Reality TV

Rita Ora officially joins ‘X Factor UK’ as judge, quits ‘The Voice UK’

Rita Ora is bailing on BBC, and they’re not exactly thrilled about it.

After just one season on The Voice UK, Rita Ora is reportedly leaving the show in order to become a judge on the latest season of ITV’s The X Factor UK. The move apparently comes after Simon Cowell offered Ora a lucrative £1.5 million deal to join The X Factor for its twelfth season.

According to insiders, (well, “insiders”, so take this with the appropriate grain of salt), Ora’s decision caused an uproar at the BBC when she informed them she would not be returning. Apparently, she was a huge success as a coach, at least in the ratings, so the network was really banking on her coming back.

“It is really disappointing. Rita seems to have chosen cash over credibility,” said one insider. “As far as we are concerned this smacks of Simon Cowell being desperate to revive an ailing X Factor that has been beaten by Strictly [Come Dancing] for years in terms of success.”

Rita Ora Snubbing 'The Voice UK' To Become 'X Factor UK' Judge

Credit: BBC

An unnamed representative of The Voice said: “We wish Rita well but are sorry she feels she has to go. We saw the potential in her first and now Cowell is coming in and stealing her away.”

Basically, the gloves are off. That is, if these two shows were ever sparring with gloves on in the first place (seriously, the Voice vs. X Factor feud is far more intense in the UK than the Voice vs. American Idol rivalry is here).

The expectation is that Ora will join Nick Grimshaw as a newcomer on the panel this season, although Cowell has yet to officially announce the judging panel for this year. Regardless, I wouldn’t expect the trash-talking to stop any time soon.

Ultimately, I think Ora is a decent choice, although not necessarily the headlining-grabbing addition that Cowell probably thinks she is. Then again, if BBC is attributing the bump in The Voice ratings to Ora, then it’s clear they have reason to believe she brought a unique audience to the show that wouldn’t have otherwise watched. Maybe Simon Cowell is trying to tap into the following Rita Ora has, in order to prop up a show that has been losing steam despite arguably being more entertaining than many shows of its ilk. Then again, I’m an unapologetic fanboy for The X Factor UK, which is pretty much my favorite reality talent competition on TV. Maybe it has a twinge of desperation to it now, but it’s still really entertaining in ways other shows often aren’t. So I’m looking forward to this season, regardless of who’s on the panel. (I’m still going to miss Dermot O’Leary though)

UPDATE: Aaaaand it’s official. Cheryl Fernandez Versini confirmed the news this morning:

But what do you think?

Is Rita Ora the right pick? Or should Simon find someone else? What else can Simon do to improve The X Factor? Sound off in the comments!

And for future reality TV news, reviews, and more, follow me on Twitter: @NickRomanTV

Reality TV NewsRita OraThe Voice UKThe X Factor UK