Promotion for the U.S. version of "X Factor" kicked into high gear on Sunday night when Fox aired a unusually lengthy eight-minute preview of their forthcoming talent competition. The preview gave viewers an early introduction to the judging panel's insight and some potential audition favorites before the show's splashing debut on September 21.
After a montage introducing all of the panelists — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger — the TV preview offered viewers a taste of the series' upcoming auditions.
First up was the enthusiastic 13-year-old Rachel Crow, whose bubbly personality shined as bright as her voice. Upon her arrival onstage, the curly-haired student showed no signs of cold feet for what she described as "the most important thing I've ever done in my life."
"My family has, like, no money," the fresh-faced auditioner told Cowell. "And let me tell you, we live in a two-bedroom house, OK? And I have six people in my family, which is a lot of people. And I'm a girl. I need my own bathroom."
After her brief chitchat with the panel, Crow tapped her foot, swayed her hands and delivered a belting rendition of Duffy's "Mercy." As you may have guessed, Abdul exuded just as much energy as the big-voiced Crow when she smiled and bobbed her head to the chanting tune. And it wasn't just Abdul who enjoyed the audition, but also fellow judge L.A. Reid. "You have everything that every artist I've ever signed has: feisty, sassy, soulful. You got it all, baby. I love you," he told her.
Cameras soon panned to the backstage reactions from the young girl's family, who joined together for a group hug. Crow looked in almost disbelief as she questioned her mom about the audition. "Mom, did you see that?" she asked.
"X Factor" was also quick to showcase the show's much-promoted no-age-limit rule when they moved on to the next contestant, 42-year-old single mother Stacy. The youthful-looking singer tearfully recalled the story of meeting someone who disregarded her big dreams, leaving her faith in shambles.
"I don't want to die with this music in me, Simon," she candidly told the judge onstage, with the microphone clenched with both hands.
Shots of the studio audience, who waited to hear whether or not Stacy could deliver, flashed when she began her cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman." Just a few lines into the tune, Stacy was met with an overwhelming audience cheer and stunned reactions from the judges.
"Let me tell you something, Stacy. I've done this a long, long time. That was one of the best auditions I have ever heard in my life. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I love you," Cowell gushed.
"X Factor" fans were met with even more eye (and ear) appeasing clips when the preview concluded with a dramatic montage and news of a two-night premiere, which airs September 21 and 22.
We can also expect some high-profile guests during the show's premiere season. Rihanna has signed up to guest-judge on an as-yet-undetermined date, according to TMZ.
What do you think of the "X Factor" preview auditions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.