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Is The X Factor in crisis?

It’s been seven years, six weeks and several days since the first ‘X Factor’ show launched in the UK, picking the skeleton of its predecessor, ‘Pop Idol’ and adding monstrous production value. Since then it’s had a tremendous seven year run for any show, pulling in up to 18 million viewers.

But now it does seem the wheels are finally falling off the ‘X Factor’ wagon after a spate of falling ratings, viewers’ backlash and flop singles.

Show creator Simon Cowell is said to be furious after watching viewing figures tumble in the last two weeks. A combination of lacklustre judges, a tired formula and incessant ad breaks are being pointed to as the culprits for almost two million viewers voting with their feet and rejecting the prime-time show in favour of more exciting television - evidently Holly Valance gyrating on the dancefloor on BBC1’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
To put the viewing figures in context, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ beat ‘X Factor’ by a million viewers during the half hour they went head-to-head, pulling in a series high of 10.1 million. What’s worse is that this one million drop for ‘X Factor’ is just from last week’s figures. Compared with the 2010 series of the show, it has seen a drop of 2.3 million viewers to 13.7million. Worrying times indeed for the man at the top.

The low viewing figures come in the same week that last year’s winner Matt Cardle’s debut single didn’t even make the top five of the UK charts. This time without the music uprising that scuppered Joe McElderry’s chances of the Christmas number one record a couple of years ago.

Speaking of the winners, the revelation that the usual £1million prize fund has been scrapped in favour of accumulative wages for up to four albums is surely a sign that the show is faltering and bosses are losing faith in the winning acts.

These growing concerns heap yet more pressure on show bosses, who are already reeling from previous warning signs that the talent show juggernaut is slowly unravelling. Since day one of this year’s series, the new judging line-up has had a mixed response from critics with many arguing that they add nothing new to the show.  Cheryl Cole replacement, Tulisa Constavalos, in particular, has been singled out from show one with many reviewers commenting on her tiny amount of screen time during the audition stages. Perhaps fans are disappointed that they can no longer revel in Simon Cowell’s frank dissection of the hopefuls?

So maybe Cowell saw this apparent decline coming, hence the launch of the show in the States? Yet, even there vultures are swirling. Putting the PR hungry Cheryl incident aside, viewing figures are much lower than expected, with poor presenter Steve Jones used as a critical scapegoat. Cowell bragged that the US version would pull in at least 20 million viewers, yet ratings are almost 50% lower than expected, dragging a significantly lower 11 million to the Fox network.

As the franchise seemingly falters on both sides of the Atlantic, could this be the end of Cowell’s reign atop the TV empire? Especially after ‘Red or Black?’.

We can’t imagine ‘X Factor’ disappearing completely anytime soon, but the television powerhouse seems to be emptying out, one million viewers at a time.

What do you think? Is ‘X Factor’ in crisis? Will you be sad to see it go or will you be rejoicing in its demise?

Source: Here

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