The X-Factor originated in the UK and has been going strong for many years now, 10 to be exact. The last couple of years have found them struggling a bit after the departure of Simon Cowell to join the cast of the newly launched American version. Not only did Simon leave, but so did Danni Minogue and Cheryl Cole and ever since it has been a downhill slide. The US version of the show started off quite poorly, not necessarily production wise, but with choice of judges, host and contestants. The big difference between the two is that while the UK version has been getting worse, the US version has been getting better.
Both shows have had format changes over the years, some for the better, and some that have been not so good. This year saw the UK show discard judge Tulisa for veteran judge Sharon Osborne. A good move thought of by some, but not so by many as the US show has brought in judges Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland to gear towards the younger crowd. Having a panel with Sharon on it, as well as mainstay Louis, middle-aged Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger does not speak so strongly to that younger audience as it should.
Also of relevance is the choice of theme for each show with the US producers gearing their shows for the younger viewers with modern songs and current hits as well as updating older songs with newer mixes in some cases. The British produced show so far this year has had an 80s week, a disco week and a swing week with nary a top forty song in sight except during the sing offs which are turning out to be some of the better moments in the show. In today’s day and age, is it better to feature Katrina and the Waves or Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? Is it a smart move to gear the show to younger crowds who will be buying records with disposable income or to pensioners with years of savings who may or may not be purchasing a record from an up and coming singer?
It baffles the mind at just what is happening to the stalwart show that the X-Factor used to be in Britain. Whatever magic it had, now seems to be making its way across the pond to the United States. Where the X-Factor UK was once the top show on the airwaves every week, its ratings have been steadily declining over the years due in no large part to being a boring shadow of its former greatness. The future now looks to be in versions of the show in other countries such as Australia and the US where they move towards the future in their modernity instead of languishing in the past. Hopefully the British version can right the ship before it’s too late.