Are The X Factor Producers Creating Villains in CeCe Frey and Tara Simon?
In the first couple weeks of The X Factor, we’ve seen some nasty rivalries. First, Kaci Newton trashed Paige Thomas backstage. Then CeCe Frey talked herself up while messing with the competition. Then Tara Simon was shown being a total diva. We have to ask — when there are that many cameras around, did these budding stars really show their worst? Or, was it just a case of some creative editing on the part of XF producers? After all, the only thing an audience loves more than a sweet story is a villain.
After Tara Simon talked smack about Sophie Tweed-Simmons (Gene Simmons’s 20-year-old daughter) at the San Francisco audition, the Atlanta-native took to her Facebook to write a message to her fans, saying
I’m gonna say this once: They can edit shows however they want. And that is proven with my audition tonight. They took different facial expressions throughout that day used them to paint a picture, including my facial expression after that girl by the mirror answered my question. (Which a producer TOLD me to ask) Sophie and I are still friends today. Please spread the word.
Fans came out in droves to support of the incredible singer (who earned “yes” votes from all four judges), posting on her wall that her self-confidence inspired them. But she wasn’t the only contestant who seems to have been framed in a less-than-stellar light.
In all fairness, CeCe Frey came out with leopard-print face paint (which seems to be her signature look) and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of manipulation needed to show actual conversations the sassy singer had with fellow contestants in the holding room. CeCe spent much of her waiting time (or at least, much of her camera time) sizing up and intimidating the competition. At one point, CeCe says “If there’s a button visible, you’ve gotta push it.”
Kaci Newton seems to have been shown solely to set up Paige Thomas to look even better than she did — and to give Simon Cowell a chance to call someone “a vile monster,” thus cementing his “Meanie” status once again. But in CeCe’s case, it looks to us like The X Factor producers are doing a lot to create a story for her.
Upon taking the stage in her audition, CeCe showed her sass to the judges, throwing out expressions like “I CeCefied it for you.” And then, for no explicable reason whatsoever, she sang “Unchained Melody.” Looking at videos CeCe has done in the past, we can’t imagine a reason she would have selected a song that lacks the belting opportunities and fire she shows in other selections. The only thing we can speculate, is that she was asked to set the audience up by thinking she couldn’t put her money where her voice box is.
After seeing her flop on the first attempt, CeCe busted out a version of Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man” that blew everybody’s socks off. It was a curious choice, picking a song by Britney Spears’s supposed rival (both in their past diva-dueling careers, and in their current opposition as judges on two rival talent shows), but not an unexpected one, considering the role she is embodying thus far on the show.
Responding to questions about her character, CeCe told Celebuzz, “I know that I’m a little bit rough around the edges. And when it comes to this competition, I know how hard that I’ve worked in my lifetime for this, and how long that I’ve wanted it and it’s very easy for me to get lost in wanting it so badly.”
It remains to be seen how well CeCe and Tara will do on the show. From what we’ve heard, CeCe will be part of Demi Lovato’s crew during judges’ house sessions. And it seems fitting to us that the “villain” who has been accused of being a bully will be mentored by the one judge who campaigns actively against that very issue.