X Factor to face ‘revamp’?

ITV1’s flagship search-for-a-singer talent show, The X Factor, is to face an overhaul after declining popularity across the 2012 series.

According to a newspaper the programme’s producers – Thames Television – are in talks with ITV1 management over the drop in ratings which has seen ‘rivial’ BBC One dance contest Strictly Come Dancing take the ratings crown this year.

The Daily Mail state that bosses may rip-apart the format of the long running ITV1 Saturday and Sunday night ratings banker after one of the final weekend specials drew the worst audience figures for seven years.

The series had, as always, been in the papers for one controversy or another as ATV Today critic Queenie notes: “The problem with X Factor is they clearly now believe their own hype and think they can do what they like.

“Early on we had the controversy over contestant Carolynne Poole when she became the first to leave the show thanks to Louise Walsh who initially said he wanted to save Carolynne, and then ‘changed his mind’ . That change of vote looked to viewers at home somewhat like producer intervention via an earpiece. Which of course was denied by the broadcaster.

“The fact a man who can’t sing – Rylan Clark – was saved by Poole not being kept in the show saw fellow judge Gary Barlow walk off stage. What was ITV’s answer to all this controversy and viewer annoyance? To run a trailer showing Walsh’s muddling and Barlow walking out with the nerve to describe the farce as ‘drama’. What it actually was is thinking you can do what you like and take the viewers for mugs. I think clearly the audience has had enough of that.  There is only so much on-screen ‘drama’ a talent show can create and X Factor has been making headlines out of ‘staged drama’ for most of its run. But maybe now viewers are just not falling for the weekly tabloid roumours and apparent fall-outs between judges.”

“Walsh has been ‘sacked’ then returned more times than News at Ten.”

The show was also accused of misleading when some guest acts such as One Direction were indicated to be singing live in the studio when in actual fact their segment had been recorded weeks earlier. Another contestant believes from inside Thames a witch-hunt to get him out of the show was orchestrated to turn viewers against him.

The newspaper goes on to add that ITV bosses plan to hold ‘emergency talks’ with, the shows boss and music executive, Simon Cowell which may see changes to the judging line up and a revamp of the show’s format.

Over the past two years ratings have been on the slide to the point where now they are half the figures they were in 2010.

“The final also failed to lure back disgruntled karaoke fans who usually lap up the poor versions of classic songs performed by people with heart wrenching sob stories” Queenie notes.

Over 13 million tuned into the 2011 end of series winner show it was down by two million viewers last night. Saturday night saw the programme reach 9.5 million the lowest figures since 2005 for the show.

A production source told The Daily Mail, “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the show is not in the best health.  We have had some very strong singers this year but the show is feeling in need of a reboot.”

ITV stated that no details on the format to the 2013 series have been decided on yet.

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