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February 2014

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X Factor Gets Axed — Sayonara Simon!

Written by , Posted in General

X FACTOR SIMON COWELLWhen Simon exited American Idol to launch X Factor, I assumed American Idol was doomed. I based this assumption on empirical evidence from the UK, which saw the demise of Pop Idol immediately after Cowell created X Factor, a move that ultimately resulted in a lawsuit with his former friend, Simon Fuller, who rightfully (in my opinion), claimed that Cowell stole Fuller’s format to launch his competing show. But I spoke toO soon.

When I wrote my original prediction, I had yet to watch X Factor, and from the moment it began I knew it would fail in the United States. First, the format was dated. The cheesy backup dancers barely work for major stars, let alone amateurs. Additionally, Simon Cowell’s personal investment in the show skewed his objectivity, and he traded his signature barbs for sappy critiques that served only to make the show feel fraudulent. He attempted to assuage the show’s format issues with beautiful women as judges, a move that might also work more abroad than domestic. Us American’s know a sideshow when we see it, and if you don’t hire someone with inside experience, all else will fail. To be fair, he did hire L.A. Reid, but unlike Harry Connick Jr., Reid was unable to articulate the intricate issues with each contestant, therefore never fully exposing the extent of his industry experience.

It’s unfortunate that X Factor failed, but with The Voice’s very fresh format and American Idol’s historical brand, it’s impossible to compete. And given Cowell’s recent popularity decline, his personality isn’t enough to save a sinking ship. That being said, I’m sure the guy is crying in a big pile of money. It was fun while it lasted.