The X Factor has already soared to success in 16 countries, and the seventh season is set to begin in England on Sunday evening. Finally, the quest for the entertainer with that certain je-ne-sais-quoi, the X factor it takes to become a superstar, begins in Germany too. The first season of X Factor Germany kicks off on RTL Television in today and tomorrow evening at 20:15 during prime time. After this event-style showcasing, the show moves to Vox: starting 24 August and through the final, it will air on Vox, also at 20:15.
What sets X Factor apart from other talent shows is that over the course of the season, the judges – in Germany, they are the pop star Sarah Connor, jazz musician Till Brönner and the producer George Glueck – become the candidates’ mentors and compete with each other as well. They use their own expertise to perfect the candidates’ performance, working hard to ensure that “their” act wins the show. The contestants and judges compete in three categories: solo artists aged 16 to 24, solo artists aged 25 and older and vocal duos or groups aged 16 and up.
The way to the top is anything but easy for X Factor contestants: during the four stages of the show, participants have to first win over the judges, and finally the viewers. It all begins with the auditions, which attracted more than 19,000 candidates (see Backstage report).
At the second stage, the candidates are divided into the three categories mentioned above. Each judge takes on one of the categories and acts as a mentor, preparing his protégés for the next steps in his or her personal “Bootcamp” by giving them their first few vocal assignments. The mentors get to decide for their category which six acts go to the next round.
During phase three, each mentor and their six acts jointly work on their performance in a private setting. The jury houses for this period are located at various exclusive locations in Europe. Now, it all has to come together – voice, styling, stage presence. And only the best three acts from each jury house will move to the fourth, final and crucial round of X Factor: the live shows.
During the live shows, the viewers decide who gets to fulfil their dream of superstardom, through phone voting. The two acts with the fewest number of calls are given a final chance in a sing-off that same evening, competing against each other with a song of their choice. The judges then decide which of them gets the last ticket for the next live-show.
In this way, during each live show one act is eliminated until there are only two hopefuls left to compete with each other in the grand finale. The decision on who emerges as the winner of X Factor is up to the viewers. The live shows are enhanced with appearances and performances by top-notch domestic and international stars.
The winner of X Factor gets a recording contract with Sony Music and the chance at a major career in music.
Grundy Light Entertainment produces X Factor for Vox and RTL Television; both are Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland channels. Grundy Light Entertainment is a company in the UFA group, FremantleMedia’s German subsidiary.