Saturday, December 4

The X Factor: Simon Cowell’s Show Is Dead, But Has Been For Years | TV

“COWELL WIELDS AX ”roared on the cover of The Sun today, claiming that Simon Cowell, bored with gazing at a world made in his image, has chosen to cancel The X Factor once and for all after 17 years. The story quotes an insider who says: “Simon remains on top of his game … He owns the rights to the show, and it is his decision, not ITV’s, whether to leave it or not. Clearly, the last thing he wants is for X Factor to be turned off with a whimper and become a joke. “

About that last. If you wanted to produce a perfect scientific diagram of the fading concept, it would probably look like a graph of the X Factor display figures over the years. After the show’s biggest year in 2010, viewership ratings went into free fall, constantly losing scores of eyeballs every time he returned. Also, the show hasn’t been on television since 2018. Despite all attempts today to mimic an explosive dramatic impact in the style of ‘The King is Dead’, the truth is that most people assumed that he passed away quietly while slept several times. years ago.

Still, though, at least it’s official, with ITV adding that there are “no current plans” for another series. This should be a relief. The knowledge that The X Factor is dead means we don’t have to prepare for more misleading lineup changes (thank goodness Louis Walsh Hokey Cokey may now finally cease), or new nonsense rules, planned to artificially inflate the stakes. . And let’s take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief because there will be no more spin-off exercises like The X Factor: The Band or The X Factor: Celebrity. God knows if the world needs something right now, it’s not Martin Bashir singing Nat King Cole songs.

Maximum performance ... Duets of Beyoncé with Alexandra Burke.
Maximum performance … Duets of Beyoncé with Alexandra Burke. Photograph: Ken McKay / REX / Shutterstock

But while it ended up being completely irrelevant, it wasn’t always that way. At its peak, The X Factor was a true powerhouse. Look at the list of the most-watched TV shows of the 2010s – the only non-sporting event in the top five is the 2010 series finale.

The star caliber that the show was able to attract at its peak was incredible. Beyoncé did a duet with Alexandra Burke, with Rihanna and George Michael also making guest appearances. Lady Gaga splashed into a giant bathtub. Whitney Houston made one of her last appearances on the show. Olly Murs did a song with the Muppets. There was a year that Take That apparently performed The Flood three times a week. Some of the most famous singers in the world did their best for The X Factor, such was the weight of its popularity.

And although he was never successful in his quest to find the world’s greatest singers, he was close at times. Most of the X Factor contestants have faded into obscurity, but others have become household names. On One Direction he created a boy band phenomenon, and on Little Mix the biggest British girl group since The Spice Girls. Leona Lewis briefly looked like she could be a world mixer, and there was a time when Olly Murs seemed ready to be the next Robbie Williams. Perhaps most interestingly, The X Factor was also responsible for introducing us to Stacey Solomon and Rylan Clark; two proper singers who have become somewhat beloved TV presenters.

I wrote about The X Factor every weekend for this newspaper for half a decade, and wrote live every Saturday and Sunday night for four and a half months of the year at the expense of a social life. In the end, I quit, partly because there wasn’t enough money in the world to convince me to move on, but even as the most peripheral X Factor figure imaginable, I found myself a bit sucked into the orbit of the show. Louis Walsh called me up and offered to sneak me into X Factor’s studio for a recording. They sent me a box of yogurt for describing a yogurt commercial that aired between the television show. Wagner started emailing me memes.

Happy days ... Wagner stars on The X Factor.
Happy days … Wagner stars on The X Factor. Photograph: Ken McKay / Rex Characteristics

Plus, we all have our favorite X Factor moments. The endless tragedy of Gamugate. Nicole scherzinger snatching the mic from Jahmene Douglas’s hands mid-sentence with an expression of world-shattering fury on his face. The literal insanity of It’s time boy. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

Perhaps there is also an element of damage limitation behind Cowell’s decision to announce the end of The X Factor now. Increasingly, former contestants are beginning to tell horror stories about the demands placed on them by the show and their subsequent record deals. The news comes a few days later Rebecca ferguson From the 2010 series, she claimed that her management forced her to continue working after a miscarriage and kept her on a constant course of antibiotics to prevent her body from wearing out. It is certainly an ignominious ending.

While it seems like The X Factor may be over for good, Cowell has a new singing show debuting this winter called Walk The Line. I won’t be blogging it live.

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