'X Factor': Why It's the Most Exhausting Show on TV

Thu Nov 3, 2011 8:07am EDT

Propofol lollipop? No thanks … just watched another two-hour episode of "X Factor," so we're good.

You know, because the show is the most time-consuming, exhausting show on TV.

Is it because of Steve Jones, a host so generic it's hard to remember what he looks like as soon as he throws to commercial, a man whose yearbook should have read "Most Likely to Be Dunkleman-ed" in high school?

Yes.

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Is it because of the judges panel, who all too reliably say inane things like "Way to get the party started," more than halfway through the show? (That was Nicole, of course.) Or a judge's assessment of InTENsity's performance as "funtastic" and "funomenal"? Yep, Nicole again.

And yes, it's because of that, because you know this is what we are going to get from Nicole Scherzinger all season.

Is it because of the mostly dated song selections, which, on last night's episode, included "Walking on Sunshine," "Rhythm Nation" and "Desperado"?

Yes. Remember that episode of "Seinfeld" where Elaine's boyfriend went into a trance when he heard "Desperado"? Thinking about it was preferable to sitting through Melanie Amaro's performance of the song. She has a fine voice, but that is -- "lit-rally," as Simon is fond of saying -- one of the most uninspiring tunes she could have been tasked with singing.

There's also the cheesy band/performer names -- InTENsity (guess how many people are in the group), The Stereo Hogzz and the single-monikered Drew (tip: if you're going to go with one name, it should be more unique than "Drew"); the lack of a truly amazing contestant; and the elaborate, but overly dramatic stage décor.

Drew began her performance laying on the stage in a puddle of flower petals, while Chris Rene -- lit-rally -- could have set himself ablaze during his. And, seriously, like Beavis, that guy shouldn't be around fire.

Read more: 'The X Factor' Sued by Contestant, 86, for Making Him Too Tired to Perform

"X Factor's" worst crime, though -- and the one Fox should be most concerned about -- is that it's so draining to watch that we wonder how we're ever going to make it through this show and still have any enthusiasm left for the 11th season of "American Idol" in January.

Ratings for the show aren't bad. It hasn't attracted the 20 million viewers a night Cowell had hoped for, but 10-12 million a night is not too shabby.

Still, we can't be the only ones thinking: "X Factor" is only in week two of its live shows, and these two-hour episodes (not to mention last week's two-and-a-half hour installment) are making it seem like week 10.

And it's tough to imagine any of these contestants will prove to be worthy of the $5 million prize in the end, and even tougher to imagine the show might pleasantly surprise us.

But, who knows, the "X Factor" gang still has seven weeks before the season finale to prove us wrong. Seven long weeks.

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