Now that the overhaul has begun on “The X Factor” with the dismissal of Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, it’s time to think about what Season 2 will look like. Here are some of our best guesses as to what might change to help boost rating for the singing competition:
An American host: Simon Cowell recently admitted that there were one too many Brits on the show. And it’s also clear that Jones’ wooden delivery didn’t do much for viewers. So expect someone way more affable who can interact with the judges and who is from the U.S.A. Could it be Nick Cannon, who works on the Cowell-produced show “America’s Got Talent?” Or might they poach Nick Lachey, who has hosted “The Sing-Off,” NBC’s a cappella singing competition?
The mentoring assignments: This may end up working more like a draft, with each judge required to pick one from each category – boys, girls, over 30 and groups. After Abdul’s groups were all knocked out early and she had no stake in the game, it became obvious that something about the assignments needed to change. Also, it likely became unwieldy for one mentor to manage the groups.
Raising the age minimum: Following Rachel Crow’s “Cry heard ’round the world,” the show faced questions about whether the pressure was too much for contestants in their early teens. While Cowell disputed any concerns about emotional maturity issues, we’re guessing the age minimum will be upped from 12 to at least 16 years old.
Kelly Rowland: She just wrapped her first season as a judge on the British version of “The X Factor,” so producers will know what to expect from her. Plus she’ll bring in a younger demographic considering she’s only 30, versus Paula Abdul who turns 50 in June.
A new schedule: The finale for Season 1 ended up airing just three days before Christmas, and the ratings reflected the pre-holiday haze. Total viewership for that episode delivered a 3.8/11 share in Adults 18-49 – this despite appearances from Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber, 50 Cent, Pitbull and Ne-Yo. These numbers were actually down from the first live performance show on Oct. 25. That show offered a 4.4/12 share. Look for a schedule that allows the show to wrap earlier in December.
So Zappers, what would you like to see changed for Season 2 of “The X Factor.”