Last night saw the first season of Fox's lurching, unpleasant singtasia The X Factor come to a rather lurching, unpleasant end. Phew! What a mess this thing was.
Spoiler alert! The winner of the season was Melanie Amaro, the power vocalist who began and ended the season with "Listen," "by Beyoncé." (We'd argue that "Listen" isn't so much "by Beyoncé" as much as it's "from the Dreamgirls movie" -- saying it's "by Beyoncé" is a bit like saying "'I Feel Pretty' by Natalie Wood," except of course that Beyoncé actually sings and did have a hand in writing the song, but still it is from a musical, technically.) Melanie could sing well and had a less exploited hard-luck tale than Chris Rene, and more of a shot at an actual musical career than sweaty ol' Josh Krajcik, so, she seems like a good winner for the show. But really what does any of it really matter? What a dumb, sloppy ol' season of television The X Factor was, wasn't it? Just canned, stagey muck that felt like the off-brand, generic version of American Idol's far superior canned, stagey muck. Sure American Idol season one is a horror when you look back on it, so we should give X Factor some time to mature, but it just came out of the gate so awful, with its Rachel Crows and the curious case of Simon's face and Nicole Scherzinger with her Mad Libs-style compliments ("You are soooo amazing/inspirational/awe inspiring/[stifled sob]!") It was all just too much. We're happy it finally burned down.
To wash that bitter, glittery taste out of your mouths, and speaking of Mad Libs, here's a cute segment from last night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in which he and some celebrity friends play Mad Libs with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The cute aspect is that it's not terribly funny because Mad Libs are never terribly funny. Random words! Har har. But hey, they tried, and it's always fun to see Maya Rudolph say "fried penis." Happy holidays, everyone!