ITV FAIL: X Factor is slowly losing viewers

I don’t often write about ratings for TV shows (unless they’re shows I watch that are being cancelled), but I noticed this nugget on Digital Spy this morning about [[The X Factor 2009|X Factor]] ratings:

The ratings represent a week-on-week decline of 1.5m but an increase of around 1.2m on the equivalent episode from last year’s run. Series to date, The X Factor has averaged an impressive 10.42m.

My reason for mentioning this is that we’re four weeks into the live auditions. The show is spending more screen time on supposedly ‘funny’ auditions instead of focussing on the talent.

Now, we’ve all had that watercooler conversation in work with someone who says: “I just watch it for all the weirdos in the auditions.” Clearly the producers are playing to that demographic and conveniently forgetting their mission to find the best talent in the UK. Even [[Simon Cowell]] has warned that the winner this year only has a 50/50 chance of being successful, a recognition of the fact that the show doesn’t always work.

So – what does all this mean? We’re getting flooded with the nation’s imbeciles in the name of entertainment. The good singers are just that: only good, not brilliant, not amazing. The ITV1 show is virtually identical to the ITV2 show (quirky, silly, more time for the eccentrics). And the ratings tell us that people are starting to switch off to the tune of 1.5 million per week.

Let me excuse myself here – I don’t mind a few silly auditions. But, knowing that those acts were vetted by producers makes it increasingly unlikely that they just bumbled onstage. The ratio of idiots to talented singers on Saturday night was – optimistically – 60:40. And with the final live auditions coming up next weekend, I still couldn’t pick out a final twelve who’d be good enough.

I don’t honestly know what they’re trying to achieve with these goofball moments. Simon will inevitably melt down at some stage and remind everybody that THIS IS A TALENT COMPETITION, DAMMIT! The evidence of this year’s X Factor being about talent is sadly thin on the ground. Sorry, ITV, you need to sort this mess out.

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1 Comment

  1. Ageing tart

    Hello Gerard,

    I am very sad to say that I agree in its entirety with your above post.

    Also its not necessarily the judging team to blame for all of this. The goofball contestants are put through via the producers who are pandering to that percentage of viewers who would rather watch goof ball contestants than true talent.

    This is bad news though for the X factor who should be giving us a magnificient show this year instead of allowing itself to be trashed via the viewers who expect better, the critics who feel the shows format days are over, established artists more fodder to fire from there already overloaded canons.

    I’m really surprised that the quota of goofs is somewhere close on 7 out of every 10 when it should be the other way around. I suppose what the X factor is showing us every year it has run is that this is what you get when it gets over 100.000 contestants instead of 10.000. 

    If the X factor were to come back in 2012, I would much rather see a smaller show and a judging panel of seasoned established long lasting musicians and singers, plus a recording industry producer that is also more keen on finding talent than feeding his own ego.

    The show for me has ceased to entertain in its present state.


    Ageing tart



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