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Factor X (2018 Telecinco revival)

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Factor X
FactorX2018.jpg
A dying franchise coming back after ten years to a country that had pretty much forgotten about it.
Genre: Reality music competition
Country: Spain
Release Date: April 13 – July 5, 2018
Network(s): Telecinco
Created by: Simon Cowell
(The X Factor franchise)
Starring: Jesús Vázquez
Laura Pausini
Risto Mejide
Xavi Martínez
Fernando Montesinos
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 13


Factor X was the second iteration of The X Factor franchise in Spain. It aired on Telecinco in 2018, ten years after the end of the series' first two-season run on Cuatro (before it was bought and merged into Telecinco's parent group), with Jesús Vázquez as host and Laura Pausini, Risto Mejide, Xavi Martínez and Fernando Montesinos as judges/mentors.

Premise

Four music professionals mentor and assess performances of twelve hopeful singers and groups, divided into four categories: Boys, Girls, Over 25s and Groups.

Why, for Us, It's a No

  1. During the audition stage, the show fell into singing competitions' old trap of bringing in terrible contestants just so that viewers could laugh at them before the jury crushed them. At this point there's no novelty to such tactic and it felt needlessly cruel at times, particularly when a couple who were auditioning together revealed that they were following Risto on Instagram, and he proceded to block them.
  2. Erick Galán was inexplicably allowed through to the Five Chair Challenge (where he would be later eliminated) in spite of blatantly lip-syncing in his audition and trying to explain it away with the producer of his song failing to provide him with a clean instrumental track.
  3. The studio audience was incredibly petty during the Five Chair Challenge, repeatedly chanting chair numbers of the acts they wanted to be eliminated so the artist currently on stage could move on.
  4. Sound issues were constant in the live shows, with one of them in particular turning out so badly that the channel had to do an unscheduled commercial break so that the crew had time to fix it.
  5. The rules regarding the placements and eliminations seemed to change every week during the live shows: during the first week, Elena Farga was announced as the most voted act, but this top spot was never disclosed again until the final; there were two eliminations on week three and four on week four.
  6. During the live shows, lines opened at the beginning of the night instead of after all performances like in most other versions of The X Factor, which didn't feel fair.
  7. Also, Telecinco didn't seem to be able to decide on which day did it want the show to air: the first audition episode aired on a Friday, then it was moved to Wednesdays the following week, only to return to Fridays two weeks before the start of the live shows, and then moving to Thursdays only for the season finale.
  8. Risto Mejide acted like a bitter jerk to the contestants and other judges at several points of the show, but none worse than in the finale, when he spent most of the evening bickering with Xavi Martínez and accusing him of nepotism over Poupie's elimination the previous week. But it could be argued that Poupie's elimination was Risto's fault: with her on the chopping block against group W Caps, whom Xavi mentored, Risto voted against Poupie in a badly thought out attempt to force a deadlock, which backfired when both Xavi and Fernando Montesinos voted against Poupie as well.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. At least it did feature a pool of (mostly) talented performers in its live shows, including Enrique Ramil, Malva and winner Pol Granch.
  2. Laura Pausini managed to provide some funny moments, yet usually was the voice of reason among the judges.

Reception

Some aspects of the show were criticized by reviewers and fans alike, with the media particularly taking the show to task for the Erick Galán incident in the auditions (see above).

Trivia

  • Antena 3 had also expressed interest in reviving The X Factor franchise in Spain, but negotiations with Fremantle fell through. It was reported that Telecinco had threatened Fremantle to cancel Got Talent if they gave The X Factor to Antena 3.

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