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'X-Factor': So bad you should be watching? [Google+ Hangout]

November 30, 2012|By Todd Martens
  • Are you a "Believer"? Emblem3 is Drew Chadwick, Keaton Stromberg and Wesley Stromberg.
Are you a "Believer"? Emblem3 is Drew Chadwick, Keaton Stromberg… (Jordan Strauss / Associated…)

Right about this time last week a social network chorus sprung up surrounding Lindsay Lohan's "Liz & Dick." You must watch, said folks in the media, folks on Twitter and folks on Facebook, because it is so bad it's hilarious. They were wrong. They confused the word "boring" with "hilarious."

Pop & Hiss will not do the same to you regarding "The X-Factor." It is so bad that it's quite horrendous, possibly even depressing. If that is read as a motivating factor to watch, we can only say that we warned you.

After all, chances are, you're already not watching it, and it's up to you to decide whether you have an hour of your time to devote to a show that's increasingly relying on off-the-rails camp. How else to describe local-area boy band Emblem3? Coach and "X-Factor" leader Simon Cowell seems to be using the group as some sort of living art project, a parody of the record industry at its most depraved and cynical.

Three young Huntington Beach boys, who once seemed destined to a life of trying to craft the perfect spitball, were propped up on a stage this week to clumsily jump and fail to harmonize during the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." And just in case you wanted to change the channel, Cowell gave you some cheerleaders and American flags. If a calorie-laden cheesy dip had sprung to life, it would be Emblem3. 

But perhaps even more twisted is the fact that the former Disney star Demi Lovato, a fellow "X-Factor" judge, is the only one willing to criticize Cowell for his audience pandering. And that says nothing of CeCe Frey, who seems more influenced by any given low-budget mall accessory store than a pop artist. But she's on the show as a punching bag for the judges, so Pop & Hiss will spare her. 

NBC's "The Voice" lacks such absurdity.

This singing competition emphasizes capability rather than obnoxious set-pieces. This is why, for instance, things Adam Levine says are sometimes the most notable aspects of show, but watching Levine coach the goofy yet charismatic Melanie Martinez seems to offer evidence that "The Voice" at least respects its audience. That is to say there is no 13-year-old singing Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

Here, Pop & Hiss contributors Chris Barton and Todd Martens try to make sense of both of these shows. Hopefully it will all become more clear as these shows enter their final rounds.

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