Posted: 4:15 pm Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Why was ‘The X Factor” a failure? 

By Rodney Ho

THE X FACTOR: L-R: Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio on THE X FACTOR. Season three of THE X FACTOR failed miserably. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX

THE X FACTOR: L-R: Demi Lovato, Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio on THE X FACTOR. Season three of THE X FACTOR failed miserably. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX

Fox officially killed off “The X Factor” yesterday, a death that was inevitable after ratings tumbled season three to a level that clearly made it more a burden on the schedule than a benefit.

Creator Simon Cowell is going back to the U.K. 12 years after “American Idol” turned him into a household name here. He left “Idol” after season 9 to pursue his own “X Factor” dreams here. And it failed. He’ll go back to his more successful British version of “X Factor” and lick his wounds.

What went wrong?

Bottom lines: “X Factor” couldn’t outdo “Idol.” It failed to provide a viable alternative to “Idol” the way “The Voice” has. And Cowell couldn’t get out of the shadow of his own rude but honest role on “Idol,” a persona that grew stale for many viewers after a more than a decade.

It also didn’t make sense for Fox to have two shows with such similar pedigree without the two shows inevitably cannibalizing (as opposed to enhancing) each other. Sure, they were on at different times of the year but that didn’t matter in the end.

And while Cowell was able to give away $1 million, that $1 million didn’t create the next One Direction or even Leona Lewis or Olly Murs, British “X Factor” stars who crossed over to the States. The U.S. “X Factor” acts to date have made modest impacts (Emblem3, Chris Rene, Fifth Harmony), but nobody has been a breakout winner. Heck, season one winner Melanie Amaro hasn’t even gotten an album out.

Season one, when more people were willing to give the show a chance, set the tone with an awful, robotic host and overly produced set pieces. And despite the reuniting of Paula Abdul and Cowell, the panel just didn’t quite gel. And bringing in Britney Spears season two didn’t help matters. She was vacant. While Demi Lovato was a better-than-average judge, she alone couldn’t give the show the cachet it needed to take eyeballs away from “Idol” and “The Voice.”

By the time season 3 arrived last fall, I had too many other shows on my plate to pay it even a whit of attention. And based on press coverage (or the lack thereof), not many others did either. Ratings fell below 5 million and the 18-49 shares below 1.5. In other words, “The X Factor” was pulling in less than half the audience of an already shrunken “American Idol.”

Cowell never had an ownership share in ‘Idol.” He wanted his own baby here. He negotiated a way to get “The X Factor” stateside. But he could never escape “Idol’s” huge shadow. It must have frustrated the bejesus out of him considering the fact “Idol” got progressively weaker while “The X Factor” was around.

So will we ever see Cowell again? He will certainly try. But it can’t be yet another singing talent show. We have enough of those, thank you very much.

On the bright side, I’ve heard good things about season 3 winner Alex & Sierra!

75 comments
MercedesS
MercedesS

Still here too- but my newspapers are not. Power still on, but for how long? Unlike Deidre and other lucky folks in new neighborhoods, we live in that third world part of Atlanta that has no buried cables,  no public transportation. If the city could spend $3 billion on much needed upgradie of sewer system, why not secure power, internet, and phone lines as well? Apparently we have a gazillion power trucks from Florida (great, thanks) on stand-by; who's paying for that? And what does it cost each time to fix those downed lines?


Grumble, grumble.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I'm still here.  We are fortunate enough to live in a town where most of the electric lines are buried.  It takes a lot to knock us out. We are about to lose some trees however.  Keeping my fingers crossed on the electric.  The longer it stays on, the better off we'll be.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

Yes. I am with Deirdre. I anticipate there won't be much TV watching tonight assuming I will lose my power as well. Or I might get lucky. Even then, Fox might even preempt Idol for storm coverage.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

Our electricity is blinking and dimming.  We will probably not get to see Idol tonight...maybe even tomorrow night.  JT, we're looking to you to give a full accounting.  No pressure.  ;-)

MercedesS
MercedesS

More good Idol news??  Look forward to Rodney's report. 

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

I will check into the voting situation and post something in the morning. I've been working all day. Time for a break! A limit is a good thing!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Big news being reported by mjsbigblog:  Limited voting on all platforms!!!!!  There are no details but mj says it appears that votes from phone to text to internet will have a limit.  

Could this be true???????

MercedesS
MercedesS

Good luck to everybody these next couple of days. "Catastrophic ice storm" for sure will mean no power tomorrow... 

