Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
181

Reality TV Blog

'X Factor': Five changes the show needs to make in 2013

By
The last piece of ticker tape may only have just been swept up after James Arthur's victory in this year's X Factor final, but eyes are already looking forward to next year's series and whether the show's 10th run will be a rejuvenated return to form or its final swansong.

Viewing figures slumped to some of the lowest in the show's history during the current run and it's lost out convincingly in the Saturday night battles with Strictly. So what changes should be made to bring The X Factor back to full health?

Reality Bites has come up with five suggestions that could help save the show in 2013.

1. Bring back the audition room!

Will James and guitar skills impress the judges?

© Thames TV



Switching the X Factor auditions from dingy back rooms in conference centres to massive arenas had a quirky novelty to it when Simon Cowell first introduced the change. Danyl Johnson's mic-tossing, Olly Murs boogieing across the stage, the crowd saving acts and heckling others. But in the long-term, the move stripped away some of the show's charm.

The challenge of performing in an empty room with the judges only yards away was underestimated. Producers may find it easier to work with the swooping crowd shots and standing ovations of arenas, but the original first audition format had intimacy and was a tough examination of the acts' nerves.

Although some may find the idea of performing for thousands difficult, once you've got a crowd on side with a silly dance move or a sob story, it's all too easy to sway the judges and stroll through to Boot Camp. It also means the contestants have a natural progression from audition room, to Boot Camp, to Live Shows to the final at an arena.

The ending at Manchester Central looked impressive, but it would have made a better story if the acts hadn't done their first filmed auditions at even bigger venues, such as the O2.

Watch Leona Lewis's old school X Factor audition:



2. Shake up the judging panel

The X Factor Final: The judges.

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features

The X Factor



Ditching some judges and bringing in some news ones is the easiest way of ensuring a quick boost in ratings. Viewers will tune in to check out the new talent and it's bound to liven up the start of the auditions and the Live Shows. Plus, by the end of this year's show three quarters of the panel looked like they'd rather be anywhere else than sat at the judging desk on a Saturday night. It's time for some fresh meat.

There are rumours Cowell, Dannii, Cheryl and Osbourne could be tempted to return and an old face would certainly bring some nostalgia from the show's glory years.

Personally, I'd love Scherzinger to stay, Cowell to return (a jet-lagged Cowell would be better than 99% of talent show judges) and two fresh faces. I'd suggest casting the net wider than the usual names (a Spice Girl, Leona, etc) and it would be handy digging up another industry figure with clout to replace Walsh, who has become far too knowing about his ridiculousness and in on the joke in recent series.

3. Ditch the unnecessary nastiness

Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos
X Factor 2012

© Rex Features



Bully-gate with Misha B. The constant jibes and swipes at Christopher Maloney, on the show and off it. The last two series of X Factor have featured far too much personal comment and general nastiness. And it's usually come from the Tulisa and Louis end of the table.

Simon Cowell was known as a Mr Nasty during the early years of the show, but it always felt like his remarks were coming from a genuine music industry standpoint and he almost always kept them jovial and panto-esque.

Regardless of what Misha and Christopher are actually like as people - they could be the most disgusting divas in the entire music business for all I care - it's not pleasant or enjoyable to see people exposed and thrown to the dogs on national TV.

4. Pick talent over novelty

'The X Factor Live' TV Programme, London, Britain - 24 Nov 2012
Subhead: Dermot O'Leary and Rylan Clark
Supplementary info:
Categories:
Byline: Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features

© Ken McKay/Thames/Rex Features



The biggest problem X Factor faces heading into its 10th series is in its credibility as a music contest. The Voice may have had it faults - in fact it had plenty of them - but viewers did appear to respect and enjoy the genuine appreciation from the judges for top quality talent (rather than novelty or sob stories) during the swivel chair rounds.

We're not suggesting for a moment that X Factor should be filled with dreary ballad singers and identikit boybands. But equally they shouldn't try to force novelty acts down our throats. Picking Rylan to stay over Carolynne in week one of the Live Shows was a ludicrous decision that made it nigh on impossible to believe it wasn't the show's producers pulling the strings on who stays and goes rather than the judges.

Surreal and bonkers acts such as Wagner and Jedward proved successful by winning over certain sections of the audience, despite the judges not supporting them. They were underdogs. Having Tulisa, Louis and Nicole all banging on about Rylan's "entertainment" made watching him feel like forced fun.

5. Bring back proper theme weeks

Finding out the theme week and wondering how on earth each act would find a song to fit it was part of the X Factor's charm when it was at its very height. This year that pretty much went out of the window.

Other than the very welcome return of ABBA-week, we were left with vague and meaningless themes that could easily have been retitled 'music with words'. Best of British (Meh) Love & Heartbreak (bleugh) and No.1s (which incredibly managed to feature tracks that didn't even reach No.1) showed a total lack of imagination from the production team.

Heck, we never thought we'd say this, but we were actually left longing for the good old days of Big Band week.

Watch Jedward performing 'Ghostbusters' in 'Movies Week':



Do you agree with our suggestions? Do you have your own ideas? Let us know below!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...