The X Factor UK: Simon Cowell Says It’s ‘Make or Break’ Time for the Series
Could we be looking at the end of an era? Could 2015 really be the final year for The X Factor UK?
In an interview with The Daily Star, executive producer and judge Simon Cowell noted that the show, now entering its 12th season, is in dire straits. The new season is still filming the audition phase, but the series is already in jeopardy of ending due to poor ratings, as last season’s finale, which crowned Simon’s own Ben Haenow as the eventual winner, scored a record low of just 8.4 million viewers. As a result, Simon is desperate to overhaul the show’s formula and provide a fresh look and feel for the new season.
“It does feel like make or break this year but I feel like every year is make or break, to be honest,” Simon said, noting that part of the reason for the deteriorating numbers in the ratings could be blamed on poor winners (however, he was careful not to throw his own winning act from last year, Ben Haenow, under the bus). “There were certain years when certain people won and it was like ‘Oh Christ’.”
That said, ITV gave Simon a decent-sized budget to spruce the show back up. That means new judges in the form of Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora, a pay rise for divisive fan favorite Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, and new presenters in the form of Caroline Flack and Olly Murs. The show will still face a storm of ratings competition from Strictly Come Dancing, but Simon is confident that his series offers something far more unique, namely the discovery of possible future stars. “Last year’s show made me realise there’s still a lot of talent to be discovered,” Simon noted. “You never forget those days when you feel a star is being born.”
When asked if he ever considered bailing on the series, Simon stated, “For sure. 100 per cent. When we started these shows it was all about giving someone a break who deserves a break.” However, it appears his resolve to see this through to the end has only grown since those doubtful days.
Here’s hoping The X Factor finds new life in 2015. It’s still my favorite reality competition series on TV, and I think the show still has a lot left to offer. Fingers crossed.
But what do you think? Has The X Factor’s time come and gone? Or is there still gas left in the tank? Sound off in the comments!