Simple answer, a resounding “YES“. It was heaps better than last year’s clunky premiere. That said, there were a few moments in the middle that I snoozed off and got a little bored. A few more amazing auditions would’ve been nice, but overall it was a good combination of emotional backstories, trainwrecks and delusional fools. A good start to X Factor Season 2.

What I noticed immediately was how Simon Cowell was no longer front and center. It was definitely the Britney Spears and Demi Lovato show, with the “Toxic” singer dominating the first hour and the “Skyscraper” one shining in the second half. While Brit received all the top billing and the majority of pre-show hype, I have to say Demi was the surprise of the night. She was adorable, engaging and her chemistry with Cowell is phenomenal. The way they playfully bicker (in a non creepy way) is entertaining. Almost like a big brother, little sister type of relationship. How he constantly teases her or warns her to stay away from Niall who’s a member of his money-making machine, One Direction- it was all working. My only criticism for Spears and Lovato is their makeup. Britney needs better foundation, while her younger colleague needs to not cake so much on her face.

As much as I love the new additions to the panel, my favorite change for Season 2 has to be all the backstage footage. Without Steve Jones to awkwardly interview contestants, we receive a more candid look at what goes on behind the scenes. Without a host asking them questions to their face, contestants have to be careful what they say. You never know who’s watching or taping your conversation. Perfect example, that heinous snooty beyotch Kaci Newton. She probably had no idea all her eye rolling was going to give her the bitch edit. LOL. Check out all of last night’s auditions and montages with my commentary below.

Advanced To Boot Camp

Paige Thomas

At first glance, she reminds me of last season’s Tiah Tolliver but with a better attitude. Starts off great but goes a bit wonky near the end. Still, I love her. Maybe it’s because of her adorable 3-year-old daughter. Perhaps, its because that blond self-proclaimed Carrie Underwood/Adele hybrid kept rolling her eyes at her. Either way, I have high hopes for Paige. LA Reid even compared her to Rihanna. Sounds about right.

Reed Deming

Personally, I don’t think kids this young should compete with older contestants. Remember what happened to Rachel Crow last year? Cute kid but didn’t impress me with either Bruno Mars renditions. With his Justin Bieber-esque looks, he’ll probably stick around for a bit to keep the young tween girls tuning in. I know how that evil mind of Simon works ;)

Quatrele Da’An Smith

Definitely NOT the most naturally gifted vocalist in the bunch, but he does have that X factor. Loved the hip gyrations before the vocals kicked in. Simon hit the nail on the head with his assessment that he was Madonna, Bobby Brown and Dracula’s lovechild. Demi loved him and his lipstick. If she continues with comments like that, sign her up for Season 3 immediately, Simon.

Emblem3

If you had any doubt of Simon’s intention to find the US One Direction, the pimping of Emblem3 proved his master plan. I predict, the lead guy will be pulled out of this group and be part of a manufactured boy band that Cowell creates after the Boot Camp round. Britney thought they were funky, while Demi was practically salivating at how cute they were. If she could, she probably would’ve blown them on stage ;) Simon warned her to stay away.

Jannel Garcia

Great genuine rocker voice for such a young girl. Wasn’t expecting it all. The dance moves were a little too slutty, but the vocals were spot on. Definite contender. Easiest ‘yes’ approval from all four judges. With a makeover, Jannel could be a superstar.

Jillian Jensen

This moment couldn’t have been more catered for Demi even if the producers planned it. Like Lovato, Jensen was bullied. I was on the edge of my seat to see if cutting would come up. Jillian tells a story so heart-wrenching and delivers a performance so emotional, even Simon was getting misty. That’s right, Cowell almost shed a tear. Demi rushing to the stage after Jensen’s performance was the icing on the cake. Jillian’s definitely one to watch.

Montages

One Direction Introduction

What a difference a year makes. Last year Leona Lewis was the marquee name for being the most successful X Factor product, and now it’s One Direction and to a certain degree Cher Lloyd. Cowell is damn lucky the British-Irish boy band broke into the US market.

Global Phenomenon

Once again, we’re reminded how big One Direction is. Until The Voice produces a bonafide international superstar, it’ll always play second fiddle to American Idol and X Factor. Those red swivel chairs will eventually tire.

Britney Rejection Montage

By far, my favorite montage of the night- a series of Britney squashing people’s dreams. LOL. Christmas came early this year.

X Factor Season 2 Rejections

Shawn Armenta

This audition was obviously shown to prove that Britney could dole out sassy comebacks. Once she delivered, proud Papa Simon Cowell gave her a pat on the back. PS. How funny was Shawn’s autotune comment towards Demi. Love both girls, but the autotune insult was kinda true ;) Still, like Brit, I’d be uncomfortable if dude was staring at me too.

Kaci Newton

The second I saw Kaci comment about Paige’s run in her stockings and whining about the mark Paige’s daughter left, I knew this bitch was TOAST. Loved Brit’s reaction to Simon comparing Kaci to her. I’d be insulted too, Brit.

Don Philip

Months prior to Don’s audition airing, reports of his reunion with Spears surfaced. When I heard all four judges rejected him, I wondered how bad his audition was. After tonight, I need not wonder anymore. He butchered that track. I felt so bad for Brit having to reject him. Clearly his voice (and looks) have deserted him. To boot, he’s not emotionally stable to handle the show. His breakdown backstage was a little unnerving. Side note, I wonder why producers never showed Don coming out to Brit?

What did you think of X Factor’s Season 2 premiere? Are Britney and Demi good additions to the show? What do you think of all the backstage footage? Sound off below.