Where did it all go wrong for The X Factor? | Page 2 | The Popjustice Forum

Where did it all go wrong for The X Factor?

Discussion in 'The X Factor' started by MrJames, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. I have a few ideas that I'd like to share.
    • Audition Space. Moving auditions out of the small room and into an arena sapped the show's energy and made it into a karaoke Britain's Got Talent. I understand their reasoning for it; they were looking to recapture the moment Susan Boyle walked onstage and wowed the unfriendly audience. Susan became an internet sensation, clipped and capped, and that was a powerful moment for Simon Cowell. But X-Factor was always better in a smaller space with the judges close to the 'singer'.
    • Taking Itself Too Seriously. Let's face it. We only watch X-Factor so we can laugh at delusional 'talent' as they struggle in front of the judges. All sorts of fabulous characters were introduced to viewers via the initial episodes of a new series. We love quirky Brits trying and failing. We also love laughing at bratty singers who have been lied to by their parents. Sob stories were part of that hilarity. "I'm doing this because my great granddad died four years ago". Now they're looking for REAL TALENT i.e. someone like Ed Sheeran. No thanks.
    • Times Have Changed. X-Factory was inspirational when it started. New Labour dominated the political landscape: things could only get better. For window cleaners who could carry a tune and a bucket of soapy water, X-Factor was a good way of getting into the industry. We loved watching them blossom onstage with the help of good lighting and a fab makeover. But that sort of aspirational television is no longer in vogue.
    • Christmas Is Ruined. The X Factor has dominated Christmas #1 for far too long. Who really gets excited about it now?
    • Strictly Come Dancing. It displays glitz, glamour, talent...and most importantly it shows off real relationships and friendship. The judges on X-Factor are there for the pay and that's it. When did you last get a sense they were truly invested in their acts? Strictly is a very cozy TV show. X-Factor lacks heart and soul. I haven't watched it in years.
    • Disposable Popstars. Someone wins. They release an album of covers. They're dropped. X-Factor isn't really a good thing for your career so winning isn't something to be coveted. Worse, there's no mystique in the process. As a viewer, you are literally privy to every single moment of the journey. In theory that's a good thing, but pop stars shouldn't be average and dull. I don't want to see everything that goes into the creation of a star. I don't.
    • The Format Changes. Okay, this goes back to Audition Space but all the changes in the format have eroded the show beyond repair. The Six Chair Challenge is cruel and spiteful, the complete opposite to the feel good factor of Strictly. Introducing stupid new concepts like the Wildcard twist is desperate.
    • A Lack Of Confidence. The constant changes, the tinkering, the negative press, the lack of originality and creativity, the judges constantly changing...it all smacks of a show in crisis, and viewers know it.
    • Where is Cheryl? She is the face of X-Factor. People love Cheryl Cole. Whether you like it or not, she generates more headlines and publicity for that show than anyone else. She has to come back. Some posters on this forum love Dannii, others adore Nicole, and one worships Tulisa. But none of them will ever offer the star power of Cheryl.
    • Too Long. It started off as one episode. Then it was extended. Then another episode added. Then adverts every five minutes. Then it became a weekend of shows. Then it was used to promote pop stars who would turn up, sing, then be asked who their favourite act is...even though they've clearly not watched or listened. X-Factor is too bloated. Kill it off.
    • The Changing Face Of Pop. The singers on X-Factor have been raised on a diet of passionless pop,. They want to be 'singer/songwriters' rather than popstars. They want to hold their acoustic guitar rather than entertain. X-Factor has suffered as a result. Simon Cowell is a creative cancer, he has no original ideas or thoughts. If a song is popular, he'll put out a crap version. If a popstar is popular, he'll create a crap version. If a trend is happening, he'll create a crap version. He tried to put out weak version of Adele. He'll try it again and again. He clearly wants a new boy band to replace One Direction. I despise his cynicism. Streaming has also irrevocably altered the charts. X-Factor seems a bit old fashioned.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  2. Give me Nicole any day over those two non-entities.

    Personally I think everyone is overestimating how far the show has sunk. It's simply levelled off. It's still one of the biggest shows on UK TV.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2017
    LivingLoife and kal like this.
  3. This is very true.
    kermit_the_frog likes this.
  4. Probably questions to be asked as to why we need a "current, fresh, hot young female" on the panel, when it's perfectly OK to wheel out the ancient Louis and Simon and their equally ancient opinions year after year.
    PERMOTIO and (deleted member) like this.
  5. The X Factor lost it's X factor. So did ITV. And TV in general.
    Viewing habits have changed which don't really suit appointment television anymore.
    LivingLoife and MadameX like this.
  6. The industry changed. Mandy from next door who had an amazing voice 10 years ago didn't really have many opportunities to be discovered; now she has a plethora of opportunities to get her name out there that are more respectable ("") than going on the show. The production team can aspire to find undiscovered, raw talent but it wouldn't ever be on the same level as it was in the past.

