1. A response to this, sort of — why The Voice having an MC probably won’t be a game-changer. This is where BBMak comes in, by the way.

    Critics have dubbed this sort of music “the new boring,” but even now, as Adele’s proven, it’s quite lucrative. (This is incidentally part of why country artists are so successful on Idol and its derivatives, because country radio’s far more tolerant of power ballads and soft-rock than top 40–and, stray Jason Aldean tracks aside, mostly free of rap.) The downside to this model, of course, is that it’s increasingly irrelevant to what actually gets on the radio; the show’s song choices are getting more current, but decades-old standards still outnumber tracks that might actually chart.Idol‘s latest change-up? Close-harmony tracks from the late ’50s. You can’t get any less hip-hop than that.

     
  2. The X Factor, folks: in which America wants to hear “Hero” some more! This week’s recap.

     
  3. Oh X Factor. (Latest recap. I think this one turned out pretty well.)

    The X Factor took us to the land of dance classics last night, a wondrous fantasyland where “Someone Like You” is our era’s premier dance banger and where contestants can sing Chaka Khan without fading into smoke and thin notes and the shadow of the greats. They were next going to take us into the land of the Pepsi Challenge, a fantasyland of which the world has no details thanks to BIG CRISES.

     
  4. This week’s recap. It ain’t pretty.

    The subset of America that votes for The X Factor is uncomfortable with rap, which is why every other commenter whines about this being a “singing competition” and why Chris Rene’s bowdlerized version of rap, scrubbed of half the hip-hop, is the version that remains on the show. It’s why half of Astro’s verses–which he wrote yourself; you have to suspect he knew what was up–doubled as ad copy for the concept of hip hop in general.

     
  5. Latest recap: the one where L.A. Reid thinks Demi Lovato is a 40-year-old.

     
  6. For those of you just catching up, Popdust has me recapping The X Factor. Last night’s episode was a complete and utter disaster. This is that, in script form.

     
  7. My latest X Factor thing is up. I think it turned out really well, all things considered. 

    The standard complaint about the British X Factor‘s rock night is that it doesn’t rock, favoring the sort of soft, post-Adele singles that end up charting No. 1 on Christmas all over Europe, while the Internet rages against the Simon Cowell machine to get the likes of Nirvana or “Surfin’ Bird” or two Irish rappers who wear shopping bags over their heads. Meanwhile, the standard complaint about American Idol‘s rock night is that everyone’s going to sing “Satisfaction” or “Piece of My Heart.” You might think the U.S. X Factor combining these two would cancel everything out; you’d think wrong.

     
  8. My recap from last night. The X Factor hates groups, and I’m going to have to keep typing the words “Lakoda Rayne.”

     
  9. My takes on the top 11 X Factor contestants from last night. Or “movie night,” on which choosing a song from This Is It is still cheating.

     
  10. Yep yep yep. New Boring in effect. Tiah and Tora both need to come back.