A lengthy article about competition singing show fatigue from TV Guide has some interesting tidbits:

Frot-Coutaz admits that the decision not to make any major changes to Idol this season (after last year’s game-changing additions of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler) may have hurt the show in the face of its shiny new competitors. “It was a great show last year and we came back with something similar, and we suffered from that, probably,” she says, but adds, “changing things for the sake of changing things is something you don’t want to do.”

The decision to overhaul The X Factor comes out of a desire to better differentiate it from Idol. “The ambition is to grow the show [and] one of the issues was it wasn’t distinctive enough. We looked at viewer feedback and that’s why we made the changes that we made,” says Frot-Coutaz. “I don’t think people want two shows that look the same. People who fell in love with it wanted to see something different than American Idol… My role is to make sure that the two shows don’t run into each other, which can be tricky in a world where ultimately they’re both singing competitions.”

Frot-Coutaz says that Paula Abdul was removed specifically because her interaction with Simon Cowell was too reminiscent of their Idol days. “There was no way around it,” Frot-Coutaz adds. “In terms of making the show feel different, everyone felt we needed to put it in a different situation.”

Actually,  I don’t think Paula’s interactions with Simon were ANYTHING like their Idol days.  He seemed to pick on Nicole a lot more.  Also, interesting that Idol producers wish they made more changes to the show.   They’ve overhauled the middle rounds numerous times and added tweaks to the finals. NOW they have to change the auditions, which have become a tired formula.

Cowell and Fox have already drawn up a wish list of new judges — and according to insiders, deals are expected to be finalized within the next few weeks, long before they begin shooting in May. Cowell recently confirmed that Whitney Houston might have been on the list but hadn’t been approached before her untimely death.

As for The X Factor hosting gig, Frot-Coutaz says Cowell is eager to replace former emcee Steve Jones with a male-female hosting duo. “Simon’s vision was always to have a man and woman host this and to make it feel a little bit like an award ceremony — a glamorous girl and a good-looking guy doing a kind of double act,” she says.

With The Voice moving to the fall, expect even more changes to X Factor.

Source: TV Guide

 
  • Anonymous

    Interesting. I think the auditions for idol will definitely be revamped next year. Not sure how, but we will see. Keep Vegas next year, it was very enjoyable.

    As for making XF feel more like an awards ceremony? God help us.

  • harvestmoon

    I think Ryan needs to sit Simon down and explain to him exactly what makes a good host.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone seems to be grasping at straws, the lot of them.

     To begin with, that anyone would think having Paula and Simon on a show together would not invoke memories and comparisons to AI should have their producer credentials questioned. I think that is what they were intentionally going for on the first place.

    Second, no you shouldn’t change things for the sake of changing things. UNless you have a better idea (which is quite possible) leave it alone. AI shouldn’t try to be X-Factor anymore than X-Factor should try to be AI.

    Third, having a two judge sideshow will only serve to draw more attention away from the contestants. What are they going to enter into pissing contests too about the mentoring/performances?

    And fourth, which isn’t directly covered here but addresses the possiblity of who will be the new judges.  After catching a brief glimpse of Anderson Cooper’s interview with Janet Jackson yesterday, I am more convinced than ever that she should not be on the same panel as Simon Cowell. She told Anderson that her father forced her to become a singer against her wishes, she grew up hating her smile and her body. Although she says she has come to terms with all those things now, I can see Simon pouncing on those issues like a shark that smells blood in the water.

  • Chris

    Paula and Simon were too reminiscent of Idol, so they fired Paula?  What a crock. I always think of Idol when I see Simon, so should he be fired too?

  • Kylee

    I think they were trying to make the whole “Simon/Paula sideshow work again, but it didn’t happen. People were over those two.

  • Kirsten

    “Simon’s vision was always to have a man and woman host this and to make
    it feel a little bit like an award ceremony — a glamorous girl and a
    good-looking guy doing a kind of double act,” she says.

    Why doesn’t he just aim for some people with some personality and an ability to think on their feet?

    Frot-Coutaz admits that the decision not to make any major changes to  Idol this season (after last year’s game-changing additions of
    Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler) may have hurt the show in the face of
    its shiny new competitors

    Here is a change you can make to Idol…fire Ken. He’s dead weight.

