Opinion: The X Factor Machine Needs To Lay Down And Die

Back in the glory days of ITV’s The X Factor our weekends were cleared. Not only did we watch The X Factor, the show’s obsession with cringe-worthy auditions and infighting amongst judges made it the form of escapism we so sorely craved.

On top of the constant drama, the thought of little-known singers suddenly dueting with the likes of Beyoncé or Rihanna was television gold before Cowell & Co. decided the judges would sing with their acts during the finale. At one time the show had almost twenty million viewers an episode and was the most watched competitive reality show, a title now owned by its rival Strictly Come Dancing.

On its 15th season, the show’s only real long-term successes have been Little Mix and the members of One Direction.

1) The Judges

The X Factor judging panel has had more changes than we’ve had red weather alerts. Back in the glory days of Danni, Simon, Louis, and Cheryl, The X Factor had the perfect line up. Cheryl and Louis couldn’t stand each other, Simon flashed enough chest hair to wake the dead and the public was obsessed with Minogue’s Aussie accent.

Simon pissed off Cheryl by sacking her from the American version of The X Factor, apparently, Americans just didn’t get her Newcastle accent, and Danni got the chop. Eventually, after countless changes to the panel that included Tulisa, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Rowland, Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Mel B, even Louis Walsh didn’t return or got fired -we’re still not sure on this one but the lack of seal clapping is a welcome relief. Now we’ve been left with Robbie Williams and his wife, the least popular member of One Direction and a jaded Simon Cowell.

2) The Acts

Remember the days when Leona Lewis, Ella Hendrix, Cher Lloyd, and One Direction became global successes? Now we’re rooting for some band the judges have tried to make work or a singer who’s alright but just doesn’t have the “X Factor”. The thrill that kept The X Factor alive was whether or not the dud “joke” act could actually beat out a phenomenal singer. Remember the outrage when Jedward nearly won the X Factor back in 2009 or the public reaction when Wagner survived each public week?

Remember when Katie Waissel sat on the floor during the sing off and said: “sod it”. This is the drama we need. Not pyrotechnics and plastic flamingos just character drama.

3. The Tired Format

With global anxiety levels at an all-time high, forcing people to fight over an IKEA chair during the six chair challenge to progress in a competition is a bizarre state of affairs. It’s like watching The Hunger Games without the pay off of knowing Katniss Everdeen changes the world or anything remotely good happens afterward. We all know the judges will suddenly become tone deaf at their houses and not send the best acts through to the live stages.

Remember when the Sunday night vote off was an edge of your seat experience? Now we’re waiting for the judges to send it to deadlock and the public vote ’cause none of them have the nerve to send someone home.

4. The Song Choices

Is it just me or does there seem to be a last minute song change, every week, that’s utter shite? There’s only so many times we can hear Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ butchered on live TV.

5. It’s not relevant anymore

Today Simon Cowell announced the news that the show has been renewed until 2022. How far can you stretch an outdated model? For 19 seasons, apparently. A car might be a great addition to your life but, eventually, it needs to be taken to the scrapyard and replaced with a newer model.

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