Brace yourselves. In just a few short hours, FOX will confirm that the judges for next season’s X-Factor will be none other than pop princesses Demi Lovato and Britney Spears. Spears has been all but confirmed for the past two weeks, but today the news broke that Demi Lovato would also be joining her on the judging panel. The two, alongside Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, will serve as both judges and mentors this season. Filling in the shoes of the bewildered Paula Abdul and the reviled Nicole Scherzinger shouldn’t cause too many groans across the blogosphere, but has Simon and FOX made the right call with these two ladies? My personal thoughts are after the jump…
Well, I’m not going to pretend that Demi Lovato and Britney Spears will make the best judges. I don’t feel like either are objective or articulated enough to offer sound advice, but to be honest, I don’t particularly mind either choice. At the very least, Spears and Lovato will give the show a more youthful flavor that can draw in that all-important younger demographic necessary for the show to remain on the air. Spears’ presence alone will give the show a boost in the ratings, which it badly needs if it wants to last as long as American Idol, and her antics should be entertaining enough to keep us watching. Demi Lovato has had highs and lows in her career and personal life, so maybe going through so much at such a young age — rehab for depression the biggest hardship the singer has gone through — will help her relate to these contestants going through similar high-pressure situations.
My only concern is that Lovato and Spears won’t be as invested in the contestants as much at what the show can do for their careers. They have to be fully aware of the career boost Jennifer Lopez received after becoming a judge on American Idol, and I can only imagine they want to mirror her success. Spears is one of the most high-profile singers in the industry, so the money has to be the real draw for her here. Apparently, Spears has inked a $15 million dollar one-year contract for her role as a judge on X-Factor. As for Lovato, she’s a rising star who is hoping for a wider appeal that will draw consumers who aren’t just from the Disney or youth markets. Many detractors of Lovato’s new gig as judge for X-Factor have spoken of her inexperience. She hasn’t been in this business very long, and she’s still trying to establish herself into the mainstream fold. Is Lovato too young and green to be a judge on X-Factor? I don’t believe so. Her experience with breaking into the music business is fresh in her mind, so I’m sure she’ll be able to detail what exactly is necessary for someone to make it huge in this competitive entertainment field. I believe she can give sound advice to many of the contestants based on her own individual experience as an up-and-comer, but I just worry that the emotional investment may not be there.
At the end of the day, Simon Cowell is trying to make the best television show possible. I’m not sure he’s quite as invested in finding the next big superstar, because Idol is unquestionably the only talent show that seems to produce major players on the Billboard charts in America. By bringing in highly recognizable names, Simon is making a statement, loud and clear: X-Factor is the most important singing competition show on the planet because it has landed the biggest names in music. What other show out there can say they have Britney Spears as a judge? Not a damn one. Cowell, you win on this front, and I’m expecting a giant boost in the ratings come fall. I’m going one step further in my predictions: X-Factor will wipe the floor clean with The Voice as its competitor in the fall season. Fans are genuinely angry at the result of The Voice’s most recent season, and all eyes are now trained on X-Factor to see if it can tweak it’s middling inaugural season to the point of incomparable success. Having not been a fan of last season’s X-Factor, I can say I’m excited as ever to see how Lovato and Spears handle the pressure of judging during a live telecast. This could very well be a train wreck, but it’ll be entertaining to see unfold nonetheless.
Sound off below on your thoughts concerning the two new judges. Are you as excited as I am? Do you expect X-Factor to dominate the fall ratings with all this buzz surrounding it? Comment away!