Originally Posted by skyehill
Judges serve as mentors (which The Voice copied), singing groups are allowed, no age restriction other than you have to be at least 13, viewers only get to vote but the judges decide from the bottom 3 who goes home each week after they sing-off, auditions occur in front of a live audience. It's very similar to Idol in numerous ways, but it's also improved over Idol in many other ways. This show grew out of the original Pop Idol program in the UK.
Yep - sort of.
Pop Idol was its precursor in the UK (and Cowell was a judge on the show), but it was produced by Simon Fuller's 19 Production company. Cowell created The X Factor - producing it via his Syco arm in association with Talkback Thames I think - which was similar but not identical. There was some litigation activity which meant that Pop Idol didn't continue in the UK, and The X Factor did, but Cowell continued as a judge on American Idol for a number of years. Meanwhile Cowell couldn't run The X Factor in competion with Idol in the US for a number of years. These deals are now over.
The X Factor is pretty huge in the UK. The judges 'mentoring' is the biggest difference - each judge has a section - Boys, Girls, Groups, Older performers etc. Along with Cowell's "Britain's Got Talent" and ITV Studios "I'm A Celebrity..." it's one of the three main ratings juggernauts for ITV.
German set designer Florian Wieder has done the set design for a number of years - he did the Eurovision Song Contest set in Dusseldorf this year. Expect a LOT of LED if he's doing the US set...
Also very interesting that Steve Jones got the presenting gig. He's done a few high-ish profile shows in the UK ("Let's Dance for Comic Relief", "101 Ways to Leave a Gameshow" etc., and was a long standing presenter of Channel 4's "T4" youth block of weekend programming) He's welsh, and a former model. Be interesting to see how his accent goes down. (He's had a string of high profile girlfriends - including Pamela Anderson apparently...)
When Nicole Scherzinger stood in for Cheryl Cole on the British show she did a pretty good job IMHO, and certainly wasn't unpopular. She seemed pretty bright to me, and knew how to the play the game.