Simon Cowell may have made a huge mistake, when he predicted X-Factor would draw 20 million fans. He may have raised the expectations so high, that it doomed the first season of the show. The show never got past the 13 million mark and mostly drew, between 10 and 12 million viewers for most of the shows.
Now with the first season over, the host Steve Jones and a judge, Nicole Scherzinger have been told they will not be returning and it has just been announced today that Paula Abdul has also received the same news.
Jones Departure No Surprise
It was not a huge surprise that Jones would be leaving, since he seemed out of his element on the show and seemed discombobulated and not tuned in to what was going on around him. The firing of Scherzinger was not entirely unexpected, since her lack of decisiveness sent Rachel Crow home. She couldn’t make a decision, forcing the judge’s panel to be in a deadlock. The show then had to use the America’s vote, which ended the dream of winning X-Factor for Crow, when it was disclosed Crow had garnered the fewest votes that week.
Personally, I thought Paula Abdul did an efficient job as a judge, but apparently the producers wanted a more goofy Paula. She was paid only a million dollars for her work as a judge. She had reportedly left American Idol when she found out that Ryan Seacrest was being paid millions more as a host than she was being paid as a judge.
Paula Given Groups To Mentor
When Paula was given the groups to mentor, it showed the producers didn’t want her team to win, which was evident in the voting. Groups are an afterthought in singing competitions, since viewers identify more readily with a solo artist.
Cowell is wanting to take the show in another direction. With him and L.A. Reid the only returnees from the 2011 season, it will be interesting to see just what that other direction will entail.
My hope is that the group category will be eliminated from next year. How can a viewer identify with a group, especially when the show made groups out of solo singers? It takes time to form a group and make them a cohesive unit and the new groups weren’t allowed the luxury of having that time.
Cowell May Scale Back On Production Numbers
Cowell, who didn’t seem to go for the big production numbers, may try to scale back on the glamor and glitz and focus more on the singers and their performance. He will definitely need a host who is more comfortable onstage than Steve Jones. I am sure he would like to have Seacrest as his host, but Mr. Seacrest has so much on his plate already, doubt that will happen
It will be critical that the new judges will connect with the audience and be prepared to make hard decisions, without falling apart like Scherzinger did last season.
Paula-Simon Pairing Didn’t Draw Viewers
The general consensus was that Simon and Paula being together would help the ratings. However, that didn’t seem to be the case with X-Factor drawing 7 or 8 million viewers per show less than American Idol.
It is not like X-Factor was a complete failure, since most shows would be tickled to have 12 million viewers tuning most weeks. More viewers mean more money from the sponsors and Cowell realizes that.
Cowell has eight months to fine tune X-Factor, assuming the next season will start in September again. So we have to wait till then. to see what direction Cowell is taking the show.