The plug has been pulled a number on ‘The X Factor.’
This follows ITV’s announcement that there are no plans for another series of the show singing contest.
There is no denying that, at its peak, ‘The X Factor’ was everything. From the raw talent to the ratings-driven “drama” to huge celebrity performances. It was a moment in time.
Created by Simon Cowell, the singing competition launched with the UK series in 2004 and became a global phenomenon, and judges on the show have since included Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh, Cheryl, and Nicole Scherzinger.
Indeed, beyond birthing the careers of homegrown stars such as Leona Lewis, One Direction, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, JLS, and Alexandra Burke, the show launched localized iterations airing in France, Israel, and many other countries including the USA; where it ran for three seasons (2011-2013).
In 2019, ITV signed a deal with Cowell to broadcast Britain’s Got Talent until at least 2024, but did not commit to keeping The X Factor past 2020. The singing competition is reported to have regularly attracted an audience of more than 10 million a decade ago, with more than 17 million viewers tuning in to see Matt Cardle crowned the winner of the 2010 series.
During its peak in the late noughties, the X Factor was one of the most popular TV shows in the UK. However, ratings have fallen in recent years. In 2018, an average of 5.3 million people watched Dalton Harris crowned the winner, when the judges were Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and Ayda Field.
Last month, it was revealed that Cowell’s attentions have now turned to leading a fresh panel of judges in an upcoming new ITV musical game show, ‘Walk The Line,’ another singing competition format that sees talent compete for a monetary grand-prize (instead of a record contract).
The last full series of Simon Cowell’s pop music TV talent show aired in 2018, although a celebrity edition was broadcast the following year. In early 2020, it was revealed that Cowell was to give it another year off.
Some of X Factor’s Success stories:
One Direction finished third in series seven of the show in 2010, and subsequently signed to Cowell’s label Syco. After dominating the charts with four number one singles and albums, all five former members of the boyband – Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik (who left the band in 2015) have gone on to enjoy solo careers.
Leona Lewis is the second best-selling act to come out of the show after 1D. The ‘Thick Skin’ singer has sold more than 30 million records worldwide and been nominated for several Brit and Grammy awards.
Little Mix rose to fame in 2011 as the first girl group to win the UK version of the show. They went on to score a plethora of hit singles including five number ones and won a raft of Brit Awards, including best group at this year’s ceremony.
A new statement from ITV makes clear that it won’t be back: “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t adapt to the times and evolve at a fast enough rate. With the advent of social media and millions now hip to the inner workings of the music industry, it called for a show that skewed less pantomime and one that was more rooted in the willful discovery of viable recording stars. Sadly, that didn’t happen and format fatigue ensued.