X Factor: Different, but really just more of the same

Saturday night saw the return of one of the nation’s favourite circus acts – sorry, talent shows, The X Factor.

Saturday night saw the return of one of the nation’s favourite circus acts – sorry, talent shows, The X Factor. Sixteen acts took to the stage to perform in front of a live audience and the new judges: Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos (oh, and Louis Walsh is the only one still kicking around from the old group of judges…).

10.4 million viewers tuned in to the first live show, nearly 2 million down from the opening live show of last year (12.2 million viewers). Some might question why so many have tuned out, but really, is it so surprising?

The new judges brought a sense of fresh beginnings, something different, exciting and new. The live shows are upon us and we now realise that really, nothing has changed at all. We have Louis who once again was stuck with the short straw and landed with the over 25’s category. One is forced to believe he doesn’t mind this either, as he seems to constantly guarantee that he’ll be a loser. He has the opportunity to choose people who have at least an inch of talent, who could improve weekly and become fan favourites. Instead?

He chooses a woman who spends £2,000 on a leotard with lights stuck onto it for an outfit, who also likes to shake and pass out every time she progresses to the next round. He also chose Goldie, who barely sang a single understandable word and spent most of her performances sliding across the floor and climbing anything she could get her hands on (including Gary). Luckily she did him a huge favour by leaving the show before the live rounds, allowing Sami to take her place; someone who really shouldn’t have been sent packing in the first place.

The other judges, although their choices are somewhat more commendable, still bring very little that’s new. Gary replaces Simon and does a good job at mimicking him too. He might not be as cocky and arrogant, but he’s still the only judge that really speaks much sense and doesn’t just spoon praise onto every act that graces the stage.

Despite the popularity of The X Factor, there’s only so much of the same thing that people will be willing to stand for. The eccentric and unpopular crazies, the cute and “unique” youngsters, the good-looking and semi-talented boys… and Louis, with his repeated phrases every week, “YOU are the one to beat in this competition.”, “You look like a popstar, you sound like a popstar.”

Although the new judges bring something a tiny bit more exciting, there’s no substance to that if we’re still left with the same old thing year after year.

When will they learn that having crazy, eccentric, over-the-top divas on the show will not garner the show any more popularity or credibility?