The X Factor: A 12-Step Plan to Salvage Season 3
Think fast: Would you rather get a root canal from your car mechanic or set your DVR to record Season 3 of The X Factor?
Okay, maybe Fox’s other reality singing competition isn’t quite that painful. But with sagging Season 2 ratings and rumors that mentor Britney Spears is about to get pink-slipped, it’s pretty clear Simon Cowell will have to consider an overhaul at least as big as the one he enacted at the end of the show’s lackluster freshman voyage.
Whatever the case, the real looming question remains: Is it too late to save the show?
If Cowell thinks the answer is as easy as swapping out one bold-faced name for another — or praying at the Oracle Kardashian for wisdom — then The X Factor seems doomed. On the other hand, if Simon is willing to consider some of the advice in our 12-Step Plan for Season 3, he might turn his expensive lemon into a sleek Maserati.
Check out our advice below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on how to save The X Factor in Season 3!
Hire Full-Time Mentors
Landing Britney Spears to the tune of $15 million generated short-term buzz, but once the live shows began, viewers saw very little footage of the “Toxic” singer — aside from her offering the occasional generic platitude — working with her “Teens.” Cowell, for his part, seemed to communicate with his Groups category primarily via cell phone. This lack of meaningful involvement by the A-list mentors left the impression that the show was relying on teams of producers to help the contestants with their song choices, staging and costumes (a theory that was supported by my interview with creative director Brian Friedman and stories from other media outlets). Which begs the question: Why not take Spears' fat salary and use it to hire mentors willing to spend a full work week on the X Factor set? We don't care if the judges' chairs are filled by lesser-knowns: If these newcomers are invested in and excited about the outcome of the competition, they'll be less likely to regurgitate the same old lukewarm covers of “I Have Nothing,” “Hallelujah,” and “I Believe I Can Fly” that we've seen way too many times on reality singing competitions.