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Ditto Deirdre's sentiments. Good night and good luck all. See ya in a couple of days

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Take care Wp...looks like you might be getting it even worse in Athens than we will here around Atlanta.


Good luck to everyone.  May your electricity stay on. Stay warm, stay safe!  See ya on the flip side.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Well, at 4:00  the roads around Kennesaw seem to be pretty clear and ok. Hope they stay that way another hour and a half!

MercedesS
MercedesS

Sam, Lisa Roberts Gillian, is the full sister of Julia and Eric, and she has appeared in most of Julia's movies (Duplicity, Runaway Bride, Eat, pray, Love, Mona Lisa Smile, Something to Talk About, etc.)

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

Light snow and ice in Athens......to be continued.......

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Shirley Temple married John Agar at a very young age.  It lasted about 4 years and then she married her current husband in 1950.  An extremely long marriage but not her only one.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

I'll  have to look for that - love good bread! Must be near Piece of Cake. Speaking of that area, do you ever eat at The Ketch? I love that place - their crab-&-shrimp salad roll is sooooo good. And the lobster roll is just stuffed with huge chunks of lobster.

Shirley lived to a nice old age, and looks like she led a very happy life - was married for many years to her only husband, until he died. Unusual in Hollywood. I imagine the Oscars will do a nice tribute to her.

I wondered if this young lady was Julia's sister who had bit roles in several of Julia's movies, but I googled up a pic, and it's not. I believe that sister is a "full" sister to Julia and Eric. Sad anyways.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Shirley Temple's death will probably overshadow death of Julia Robert's unhappy half-sister who just od'd. 

MercedesS
MercedesS

Just waiting for Moncrief to show, then I'll do my errands, Sam. Lucy's market still a treat waiting to be sampled.

Meanwhile, I love Storico Fresco, a shop with handmade pasta and unbelievably good bread from a man in Sandy Springs. It's across from the fire station on Roswell Road, going north right after the split from Peachtree in Buckhead. At the back of the building so it's a bit hard to find.


Ways to go from Idol talk, but I find food talk comforting in times of anxiety.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes:  did you ever get to Lucy's Market? Wish I had some of her caramel pound cake and truffle brownies and Tate's choco chip cookies (the best I've ever had), + some of her wonderfully fresh veggies to eat whilst a prisoner in my own home!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Mercedes: go out now - roads were ok when I came in at 8. However, the FedEx guy just came in (10:50) and said the roads are getting a bit slick now, so I'd go and get back in the next hour or so.

D: It's supposed to be around an inch of ice tomorrow, starting after midnight, and continuing thru the day tomorrow - hi 32°. Not good. Thurs is supposed to start at about 26°, but get up to around 44° by late afternoon, so that's pretty much a loss too. The weekend clear with hi's in the high 40's/low 50's. (I have a tv in my office with the fake weather channel that Direct now has (apparently dumped the good ATL based real Weather Channel).

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Getting sleet mixed with rain on the southside.  Has anyone read the National Weather Service forecast for tomorrow?  They are using the words "historic" and "catastrophic".  I'm hoping that they're talking about just a small area where the ice gets really bad.

Plenty of food in the house.  Now we'll gather up kindling and firewood, just in case.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Here we go again, indeed.  Thought I'd take a quick trip to Whole Foods for some treats to last me through the next 48 hrs, but I don't know. Sounds like it's raining nails.  Spraylady and Moncrief moving up their dates.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Video funny that is

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Funny! Now Kennesaw has snow falling - it's big pretty flakes. Still melting on the wet ground. I'm keeping a close eye on the temps. everyone who has to be out drive safely.

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

I see the Hitler video and it is so funny !!!!!

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

I'm gonna be really miffed if we lose power on Wednesday evening and I miss out on IDOL

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I watched WD yesterday afternoon and DA last night.  Both were excellent as usual.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Morning everyone. Sleeting like crazy, mixed with rain, in Marietta. Snow falling up the road in Kennesaw. Told my boss I'd be here until I start feeling uncomfortable, then I'm outta here.

Sad,Shirley Temple died last night. What an adorable, talented little girl she was. I used to love to watch her old films, especially the ones where she was really young and tiny. A living doll at the time.

Still haven't watched "WD"or "DA" so be careful D and M, please.

Anyone ever been to St George Isl, FL? I'm going for 5 days in May - I understand it's a pretty rustic place (so the opposite of my tastes) but we have a lovely condo right on the beach that will allow 2 tiny ones and a parrot, so looking fwd to it. The beach is supposed to be beautiful, and the condo site for our unit says "sit on the balcony and watch the dolphins play.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

Mercedes says she's only seeing the commercial.  Can anyone else see the Hitler video or should I just delete it?