    (we are all guilty of this here; but) We all have expectations. A lot of the time we all know what we don't like about people and why they were unlikeable, but the format is really trying. Would some of our fave real pop stars have come off well with those VTs and set-ups?

    I just think we've slightly outgrown the format. Those old enough to have been watching it for years are bored and/or unimpressed with the changes and updates; and younger potential viewers just probably don't have the attention span to invest the way that the show once required.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  8. This is the first year I’ve not watched the show since about 2007, and I’ve not really noticed it not being there. I don’t think I’d enjoyed it since the Little Mix year, and I know there have been fornat changes this year but it’s too little too late, after 4 years of garbage I’m not going to get excited about any small twist. It just needs to be rested, which it will once ITV find something to fill the gap in the schedule it will leave.
    Leo1977 likes this.
  9. Yet these habits have not deserted its main rival on Saturday evenings. Which will in turn infuriate those at ITV regardless.
  10. Looking at it from outside the UK, it seems that this kind of format is struggling internationally. DSDS (German Pop Idol) is struggling, X Factor in Australia has finished etc. I believe Idol in Sweden is still popular?

    The Voice doesn't interest me because no-one seems to have a career out of it. I agree with this:

    If there were more longer term careers being launched by the X Factor, then the show itself would be seen as more exciting by connection.

    That's what makes it exciting/interesting for me - seeing a new popstar or pop group emerge.
  11. Therein lies the conundrum. I don't watch Strictly, but it seems that it's hardly changed its format?
    kermit_the_frog likes this.
  12. It isn't though, is it? Some of this year's live shows were scraping barely four million viewers. That's less than Pointless and Emmerdale usually get.

    I think the biggest problem with the show is how it plays into society in general. The one lasting legacy of the 2012 Olympics (at least, until the Brexit campaign got up and running) was making people think twice about whether being mean is preferable to being nice and wanting to see the best in people. I remember when the 2012 series of TXF began within days of the Olympics finishing and the social media reaction was basically 'it feels a bit wrong to watch this show which essentially thrives on being nasty and judgemental after spending the summer cheering people for what they can do rather than judging them for what they can't'. It's no coincidence that that was the year the show's decline got started in earnest, and it's never recovered. When you can't move in major city centres these days for homeless people and people begging for money, why on earth would anybody want to spend their Saturday nights watching a show which encourages you to laugh at people desperately trying to follow their dreams? They've tried to arrest the decline with vile uncomfortable format twists like the Six Chair Challenge, mistakenly believing the public is still as keen to laugh at other peoples misfortune as they were in the show's heyday, and it's (deservedly) backfired.

    All of that and the other more minor problems already mentioned like the arrival of The Voice tipping the balance of British TV into 'singing show overload' territory, and it having been six years since the show produced a proper palatable household name.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  13. Well, Strictly has certainly evolved. Did anybody miss Len Goodman this series? The big difference is that Strictly has been able to make changes from a position of confidence, as X Factor could do in early years with bringing in Cheryl and momentarily making the Sunday results show so big that no guest performer could turn it down.

    Compare how Strictly took great care to ensure the late Bruce Forsyth departed the show with dignity to how many people X Factor has thrown under a bus.

    To add to the many good points above, one other factor I would add is Cowell's ego.

    He picked up the Pop Idol format and ran with it. He understood its essential ingredients and had a talented production and PR team. And then he believed his own hype. He thought launching XFUSA would be a walk in the park and American Idol would flounder without him. X Factor UK then lost much of its key talent at a stroke. When you consider what a force X Factor was around 2009-2011 its remarkable how careless Syco/ITV have been in squandering one of the most valuable TV franchises.
    LivingLoife and beautyneverlies like this.
  14. No Dannii Minogue

    But mainly Simon , Cheryl, and Dannii left all at the sameTime
    Baby Clyde likes this.
  15. When Simon/Cheryl left for The X Factor USA but then again no one watches TV these days so...
  16. Strictly is watched mainly by mums and grannies, two demographics who are unlikely to change their viewing habits.
    LivingLoife likes this.
  17. Is it though? The older generations make up a large portion of its audience but it gets millions of younger viewers too. It's a family show, as popular on social media as anywhere else.
    Baby Clyde likes this.

  18. There was a time when the audition queue would have been jammed and out the door.
    Andrew likes this.
  19. You are absolutely dreaming if you think it isn't 'mums and grannies' who make up the core of X Factor's audience as well.

    I think having a judging panel that's 75% over 55 would be a tiny bit counterintuitive if they were trying to hang on to an audience of 20 year olds.
  20. X-Factors demographic is actually pretty wide. Mums, grannies and young people make up the audience. The issue is that a lot of the mums and the grannies tuned out of X-Factor years ago and the show hasn't moved quickly enough to cater to a younger audience.

    Literally everyone I know who is either a) a mum or b) a granny watches Strictly but doesn't watch X-Factor. Only one of my friends still watches X-Factor, everyone else has tuned out.
    LivingLoife likes this.
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