Jim Cantiello returns as digital correspondent
Season one finalist Rachel Crow to appear on debut episode of "Pepsi PreShow Live" Thursday, Nov. 1
FOX, Syco and FremantleMedia announced Wednesday that actress/singer Adrienne Bailon, who is best known for her work in 3LW and the Cheetah Girls; and Jesse Giddings, a former MuchMusic Canada V.J. and musician, will join "The X Factor's" "Pepsi PreShow Live" as hosts. Jim Cantiello, formerly of MTV News, will return for his second season as digital correspondent.
The hour-long web-exclusive program streams live every Wednesday, one hour prior to "The X Factor's" weekly performance shows, at 7 p.m. live on thexfactorusa.com,pepsi.com and on The Xtra Factor app. "Pepsi PreShow Live" features interviews with the contestants, the judges, "The X Factor" production team, reporters and pundits, celebrity guests and, of course, the fans.
The first "Pepsi PreShow Live" program for season two will stream on a special night, Thursday, Nov. 1, and will feature season one alum Rachel Crow, as well as "The X Factor" Supervising Producer and choreographer Brian Friedman and pop culture pundits Jared Eng of JustJared.com and SuChin Pak of MTV fame, among other special guests.
"I feel so honored to be a part of 'The X Factor' family. I am a huge fan of the show and a huge fan of music. I started my career in music as a teen, so I'm excited to be a part of show that discovers great talent ... real talent!" said Bailon, of joining "Pepsi PreShow Live."
Added Giddings, "I'm thrilled at the opportunity to host the 'Pepsi PreShow Live' on this season of 'The X Factor.' I've been a fan of the show and Simon Cowell for years. This season promises to be amazing! I can't help but get excited about the possibilities. The contestants are so talented; it'll only make my job easier. I can't wait to bring all the excitement and exclusive access from backstage at 'The X Factor' to the fans online."
"I couldn't be happier to be back on 'The X Factor' team," Cantiello said. "I'm champing at the bit to ask the judges the burning questions that viewers ask themselves each week. If by the end of season two, I haven't made Simon cry during an interview, I will have failed."
This week on "The X Factor," the Top 16 will perform live for the first time on a special two-hour-and-seven-minute show Wednesday, Oct. 31 (8 p.m.), on Fox. Hosts Khloé Kardashian Odom and Mario Lopez will take "The X Factor" stage alongside judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears and L.A. Reid. Then, on Thursday, Nov. 1 (8 until 10 p.m.), the top finalists will be revealed, and return the following week to face America's vote.
Bailon first rose to prominence as a member of the '90s all-female group 3LW, which released three studio albums before splitting up in 2006. During the final years of 3LW, Bailon began working on the Disney Channel's telefilm franchise, "The Cheetah Girls," about four teenagers who form a girl group. The telefilms' soundtracks have been certified platinum and double-platinum by the RIAA. The group has four CDs that hit No. 1 on the Top Kid Audio chart and one that reached the top spot on the Top Soundtracks chart. Bailon also has appeared in several films, including playing opposite Samuel L. Jackson in 2005's "Coach Carter." Recently, she starred in her own reality series for the Style Network, "Empire Girls: Julissa and Adrienne" and she is currently working on new music.
Giddings, who hails from Langley, British Columbia, is revered as one of MuchMusic's respected VJs (2010-12), having hosted its flagship program, "New.Music.Live." He also is a musician signed to Universal Music Canada. His new EP, "Brighter," is slated for a spring 2013 release. In addition, Giddings is an international model represented by Elite Models and has worked as a model in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto.
Cantiello is a pop culture addict who has worked for years as a producer, writer and correspondent for MTV News. His quick-witted 60-second recaps of popular reality TV shows earned him raves from fans and celebs alike, including Bravo's Andy Cohen and Martha Stewart. In 2011, while covering "The X Factor's" press junket, Cantiello's fun and fiery questions caught the eye of Cowell, who instantly tapped him to be a digital correspondent for the show's "Pepsi PreShow Live." Prior to that, he developed and piloted a Yahoo Web series, "Primetime In No Time," that went on to break Internet records in 2008. Other notable works include 2009's "MTV Detox" and "Date Night with Martha Stewart," on which he and his producer pal, Brendan Kennedy, wined and dined the domestic goddess on her daytime Hallmark Channel talk show.