By Jack Rico
The 1-4-0: The third season of ‘The X- Factor’ brings the same grand production, excitement and talented singers as years before, but word is out how much value the new judges will add.
The Highlights: For the first time in its history, “The X- Factor” will feel a US Hispanic presence like it never has before in Season 3. From Latino host Mario Lopez to new Latina judge in Paulina Rubio to outstanding Latino descent participants Carlito Olivero and Simone Torres, the vibe will have some Latino flavor on an American mainstream level. The judges are no longer the stars of the show, they just play a complimentary role to the story lines of the participants. Watch out for the future growth of the sexy grandmother Lillie McCloud who is a dead voice ringer for Whitney Houston.
The Lowlights: Word is out on the judges power of viewer attraction. It’s tough to say that they’re must-see TV, even collectively. They each bring their own attributes, but they only really serve as guides which is what they really should be doing. In regards to the talent pool, I’ve seen better in previous years and better on other shows. Obviously, the only way to really judge the talent pool is when the winner is announced at the end of the series and to look at them retrospectively. For now, it’s only modest.
Will Latino viewers watch?: Paulina Rubio, who is a well known name in the Latino market, is neither great nor bad. Her accent is noticeable and her English is fair, but due to a lack of a strong English vocabulary, her comments to participants and to us viewers doesn’t convey a strong sense of wisdom to latch on to. Curiously, even though her accent is tough and her colleagues are already making fun of her, there’s something irresistibly cute about it. Her Spanish language fans who know some English will tune in (because that’s what fans do), but English language Hispanics will have to get more from her to convince them to care for her. Rubio will have to prove herself in the next episodes to make sure Simon didn’t make a mistake by choosing her and to prove that she belongs in the American mainstream market.