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Cheryl Cole
'The X-Factor' recap: A running diary of the first episode
'The X-Factor' recap: A running diary of the first episode

THE SKINNY: Welcome to the world of "The X-Factor." From the start of Wednesday night's premiere, the "X" would take the foundations of "American Idol" — high drama, big lights and heartfelt stories — and build for the sky. This was an emotionally draining show, with stories of poor families, down-on-their-luck talents and even a meth-addict fresh out of rehab. If you feet that "Idol" has gotten stale in recent seasons (and it has, with its predictable guy-with-a-guitar winners), then "X-Factor" felt like a welcome reminder of just how great it feels to root for someone — someone perhaps trapped in a mundane life,...

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