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X-Factor should take a year off, says O’Leary

By | Published on Tuesday 12 January 2016


‘The X-Factor’ is looking a bit tired and could do with a rest. Not my words, people. Oh no. Those are the (somewhat paraphrased) words of Dermot O’Leary (formerly) off of ‘The X-Factor’.

Speaking to the Radio Times, O’Leary said that the talent show is losing viewers because changes to the competition mean it now lacks the warmth of BBC rival ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

“If I was Simon I’d take it off air for a year”, he said. “I’d rest it, and then I’d get back to the rooms. For me it was always room [auditions], arena, boot camp”.

Of the recent updates to the show, he particularly singled out the ‘Six Chair Challenge’ – a kind of musical chairs where hopeful finalists are picked to go forward but can be removed in favour of others until six are decided upon – as a feature that should go. The gimmick was variously described by critics as “torture”, “traumatic” and “brutal”.

“I was really uncomfortable about the ‘Six Chair Challenge'”, says O’Leary. “I don’t think it’s a particularly nice bit of television. One of the reasons people like ‘Strictly’ is because ‘Strictly’ is a very warm show, and I think you’ve got to keep that in mind”.

Yes, although you have to differentiate yourself as well, don’t you? Maybe the problem is that ‘X-Factor’ just isn’t tough enough. Isn’t it about time Cowell went full ‘Hunger Games’ on the country’s amateur singers?