Some time in recent days and weeks, Simon Cowell realized that The X Factor wasn’t shaping up to be the singing competition to end all singing competitions. The money was there, as was the support from Fox, but with little more than 12 million viewers tuning in to see who would win a $5 million windfall, it became clear something hadn’t clicked with America.
And so on Monday, we learned that he had cleaned house: Gone are stiff host Steve Jones and simpering, whimpering judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Reports that Cowell was looking for more star power next season quickly followed. Mariah Carey’s name has already been bandied about as the kind of A-list celebrity he wants, and she did serve as Simon’s right hand during the at-home coaching sessions.
But is she enough? Is she even the right Hail Mary play? The truth is The X Factor has strong elements going for it, boasting auditions in front of a live crowd, Simon’s bitter tongue and the most diverse lineup of contestants of any of the broadcast talent shows.
Now if only it could rid itself of any remaining similarity to American Idol. Some ideas:
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