    Randy can go too.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Frot-Coutaz says that Paula Abdul was removed specifically
    because her interaction with Simon Cowell was too reminiscent of their
    Idol days

    It really wasn’t their interaction that was the problem, since that wasn’t the same as it was on Idol.  It was just seeing Pauler and Simon sitting together that was enough of a reminder of Idol.

    Here is a change you can make to Idol…fire Ken. He’s dead weight.

    Randy can go too.

    Totally agree.  There would only be improvement with these two gone.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_77XKRQPX563XAN5ZA27W3JAONE S

    Simon should’ve fired himself.

    Someone made a great point early on about X-Factor. X-Factor cut Country singers from the beginning before public voting, then they tried to re-create it with a manufactured girl group who were not really Country singers. The music scene is not only in L.A. or NYC.

    Glitz and glamor only works for segments of viewing public, and all the glitz is OK to watch for awhile, but people tune in to watch a singing competition, not a weekly glamor glitz show, and many of those people don’t buy cds

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SYFK77IYLRQIVATQ2MJKSW2J7Y Pam

    The more changes that Simon talks about wanting for the X-Factor make me not want to watch that much more. 

    As far as AI, GET RID OF THE SAVE and to echo Kirsten’s sentiments which I share very strongly, give the chop to Ken and Randy.  Neither one are doing this show any favors.

  • steph6449

    I know it’s not a universal view here, but I kind of like Randy as a judge. He has (sometimes) astute comments, and a viewpoint from someone other than a vocal performer.

    Also he’s the only visible continuity of the show’s history other than Ryan, and I think that’s important that one of the judges have some recollection of past finalists, songs that have been performed, etc. etc. etc.

  • Kylee

    I actually don’t mind Randy either.

    But I agree with those who say Ken should be gone.

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather have one good host than two good-looking but dull hosts, but what do I know? Also, although I didn’t care for any of the XF judges, I had more of a problem with the overproduction of the show. Sometimes the performance aspects like the background dancers made absolutely no sense with the actual song or artist.

    I guess in retrospect changes might have helped out AI’s mediocre audition ratings, but I think The Voice’s ratings will slip after auditions while Idol’s ratings increases in the live shows. So we’ll see if they still find it necessary to change the show that much after the season’s over. Idol’s lasted for a while and it’s still got a strong fanbase. It doesn’t need to change that much.

  • Anonymous

    I think if XF makes all the changes it needs to turn the show into a success, it would look eerily like AI. 

  • Anonymous

    Competition singing show fatigue. Hmmm…that about sums it up.

  • Anonymous

    So a man/woman hosting team…sounds like channeling DWTS and I think they need to do a lot more than that to lure people in. 

    Auditions are auditions and I don’t think any one of the three is better than the other regardless of the formula they are using. 

    What all three have to do is actually find one contestant (or two or three contestants would be even better) who has that “IT” factor whatever that is.  Don’t think any of them this year has done that yet…although I’m still hoping someone will really stand out for AI once they get to the final 24. 

  • http://twitter.com/tinawinabina Tinawina

    I’m going to go against the grain here and say I agree with the general direction for the changes in XFactor. I think it DOES have to make itself stand out from both Idol and especially The Voice, and doubling down on the things that are unique to the show (the big production numbers, the very involved audience, the pronounced lean towards urban crossover, the groups category, etc). So I think getting 2 hosts and making it feel even more awards show like is a good idea in theory. In execution, Simon should try to make sure the hosts are talented and not just eye candy, but we know that is not his strong point. Heh. I will also be interesting to see who the judges end up being. I expect one R&B/pop crossover type star and one young hot chick star, probably more pure pop oriented.

  • Anonymous

    Cat Deeley!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579290324 Michael Bishop

    I wouldn’t say people were “over those two”… I think it was the fact that the interactions between them were different.  Paula’s critiques were better, she was less loopy.  Simon was taking nasty pot shots are Nicole.  Paula and Simon were not “AI Paula and Simon”.  Honestly Paula was the better talent evaluator and coach.  She got a lot more out of those terrible groups than any of the other judges would have.  She got short changed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCEZD3N6FHT6AVC6TG7VKTBONQ Raftrap

    As long as one of the judges names rhymes with Schmeryl Schcole, I’ll be a happy camper.

