grown up and we have as well.

Geo Godley will not be winning the $5 million recording contract

This time around is completely different. Sure, there’s always going to be the nut-jobs that show up to the auditions and The X Factor isn’t any different than any other show in that they will always give the lunatics airtime, but unlike American Idol where 50% – 75% of the audition shows are dedicated to the William Hungs of the universe, this new series  seems almost embarrassed to even show them.  That being said,  they had no choice but to show Geo Godley who sang a song he wrote himself called, I’m a Stud, and proceeded to drop trou and had his junk hanging out and bouncing all over the place (seriously… it was a moral imperative to show this audition.  Go here to see the whole thing… er… no pun intended). The best part was that it literally made Paula Abdul vomit, which is ironic because a gallon of vodka can’t even do that.  The truth is, though, that you have to show the bad acts on a show like this or there wouldn’t be any dramatic anticipation of whether or not the good acts would get through.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we suspected, and has been confirmed by TMZ, Mr. Godley wasn’t naked, but was wearing a leopard-print, g-string style bikini.  This of course, explains why he wasn’t immediately arrested, nevertheless allowed to finish his song and do an interview afterward.  So, this really was a lot more P.T. Barnum than anything else.

For the first time watching any of these reality show talent competitions, we just wanted them to blow through the bad acts as quickly as possible because the talent that was showcased was some of the most amazing talent we have seen in years and quite frankly, there were three performers specifically that were better than anything American Idol has ever offered over the past decade.  Here’s the first one, for example, 42 year-old Stacey.

(Alternatively, go here to see the video in case Freemantle gets a bug up their butt and has the YouTube clip removed.  Holy Jeebus, Freemantle via YouTube hit us up with a copyright warning 120 seconds after it was uploaded.  Hey, Freemantle: we’re just giving you a free plug!  A little appreciation is what’s called for, we believe.) 

… And that was just the premiere.  Now if that’s not a reason to become an instant fan of the show, we don’t know what is and that’s the thing about good reality talent competitions; it’s not about the William Hungs or the Geo Godleys that intentionally or unintentionally make fools out of themselves, it’s about rooting for the regular folks that remind us of ourselves and that’s what American Idol and the other shows have lost and that’s exactly what Simon Cowell knows is needed and he brings that to The X Factor in spades.

RETRACTION: The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!

Yesterday we reported that Cheryl Cole had been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger as a judge on FOX’s upcoming singing competition show, The X Factor. Everything in the piece itself was accurate however our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not.  Simon Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone.  Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her.  Since Simon Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision.  This obviously was a mistake.

We have also issued the retraction made the correction on the original piece.