The hundreds of thousands of contestants have been whittled down to just 17, but before preparing ourselves for next week's two and a half hour live show, let's take a look back at what has, and more importantly, has NOT been working on the first season of The X Factor.To read the rest of my commentary on The X Factor's first season thus far, head over to TV Fanatic.
We all know that Simon Cowell wanted to create this show for America, and destroy his former series American Idol in the ratings. Taking a look at last season's Idol numbers (much lower than a few years ago), the episodes prior to the live shows brought in anywhere from 21 to 26 million viewers. Up to this point The X Factor has garnered only nine to 12.5 million viewers... not world beaters by any means.
Why hasn't it done as well? The name recognition and history of Idol for starters, but more importantly the television landscape has become saturated with singing and talent competitions. Between Idol, America's Got Talent, The Sing Off, The Voice, and now The X Factor, you can't turn around without another season of singers gracing your TV screen.
It was great when once a year you could tune in to see some of the best up-and-coming singers in America challenge for the coveted title of American Idol. Now every few months we witness another watered down group of acts, and it's tiresome.
What is X Factor's most disconcerting problem, though? It has done nothing to stand out from the pack. Simon and company kept saying it wasn't going to be Idol, but up to this point it has been pretty darn close. There is Simon. There is Paula. There were those awfully played out audition episodes. Oh, and instead of "Hollywood Week" there was "Boot Camp." It was the same thing.