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    How about Jermaine Jackson as replacement judge for Randy?

    ETA: After reading some comments from others, I understand why one would want to keep Randy. So, how about expanding Randy’s vocabulary and express knowledge of music that he must have?

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    I wouldn’t want Cat Deeley anywhere near Simon.  I also wander if she can reel in the judges – especially Simon.

    Part of me thinks Simon should have promoted Paula to Host along with hiring a male host.  She was pretty good as the judge compared to some of the others.

    ETA: I see Michael Bishop addressed this.

    Honestly Paula was the better talent evaluator and coach. She got a lot more out of those terrible groups than any of the other judges would have. She got short changed.

  • Anonymous

    Simon should say he’s too busy with other money-making projects to sit on the panel.  Then, without explaining, he should take a hint from The Voice and place a dazzling woman in charge of the judging…one woman, 3 men…comparisons with Idol would stop.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.i.lin David I-Chen Lin

    male-female duo hosting a singing competition show? Interesting…..

  • http://twitter.com/Sassycatz Sassycatz

    Simon’s vision was always to have a man and woman host this and to make
    it feel a little bit like an award ceremony — a glamorous girl and a
    good-looking guy doing a kind of double act,” she says.

    Why is it always about the looks for him instead of the talent? He’d even put down excellent singers based on their looks, which is amazing considering some of the people “he has discovered.”

  • Anonymous

    Not to keen on the duo hosting idea. If DWTS is any indicator, Tom B. really doesn’t need  any help. I think that with a personable, semi funny, time efficient, slightly laid back person(male or female), one host will be sufficient.
     

  • Anonymous

    The real problem with Idol’s early ratings this year is nothing got people talking. There was no water cooler moment. No amazing performers that you heard about or any William Hung or “Pants On The Ground” type buzz. Last year had the new judges that people wanted to see, but this year, nothing. That’s the fault of the producers, I think. Plus “The Voice” got a huge tune-in, thanks to the Super Bowl, and the early rounds are so entertaining, thanks to the judges’ interaction and better talent (or maybe they just sound better with music behind them) that Idol is losing out. They’re also hurt by new fans discovering “The Big Bang Theory” through syndication.

    Another problem: I loved Steven Tyler during last year’s auditions. But once he got to the live shows, he wasn’t half as funny. It made me think a lot of his audition comments were scripted, and that soured me on watching the show. I’m sure I’ll start catching up once the live shows start though…

  • Anonymous

    haven’t really watched the x factor, but from all I’ve read and the small bits I’ve seen, they should have got rid of Simon, not Paula. He just seems to have lost whatever it was he had since he left Idol.
    I think the age limit should be raised on both, even if I think 13 and 14 year old are talented, I really have no interest in them becoming my ‘idol’ or buying any of their records. That age to me just seems more suited to AGT.
    I like the Idol auditions, although they have too many sob stories. But have enjoyed the Hollywood and vegas rounds this year. And so far Jlo and Steven seemed to have improved a bit from last year. Randy is just a waste of space.
    I don’t really watch the Voice, as I don’t like Adam Levine, and find Cee Lo a bit creepy. But they don’t seem to have any normal Joe Bloggs from down the street, they all seem to have fairly big careers behind them.

  • hcpoirot

    Two host? Will not work. Even if the host is so pretty and handsome. Did Simon didnot learn anything at all after making tons of reality shows? They need someone funny and relax as the host like Tom Bergeron, Cat deeley, Ant & Dec, Ryan Seacrest etc etc.

    But using a great hosts will not help if they got useless judges. Find judges who cares and really mentor the finalists. (Or at least they show in TV they care) Not like Simon and LA Reid and Nicole who throw weird and predictable  songs to their contestants.

    If they dont had the right judges and the new formula, this show will be over in US at least.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I think that the 2 hosts idea is only being proposed as a way to distinguish the X-Factor from Idol.  It’s pretty superficial, but I think that is really the only reason they are doing it.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    IMO, Tom Bergeron is the best host on any reality show.

  • Allison

     [quote]Why doesn’t he just aim for some people with some personality and an ability to think on their feet?[/quote] Someone like Cat Deely or Tom Bergeron.