The X Factor: The Inside Story on Season 2's Wildest Production Numbers

As Creative Director for The X Factor, Brian Friedman has to keep a lot of people happy: the show’s quartet of mentors, their various contestants and a demanding viewing audience. The key to his success, he says, is picking his battles.

“I feel like I’m editing myself every 30 minutes of the day. But you have to know whether an element of a performance is really important to the overall vision,” he says. “And if I know an act especially wants something, then I will do a little extra fighting.”

RELATED VIDEO | Reality Check: Beatles Beaten on X Factor, Voice! Plus: Fifth Harmony’s Surge, Mario Lopez’s ‘But’

Friedman took time out of his schedule to give TVLine an inside look at five of Season 2’s most lavish production numbers — outlining everything from sets and backdrops to choreography and safety supervision. Click through the gallery below to get the full scoop, and for all my reality TV recaps, news and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. syb says:

    Ugh. The aspect of the X Factor that I like the least is the over the top production. I guess there’s an audience for it, but these kids aren’t stars yet, and putting on an outrageous costume or fronting scantily clad dancers and flying props all about doesnt make them stars. It just makes them look like they’re dressing up in mommy’s high heels.

    • ejones says:

      As well as the over production, its the overuse of backing tracks that are there to disguise the failings of the contestants

  2. Alienate says:

    Wow… first place for Simon to save some cash is to fire this guy. evidently, he is the reason many of us find the live shows much LESS enjoyable than the earlier portions of the season.
    put the saved money into BETTER AUDIO for the live shows.

  3. Aria says:

    “Anything Could Happen” and “Lady Marmalade”

  4. Lenon says:

    I love how humble Brian always are lol

  5. J says:

    Lady Marmalade was so amazingly done, very professional. And CeCe always wore amazing dresses.

    But 5H definitely picked up the whole stylish and creative after she left.

  6. whosays says:

    the amazing sets & concepts is what sets xfactor apart from the other shows. it’s funny when the act can’t handle them, but it’s pretty cool when the act can (L145, cece, 5H). eliminate the OTT production, and you just have a show that’s trying to be AI or The Voice. Might as well do things differently, otherwise what’s the point of a 3rd show?

    • syb says:

      The Voice does it too, albeit not quite as outrageously, and AI is moving that way. If that’s why you watch it, then that’s fine. I’m sure its partly a generation gap that explains differing viewpoints. But I do notice that it tends to be those who sit on a stool and sing a song who deliver the most effective, moving and memorable performances.