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Thursday, 2 June 2016

The X Factor will never regain the X Factor!

Contributed by Rachel Hawkins

The least surprising X Factor news of the year was announced this week.  No, they’ve not decided to bite the bullet and axe the somewhat ailing show.


The announcement comes in the shape of a brand new judging line up.

Well, I say brand new, however all is not what it seems.  We are in fact being treated to the original line up with the addition of another familiar face.

Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osborne and the incredibly beautiful (I have such a girl crush on this lady) Nicole Scherzinger have just signed up to re-join the circus.  Because let’s face it, that’s what this 'talent' show has descended into now isn’t it? A circus.



So, here we go again then. What used to be quite a TV event to mark the start of the autumn, and ultimately the run up to Christmas  now feels tired and stale. If I was kind I'd called last year's series lackluster, but it's more accurate to call it a complete and utter shambles. Though they'd never admit Cowell and co must've realised that, deciding to virtually erase it from the show's history and relying on a judging panel and host which has made the show popular in years gone by.

In actual fact though, I don't believe the judging panel makes or breaks the show, the truth is we're bored.  The dwindling audience who give up their Saturday and Sunday night’s to the music talent TV show are disinterested.  It’s all been done and heard before, you can refresh those behind the desk as much as you it's the show that needs a rest not the judges. It's been on since 2004 and we know it like the back of our hands.

The thing is, we know what’s coming don’t we? We’ve seen it all before.


Let me set the scene.  All 4 judges will walk onto the stage during the live shows on a Saturday night.  Nicole Scherzinger will look fabulous, Simon Cowell will have his heaving cleavage on show and do his signature wink, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osborne will be holding hands and sharing some sort of private joke none of the audience will be privy to.  They’ll take their seats, ready to deliver their verdicts on the ‘talent’ performing for them and us, the audience.

Louis Walsh will shuffle in his seat and play with his pen while muttering the immortal words “You look like a pop star, you sound like a pop star, you ARE a pop star” and of course the “You remind me of a young…..” insert any famous pop star from old here, I think he even told a singer they reminded him of a young Lenny Henry once?!

Sharon Osborne probably won’t be trusted around a glass of water for fear of her dashing it in either Simon or Louis’ face whilst also breaking out into huge laughing fits on demand. Hysterical.

Nicole Scherzinger will sit there with her perfectly coiffed hair whilst thinking about what new word she can invent to describe an artist’s performance.  Schmazing anyone?

And of course, Simon “I didn’t just like it, I LOVED IT” Cowell, HE’S 1000% sending this person through to the next round.

So far so 2004 and 2005 and 2006 and so on.

With the ever changing judging panel you always have the caricatures the judges become.  By this I mean they slot into a role created by the media and perhaps the producers themselves.

Cheryl Cole, Tweedy, whatever her name is today was always the Nations Sweetheart.  The girl done good, the woman we can all relate to.  She’s had her heartbreak, she’s had her highlights and her low lights in life and there she is, still sat there with a beautiful grin on her face (I’m sure the millions of pounds she’s received over the years helped with that).  She didn’t really ‘bring it’ last series though did she? Sadly.

Then you had Rita Ora, the young, fresh talent whose fashion sense created more column inches than her judging prowess itself.  I think it was hoped she would bring in the younger viewers, when in actual fact they had a life and were out Snapchatting their Saturday night antics.  That’s what the kids do now you see.

Nick Grimshaw seemed to be purported as the judge who didn’t know what he was on about, when in really I think he probably knew quite a lot.  He just always looked like a deer caught in the headlights, he seemed out of his depth on such a huge primetime weekend TV show.

Danni “The Tits” Minogue (read Simon Cowell’s biography to find out why she’s referred to as that – then try not to be sick in your mouth) was always a firm favourite with The X Factor fans, although I don’t think you’d find Sharon Osborne agree with that. Poised, dignified and someone who seemed to genuinely care about her acts, Danni was a great asset to The X Factor, I just don’t think Simon Cowell always appreciated her.  Certainly not in the way he should have.

Tulisa was billed as being the new Cheryl Cole/Tweedy.  That didn’t exactly go to plan though did it? Still, at least she got a brand new set of teeth out of her experience.

And then we had Mel B.  The judge who was cruel to be kind.  The one we loved to hate.  Did we ever get to the bottom of her no show during the Semi Finals in 2014?

Lastly, one point I have to make with regards to the decision to bring back Louis Walsh is just how much self-respect does the bloke have? He’s heard the words “You’re Fired” more times than Lord Sugar has uttered them on The Apprentice.  He must seriously love The X Factor to keep returning when he’s been unceremoniously axed so often.

Whether the return of Louis, Simon, Nicole and Sharon will have a positive impact on The X Factor remains to be seen, I certainly won’t hold my breath.  I’m no Mystic Meg but I don’t see any viewing records being broken this year and I certainly don’t think there will be many people who come January 2017 will be remembering who won The X Factor 2016.  I’m still trying to remember who won the last 3 series’ if I’m honest.  This is one for Google I think….

The X Factor is expected to return in late August on ITV.
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