I didn’t take it too seriously when Britney Spears’ name first surfaced as a possible replacement for exiting judges/mentors Nicole Scherzinator and Paula Abdul on The X Factor. After all, the pop diva isn’t exactly renown for singing live. And what’s more, she conducted much of the promotion for her last record, 2011′s Femme Fatale, via email, incurring the wrath of talk-show emcee (and subsequent The Voice host) Carson Daly when her management team insisted they be allowed to approve and edit a pre-taped interview with the “Womanizer” singer.
Apparently, though, massive name recognition is trumping actual qualifitcation for the job at hand. Deadline.com reports that Simon Cowell & Co. have offered Britney a cool $10 million to take a seat in the Paula Abdul Memorial Chair.
Sure, the curiousity factor of Britney navigating the waters of live TV will be off-the-charts, and initial ratings for X Factor‘s second season will probably spike. But what happens after the novelty wears off? Can Britney spot and develop undiscovered talent? Can she handle the rigors of providing concise, thoughtful feedback during the live performance telecasts (when she can barely handle a pre-taped Q&A)? Will her persona translate as adorably spacey or downright depressing? And why isn’t Cowell considering any of his and Reid’s behind-the-scenes female contemporaries, like producer Linda Perry or former Universal Motown chief Sylvia Rhone, who might be able to help a Lakoda Rayne or a Josh Krajcik soar to new heights, instead of saddling them with dubious song choices and staging?
Ultimately, The X Factor will succeed or fail by the quality of its musical performances, by its ability to produce the next generation of radio stars, and not by the tabloid recognitiion factor of the four folks fake-arguing over critiques or preening to the tune of “Carmina Burana” at the top of every episode. If Cowell hasn’t come to that realization after X Factor‘s incredibly loud and extremely exhausting first season, then maybe a rumored fall season of The Voice doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all.
What do you think? Would you hire Britney for the X Factor gig? Take our poll below, then explain your vote in the comments!