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'X Factor USA' season two premiere: What the critics are saying

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Simon Cowell's always been good at building up hype, but even he couldn't have predicted NBC deciding on a three-night premiere for rival show The Voice! It's still too early to know whether The X Factor USA won the battle of the ratings, but in the meantime we can at least check out what the critics think of TXFUSA season two.

Last year's X Factor USA didn't go down as well as Cowell probably would have hoped, but could this season's reboot - keeping LA Reid but introducing Britney Spears and Demi Lovato - change things up enough? Check out what the reviewers thought below:

The X Factor USA S02E01: The judges

© Fox



Entertainment Weekly
"The parade of the talentless, the sad, and the pathetic, waved onstage for Simon to deliver canned-sounding put-downs, makes X Factor, like American Idol, so dreary to watch. Thank goodness Reid keeps his comments mostly on-point and unexaggerated. And it looks as though Lovato and Spears are going to do well. Once the preliminary carnival is over... we'll get to see whether Britney and company can sustain some of their best judgments and coax a true talent into the winner's circle."

The Hollywood Reporter
"While Spears was largely touted as the new 'Queen of Mean', Cowell still reigns supreme, as evidenced by the show's most memorable zingers."

The Huffington Post
"The artifice has always been more apparent on X Factor than any of the other broadcast 'talent' contests, but there's something to be said for the way Simon Cowell's reality juggernaut unabashedly embraces its shallowness... Whether the audience has been struck with amnesia [about the first season] or not, the do-over got off to a strong start, with plenty of tearjerking moments and a few stand-out artists in the bunch."

The X Factor USA S02E01: Paige Thomas

© Fox / David Moir



New York Post
"What does work without a doubt... is the chemistry among Spears, Lovato and Simon Cowell. Unfortunately, gentlemanly LA Reid, who carried the show last year, seemed to be as out of sync with the rest of the crew as Spears has been on some of those allegedly prerecorded tunes during 'live' performances... So far we got a winner, but all that could change when the show goes live."

TV Line
"The show gave us a legitimate pop-rock hopeful in Jannel Garcia... I just wish that Cowell & Co had a little more faith in the X Factor audience than to set every single audition up with such a carefully coiffed and edited backstory."

TV Guide
"Britney Spears and Demi Lovato joined Cowell and LA Reid as the new judges on the much ballyhooed premiere of The X Factor Wednesday night. Their unique personalities, combined with a new documentary style of presentation, reinvigorated the singing-competition show in its second season."

Zap2It
"Britney turned out to be rather awesome. The best was the juxtaposition with her opening statement of, 'It's really intimidating because having to sit there and be opinionated on people achieving their dreams is going to be really hard for me'. To a montage of her laying the smack down... And her reunion with former duet partner Don Philip also showed a very emotional, vulnerable side. It actually made us feel so bad for her because that must have been really hard... We're on board with Britney."

The X Factor USA S02E01: EMBLEM3

© Fox / Ray Mickshaw



E! Online
"While we won't really be able to see the judges' chemistry until the live shows later this season, if they're anything like the carefully edited episodes... we're in!"

MTV News
"Lovato's charm and electric smile lit up the room, providing the spoonful of sugar to Spears' sometimes acid edge."

Digital Spy
"It's definitely a lot better this year, I think, and while I wasn't so sure about Demi on the panel previously, even with the little bit she's done so far, she's kind of winning me over. I'm excited to see what the season brings!"

What did you think of The X Factor's premiere? Vote in our poll and leave your comments below! The show continues tonight (September 13) on Fox.



Photo gallery - The X Factor USA season two premiere:

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