For 13 long years, X Factor has been a constant on British TV, but it seems as though the end of the long-running talent competition could be coming sooner rather than later.
It may seem like a long-shot, given the fact that the show has been a cornerstone of British TV for so many years, but it may not be as far-fetched as you might think. The singing competition suffered its lowest ratings since the show began on Sunday, drawing an average of just 4.3 million viewers. These days, that may still sound like a lot, given that there are about a thousand different things that the 65 million people of the UK could be watching, but compare those stats with the 11.3 million viewers that rival show Strictly Come Dancing enjoyed, and alarm bells start to ring.
The Strictly Press Office, clearly feeling in a boasting mood, proudly tweeted: “Last night’s #Strictly Results Show was watched by a peak audience of 11.3 million viewers. Average was 10 million and 44% audience share.”
And in case you might be wondering, an audience share is the percentage of TV sets in the country that are tuned into one show for a given period of time. So at some point, 44% of TV sets in the UK were tuned into Strictly.
But viewing figures for X Factor, a show that at one point boasted 10 million plus viewers, was a stark contrast to its rival show.
A spokesman for Simon Cowell told the Daily Star: “This series is consolidating at an average of 7million viewers per episode based on the current ratings system.
“This does not include repeats or viewing via computer or mobile phone.”
A spokesperson for ITV added: “The ratings rise when consolidated viewing is factored in.”
what happened to the big x factor intros? they were iconic. CANCELLED
— Brandon Luke (@BrandonLukee) November 5, 2017
But Simon Cowell and the rest of his crew may be getting their weekends back a lot sooner than they think, because according to reports, ITV bosses could be looking to axe the show next year in 2018 when the music mogul’s contract is up for renewal.
A source told The Daily Star: “The show’s latest ratings are embarrassing.
“It used to be one of the real jewels in the crown for ITV.”
Some have argued that the concept for the show was getting a little tired, and as such, this year’s series has received the facelift many thought it needed, which includes a whole new fancy studio in Elstree, following the closure of their ‘home’ studio near Wembley, a focus on rewarding acts to help them up their game, double eliminations and quadruple eliminations for the live shows to help create excitement, and live performances from chart topping acts both nights.
Whatever might happen, it may not be long before we’re all going to have to find something else to do with our Saturday nights.
2016 X Factor winner Matt Terry has his own thoughts on the show’s dwindling numbers, and has suggested that the best course of action might be for the show to take a hiatus for a year, so that the fans can see what they are missing.
And as the old saying goes, how can I miss you if you don’t go away?
Despite the fact that Terry won X Factor last year, he seems to think that the show would benefit from a break from TV for a while, and says that fans would appreciate it all the more when it comes back.
On the subject, Terry spoke to the Daily Star and said: “I think in the UK you don’t realise how much you love something until it’s gone.
“So I think it would work if they gave it a year off.
“Everyone would be saying, ‘Where is X Factor?’ It could do the show the world of good.
“You always want what you haven’t got.”
Saara Aalto, who was a finalist on the show last year, seems to agree with Matt’s sentiments, and conquers that there are already too many reality shows on TV.
She added: “I actually think it would be a good idea to rest the show next year because at the moment TV is full of competitions. I feel like there is too much of it.
“I think Simon Cowell likes to do it every year, but in my opinion when you have new singers all the time you can’t really get to know anybody that well, which is a shame.”
It isn’t the first time that fans have called for the show to be cancelled either, and it seems as though in some ways X Factor is dangling on the edge of TV existence these days.
After the long-running sister show The Xtra Factor was cancelled after 12 years, fans called for the show to be axed only last year, as they furiously rejected Sharon Osbourne putting through Honey G – an act that many people considered to be a ‘joke’ act – which has been a problem for many years, and certainly hurts the credibility of the show, some might argue.
It’s not just Matt Terry either that thinks the show needs to be rested for a while – Ronan Keating also said last month that the show “needs a rocket up its a*se” to save itself from going to same way as the Xtra Factor and the Australian version of the show, for which he served as a judge.
Speaking with the Daily star, Keating said of the show: “They’ve had a slow few years but maybe that’s because they’ve exhausted the avenues with the artists. Maybe if they rested it for a year or so we will get another Leona Lewis.
Ronan Keating reckons X Factor could be axed
I really hope it is, its so boring now, and wont watch anything with that Nicole on it
— sue (@Feisty_Female) October 25, 2017
“I still believe it’s a huge success, it’s a great show. It needs a revamp. It needs a rocket up its a*se.
“I don’t know in what shape or form it needs that but they should definitely do something. It still gets, like, 7 million people watching but it’s not the 13m in its heyday but it’s still 10% of the country’s population.”
He seems to think that X Factor has, in some ways, outlived the music business structure on which it relied for its success.
He continued: “The chart is obsolete now, it’s sad no-one cares any more. How many radio stations even play the charts anymore? No-one is interested.
“And the X Factor need to take their eye of the Christmas No.1 thing and just know winning The X Factor is a huge achievement in itself and just getting them a record deal and putting this music out immediately.”
He added: “Mr Blobby could be No.1!”
Whatever they do, they need to do something quick, because it seems as though the population is moving on from X Factor, and they need to figure out a way to bring them back!