MercedesS
MercedesS

Apparently the BIG storm arrives Wednesday. As long as I have power I might dedicate my snow days to watching the new show with Matthew McConaughey on HBO and the new Following.  HATED it last season, but I do adore Kevin Bacon...

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Sitting here looking out the windows at the gray sky and wondering if all this snow & ice is really gonna happen tonight and tomorrow. Since they seem to be planning ahead for it, I'll bet not. Just so the power stays on and my boss (from Finland near the Arctic Circle, who thinks we're just "sissys") doesn't have a hissy fit when I refuse to drive in the mess, I am somewhat ambivalent.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

May as well use this as your home to talk for now til I come up with another "Idol"-related blog entry.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Whatever happened to our edit feature?

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

You're welcome, Mercedes.

For anyone else who has occasional difficulties signing in.  Sometimes it helps to go to the upper right corner of the page, click member center(or something like that) It will take you to your profile page.  Check to see if everything is correct then go down to the bottom of the profile page and click save.  That usually resets everything so it is easier to get signed in.

MercedesS
MercedesS

And thanks, D., for helping me to access the blog!

MercedesS
MercedesS

In Rodney's pic above, Simon is STILL lounging, with a bunch of women, half his age,  draped all over him. And they get paid to do it.  Ick, ick.  

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

RoHo: I wish I could block out ALL things Kardashian! They've insinuated themselves into everything. Sephora carries a line of makeup - though I'm having a hard time imagining why anyone would want to look like any one of them. I picked up a lipstick to look at once, the saw the label and dropped it fast as lightening.

D: I can still see that sick image of Simon lounging back on a pool chaise, white shirt open to the waist, bare feet propped up, listening to these poor girls - UGH.

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Deirdre: Glad you loved the show too - so many great memories. I loved seeing Dhani too - he sounds a good bit like George - and brought a tear to my eyes (one of many). The only ones I didn't like were the two ladies - I hated what Katie P did to "Yesterday", and I can't stand Annie L anyway - yuck. I thought the songs were treated with great respect and the tunes kept the way they're supposed to be. I was touched by David Groh's words about his Father, his Daughter and himself - lovely. And he looked totally thrilled when Ringo said his daughter was beautiful.

You could see Paul just itching to get up there and play with everyone. And "While My Guitar....." was really great. Frampton can play a good guitar!

Sam-A1
Sam-A1

Don't know if we're still here or moved to the XF thread, so I'll post this both places.

Mercedes: I loved "Monuments Men", and as far as being "more classy", I thougt Hugh B (Lord G) and Jean DuJardin added a lot of CLASS! All the guys were really good - I liked Bob Balaban's little nerd character and Cate B was very good - it was a very enjoyable and informative film. Of course I cried. Several times! And I did not realize the actual extent of the items stolen - unbelievable! The barrels were stunning - though I knew about that being done, it still sickened me to see them..

I haven't seen "DA" or "WD" - watched the fabulous "50 Years Ago - The Day That Changed The World" with sneak peeks to the ice skating.

And I must say our Ice Dancers, Meryl and Charlie, were totally magnificent - for their long program, got the highest scores ever recorded for an ice dancing performance. Very proud of them. I can't wait to see their regular competition performances -one was choreagraphed by Derek Huff - I expect it to be fantastic

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC I'm on it. I'm sure there will be a lot of crying, some laughter, some happy people, and more crying.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@Woodpappy  

Apparently JT saw it too so I'll just chalk it up to Mercedes having all kinds of blockers on her computer.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC Isn't the edit only available for 5 minutes after the post is up?

MercedesS
MercedesS

@Sam-A1 Around Christmas,  Neiman-Marcus was showcasing a bunch of quirky, colorful socks in the men's dep. Great gift for us clueless shoppers who HAD to find something "fun" for male giftees. Picked up some, and like you, threw them back into the bin when I saw the dreaded K-name attached.

MercedesS
MercedesS

@Sam-A1 So glad you liked MM!

As for the skating, I thought our Miss Gold was way more impressive than the Russian wind-up doll.

I haven't watched WD or DA either - to utter disgust discovered that last season's last episode of Walking Dead - (which I had wanted to SAVE and SAVOR) have mysteriously been ERASED.  Anyone remember the name or number of that episode?

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC I can answer that now that I've posted. NO it is not. Only delete and share are available so I will join Deirdre in wondering.