Introduction of X-Factor and American Idol
The X Factor is a television talent show franchise originating in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol. It is a singing competition, now held in various countries, which pits contestants against each other. These contestants are aspiring pop singers drawn from public auditions. The programs are produced by executive producer Simon Cowell and his company Syco TV. 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 format creator is Simon Cowell who also judges and mentors on the UK series. The UK version is responsible for the launch of the internationally successful singer Leona Lewis. As of May 2011, there have been 48 winners of The X Factor around the world. Television stations in many countries, but especially the Scandinavian ones, have expressed an interest in showing the UK version, but have not been able to acquire the rights. This is due to legal issues as the British version of the show is only available in the UK and Ireland. The X Factor has recently completed its seventh series. Unlike Pop Idol, where contestants are solely judged by the judges, on The X Factor each judge mentors the finalists in a particular category, aiding them with song selection and styling, while also participating together in judging the contestants of the other categories. In the initial televised audition phase of the show, contestants sing in front of the judges. The original judging panel was Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. In 2007 Dannii Minogue joined the panel, and Cheryl Cole replaced Osbourne in series 5 after her departure. After series 7, Cowell and Cole both left to judge the American version of the show whilst Dannii Minogue left the show due to commitments on Australia's Got Talent. From series 6 onwards, auditionees sing in front of a live audience. Successful auditionees go through to "bootcamp" and then "judges houses", where judges narrow down the acts in their category to 3 or 4 acts to mentor for the live shows, where the public vote for their favourite acts following weekly live performances by the contestants. There have been seven winners to date: Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle. The winning contestant's single is released in time for the end of year chart battle for the UK's Christmas number one, a spot which was gained in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. All of the winners' singles have gone on to achieve the number one chart position nevertheless, with Brookstein and McElderry going on to claim the New Year's number one spot a week later instead. As of December 2010, a total of 17 number-one singles have been released by artists who have appeared on the show. The all-new X Factor champion receives a recording contract with record label Syco Music with a stated value of £1,000,000. This includes a cash payment to the winner, but the majority is allocated to marketing and recording costs.
American Idol (also known as American Idol: The Search for a Superstar) is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, which began airing on Fox on June 11, 2002. Part of the Idol franchise, it is a spin-off from the UK show Pop Idol. The concept of the series is to find new solo recording artists, and has since become one of the most popular in the history of American television. As of January 2011, it is the most-watched TV series in the Nielsen ratings and is the only program to have been number one for six consecutive seasons, surpassing All in the Family and The Cosby Show, which were both number one for five consecutive...
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