X no longer marks the spot: Fox has cancelled The X Factor after three seasons.
“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on The X Factor and American Idol,” said executive producer and judge Simon Cowell in a statement. “And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!). Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return [for the first time in four years] to the U.K. version of The X Factor in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank FOX for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!”
Despite Cowell’s pre-launch promises that The X Factor would be the No. 1 reality singing competition in the U.S., his British import never had the kind of impact he’d hoped.
The Season 3 finale was watched by only 6.2 million people — and scored a 1.7 demo rating — marking year-to-year declines of 36 and 45 percent.
Meanwhile, the show failed to produce a Kelly Clarkson- or Carrie Underwood-level success. Season 1 champ Melanie Amaro’s first three singles flopped, and her debut album never saw the light of day, while Season 2 winner Tate Stevens was also dropped from the Sony label roster after meager sales results.
The show’s spiraling ratings led to a slew of changes during its three-season run. Mentors Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger — as well as host Steve Jones — were axed shortly after Season 1 ended. The addition of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato to the panel in Season 2, however, did little to boost the show’s creative or ratings prognosis.
The show did manage to produce two modest chart successes — groups Fifth Harmony and Emblem3 — and it’s worth noting that promising Season 3 victors Alex & Sierra are still in the studio working on their debut disc.
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