The X Factor USA Wiki
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Season One of The X Factor debuted on Fox on September 21, 2011 and ended on December 22, 2011. The show was hosted by Welsh television personality Steve Jones with Simon Cowell, LA Reid, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger making up the judging panel. British singer Cheryl Cole was originally a part of the panel but was dropped and replaced by Scherzinger. The show was followed by two more seasons in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The winner of the show would win a $5 million contract with Epic Records as well as star in their own Pepsi commercial, which would air during Super Bowl XLVI on NBC on February 5, 2012.

This season was won by Florida nursing student Melanie Amaro.

After this season concluded, Jones, Abdul, and Scherzinger were all let go. Scherzinger later became a judge on the 2012 UK series of the show.

Finalists

The final 17 finalists were confirmed as follows;

Category (mentor) Acts
Boys (Reid) Astro Marcus Canty Phillip Lomax Chris Rene
Over 30s (Scherzinger) LeRoy Bell Stacy Francis Dexter Haygood Josh Krajcik
Groups (Abdul) InTENsity Lakoda Rayne The Brewer Boys The Stereo Hogzz
Girls (Cowell) Melanie Amaro Simone Battle Rachel Crow Drew Tiah Tolliver

Results

Color key
     – Act was eliminated by their mentor (no public vote)
     – Act was in the bottom two/three and had to sing again in the final showdown
     – Act was in the bottom three but received the fewest votes and was immediately eliminated
     – Act received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
     – Act received the most public votes
Weekly results per act
Act Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
First Vote Second Vote
Melanie Amaro Saved 4th 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st Winner
Josh Krajcik 3rd 6th 3rd 1st 4th 3rd 3rd 2nd Runner-Up
Chris Rene 7th 7th 4th 5th 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd Eliminated (Final)
Marcus Canty 5th 9th 8th 7th 6th 4th 4th Eliminated (Semi-Final)
Rachel Crow 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 2nd 5th Eliminated (Quarter-Final)
Drew 1st 3rd 5th 4th 5th Eliminated (Week 6)
Astro 10th 4th 10th 6th 7th
LeRoy Bell 8th 5th 6th 8th Eliminated (Week 5)
Lakoda Rayne 9th 10th 6th 9th
Stacy Francis 6th 8th 9th Eliminated (Week 4)
The Stereo Hogzz 12th 11th Eliminated (Week 3)
InTENsity 11th Eliminated (Week 2)
Simone Battle Eliminated Eliminated (Week 1)
Tiah Tolliver
Dexter Haygood
The Brewer Boys
Phillip Lomax
Final Showdown N/A InTENsity,
The Stereo Hogzz
Lakoda Rayne,
The Stereo Hogzz
Astro,
Francis
Bell,
Canty
Canty,
Drew
Canty,
Crow
No final showdown or judges' votes; results were based on public votes alone
Reid's vote to eliminate Lomax InTENsity The Stereo Hogzz Francis Bell Drew Crow
Scherzinger's vote to eliminate Haygood InTENsity The Stereo Hogzz Astro Canty Drew Crow
Abdul's vote to eliminate The Brewer Boys InTENsity Lakoda Rayne Francis Canty Drew Canty
Cowell's vote to eliminate Battle
Tolliver
The Stereo Hogzz Lakoda Rayne Francis Bell Canty Canty
Eliminated Phillip Lomax
by Reid
InTENsity
3 of 4 votes
Majority
The Stereo Hogzz
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Stacy Francis
3 of 4 votes
to save
Lakoda Rayne
Public vote
to save
Astro
Public vote
to save
Rachel Crow
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Marcus Canty
Public vote
to save
Chris Rene
Public vote
to win
Josh Krajcik
Public vote
to win
The Brewer Boys
by Abdul
Dexter Haygood
by Scherzinger
LeRoy Bell
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Drew
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Simone Battle
by Cowell
Tiah Tolliver
by Cowell

Controversy

Cheryl Cole firing

Cheryl Cole

British pop star Cheryl Cole, who had been a judge on the UK show for 3 years, was originally a part of the judging panel during the Los Angeles and Chicago auditions. However, for reasons unknown at the time, she was fired. Reports ranged from complaints about her thick Geordie accent being too hard for Americans to understand (many have disputed this) to a lack of rapport with fellow judge Paula Abdul. However, according to Cole in her 2012 memoir, the reason she was let go was because she caught Nicole Scherzinger, who had originally been hired to co-host the show, talking with Simon Cowell about taking Cole's place on the panel. Additionally a 2011 documentary about Cole explained that Cole was dropped from the judging panel was due to Cole being unknown to American audiences.

Rachel Crow elimination

In the quarter-final, Nicole Scherzinger who was the swing vote, voted to eliminate 13-year-old contestant Rachel Crow over Marcus Canty, sending the result to deadlock. Crow ended up eliminated as a result of this, causing a massive outrage. It caused many critics to declare that the show's minimum audition age limit of 12 should be raised. Scherzinger even received death threats from viewers, many of whom held her responsible for Crow's elimination. 

Notable past contestants

  • Emily Piriz, who auditioned as part of the duo AusEm with former InTENsity member Austin Percario, finished in 12th place on season 13 of American Idol.
  • Josh Kaufman, who had auditioned but didn't make it past the audition phase, later won season 6 of the NBC singing show The Voice in 2014, where he was mentored by R&B superstar Usher.
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