Whatever X Factor producers try, it seems they just can’t find an idea that sticks in viewer’s memories for positive reasons. Whether it’s the flash vote (2013), the six-chair challenge or this week’s live judges houses, any attempt to be daring or different is shot down in flames by misguidedly passionate fans. Here’s why it wasn’t a bad idea – and why I loved the karaoke juggernaut’s latest twist.
Announcing results live allowed the show to move away from the cringeworthy and predictable 1-on-1 announcements, which usually resulted in tired clichés such as “I’m so sorry….but I’m gonna have to take you through!”. Adding a bloodthirsty crowd swayed a judge’s decision on a few occasions – this made the selection process seem much more spontaneous and also helped viewers gauge how immediately popular a judges’ choice was.
The other killer element which sold me on the format was the inclusion of a live feed, allowing us to peek into the act’s emotions as their performance was aired for the first time. Some cried, some sported a rather awkward gaze and some even sang along to themselves. I was more focused on the facecam than I did their performances – particularly when the judges were discussing how they did, and this made it all the more tense.
Combine these great twists with the elements that worked – the shots of glistening beaches, the incredibly relevant guest judges – and we had what was, in my view, a spectacular weekend. Shame the ratings were very poor, so it’s unlikely to be back next year. Some people just hate change – even when it’s for the better.