Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” debuted last year in the United States to solid though underwhelming ratings, which floated just above half of the audience who tune into American Idol a few times a week. This was a disappointment to Cowell who promoted the fact that the show will take over as the number one talent reality show in America. The X factor has seen success overseas for years.

With The X Factor’s second season looming to debut soon, the show revamped its judge panel, ousting Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, and Steve Jones from the judging table. Replacing them is Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and an unnamed third. The two new inclusions is in hope of bringing in a younger demographic. Though the American Idol audience is varied and incorporates many demographics, it does slant slightly older. Cowell and producers hope to bring in a younger crowd, and are confident that Lovato and Spears will do just fine in doing so.

The problems though, are plentiful. For one, Britney Spears was estimated to come with a 15 million dollar price tag, an astonishingly frustrating number. Considering that Lovato’s paycheck, though undoubtedly lower, would have to be large, that is a hefty price to pay. On another note, Lovato is barely 19, a young age for a show that relies on professionalism and quality critiques of singers and artists alike. Britney Spears herself has never really entered into a reality environment. through meticulously produced dance songs and dance choreography mapped out over months, Spears specialty doesn’t necessarily constitute on the whim critiques and judgments. 

The reality talent genre has seen some great resurgence, considering Howard Stern’s own inclusion to the judge panel of America‘s Got Talent. Considering that Dancing With the Stars is 14 seasons deep, we have quite a slew of talent shows that seem to rely on a strong attention-grabbing line-up of judges. I can’t exactly say it’s healthy for music or television, but it does address the over saturation of the genre and basic broadcasts insistence on pushing these shows that cost the network little (beside judge salaries it seems) and can gather massive ratings.

Commercial music hasn’t always relied on television popularity to justify its success, but with the gathering of all these talent-based reality shows, it seems the trend keeps going and going- though i don’t expect the winners to have a major effect on music long-term anytime soon. For now, it is a blip on the musical canvas, and relies on short-term attention and buzz-worthy acts week in and week out. 


Image Source, The X factor Title Credits 2011, Fox