‘X Factor’ Season 3 Premiere: Everything’s Coming Up Lillie
It's time to face the music. Simon Cowell and Fox have had two seasons to get "The X Factor" right…and both seasons ended, well, badly. Shortly after Season 1, Simon fired judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones; that season's "winner," Melanie Amaro, never even released a full album, after all of her singles stalled on the charts. Season 2 saw the departures of judges L.A. Reid and Britney Spears and replacement co-host Khloe Kardashian; that season's winner, Tate Stevens, did manage to get an album out, but its sales were lackluster.
So far, nothing has truly worked. Not even stunt-casting a superstar judge like Britney (for $15 million!) last year brought in supersized ratings. But the third season might be the charm for "The X Factor," judging by the Season 3 premiere that aired Wednesday night. Why? Because the episode's focus wasn't on superstar judges. The focus was where it belongs on really any talent show. The focus was on the aspiring TALENT, plain and simple.
Wednesday's premiere was short and sweet, clocking in at one easy hour, with only the shortest and sweetest of introductions for new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio and returning judge Demi Lovato (all of whom, it should be interestingly noted, earn just $4.5 million combined). Then, within literally the first five minutes of the show, these judges started doing their actual jobs. The auditions kicked off immediately, one right after another, and the contestants were always the real stars. Simon might finally be onto something, here…
Without a doubt the biggest star of the night was 54-year-old soul sensation Lillie McCloud.
Yes, you read that right: This dynamite lady is FIFTY-FOUR YEARS OLD. She's even a grandmother! Remember how everyone wondered what juice-cleanse/fountain-of-youth/blood-of-virgins liquid diet or face cream "X Factor" ageless wonder LeRoy Bell used in Season 1? Well, apparently the perfectly preserved Lillie has been following that anti-aging regimen as well. When she strutted out in her fabulously foxy 'fro and form-fitting Leather Tuscadero catsuit, looking like an awesome '70s action-flick heroine or like Lenny Kravitz's (younger) sister, and told the judges her age, everyone in the arena audibly, understandably gasped. I imagine vain Simon, known for his own addiction to youthifying superfood smoothies, probably wanted to take her aside and find out her secret.