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Britney Spears: Singer rules as ‘X Factor’ judge
We get the pop princess who knows how to hold the spotlight, not the young woman who has struggled in her personal life, in the taped premiere of “X Factor.” Live episodes start airing in November.
In the episode screened Tuesday night at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Miss Spears frets that it will be difficult to “sit there and be opinionated.”
Not so much.
“I felt I was listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks,” she tells one singer. “You’re flawless,” she says to another.
Jitters may be making her matter-of-fact, and even stern, but she appears unlikely to morph into a Paula Abdul-style pushover even if she gets more comfortable. Her “X Factor” style: sleek, form-fitting dresses and an impressive array of frowns and surprised smiles.
Mr. Cowell — the show’s creator, executive producer and the Scrooge of compliments — practically beamed as he tended to give Miss Spears the last word on contestants — which often is “no,” at least as this episode has it.
“You’re very good at this,” he tells Miss Spears at one point. “Everyone says I’m the mean one,” he adds later.
At one point, when a pained-looking Miss Spears joins the panel in rejecting a singer she had recorded with, and who is attempting a comeback, she hangs onto her composure.
There are more changes to “X Factor” than the addition of Miss Spears and Miss Lovato, who replaced season one’s Miss Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger after the show fell short of Mr. Cowell’s high-flying-ratings predictions.
The revamped “X Factor” retains the pro forma mix of oddballs and genuinely talented singers, but it’s less grandiose. One example: the addition of a reality TV-style backstage glance at contestant rivalries, but with a light touch.
Fox’s show isn’t the only game in town. NBC expanded this week’s return of “The Voice” to three days, with an episode airing Wednesday against “X Factor.”
Miss Spears, 30, who reportedly got a one-season, $15 million contract to join the show, appears to be its top draw. She earned the loudest audience applause at the public screening, held after Mr. Cowell and company put their mark on the cement outside Grauman’s on Hollywood Boulevard.
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