X Factor 2013: Five ways Simon Cowell could shake up the show

In the battle for Saturday night viewers, we consider a few changes the X Factor guru could make to the show

Simon Cowell is reportedly calling for an X Factor shake-up after the ITV talent show pulled in two million fewer viewers than its BBC1 rival Strictly Come Dancing last weekend.


The X Factor mogul is said to have spoken to producers regarding the Saturday night ratings, which are failing to match Strictly – despite the BBC programme airing earlier.

There have already been several changes to the X Factor format this year, including the Saturday night Flash Vote, in which viewers have just ten minutes to vote for their favourite act, and the game of musical chairs in the Bootcamp round. So what else could Simon Cowell do to get more people watching? We put our X Factor thinking caps on…

Bring back a novelty act

It’s all a bit serious this year isn’t it? There’s no Rylan swanning around with his perfectly plucked eyebrows, or Johnny Robinson donning a silver suit and hitting us with a Madonna number. There’s no Wagner. There’s no Jedward. Half the fun of reality shows is voting for the ditzy characters so we can enjoy the look on the judges’ faces when we question their authority. Yes, it’s a shame when a good act is booted out instead of someone we’re basically just voting for for a bit of a laugh, but it’s far less effort than actually having to care who goes each week. That guy that sang like a ghost must be available, sign him up!

Give Sharon Osbourne more airtime

Forget the very fake looking backstage gumph that’s going on with Caroline Flack, just keep Sharon Osbourne’s microphone on throughout the show. Given what Sharon gets up to when she knows the cameras are on her – smooching Louis, calling a dancer a paedophile – one can only imagine what she says to the judges when she’s off the air. Just leave it running over all of the advert breaks. It would, to quote Mrs O, be fabulous darling.

Let us vote for the judges

What with all of the acts getting voted out, why not let us have our say on the judges? There could be a subs bench and they just roll in when we kick one of the current ones out. Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue, Tulisa, Sinitta… they’d all be there, warming up their criticisms.

Steal ideas from other shows

Why just tell an act they’ve been voted act out when host Dermot O’Leary could walk along, seductively stroke their chest then push them backwards into a swimming pool Man O Man style? The Britain’s Got Talent buzzers are currently unemployed too – the judges could let us know when they’ve had enough bopping around from Kingsland Road or when they want Luke Friend to wash his hair.

Bring Simon Cowell back

That’d be a brilliant meeting, right? “Guys, we need to do something about the X Factor. It’s going to have to be something epic, a real game changer. I think to be honest, the show just needs… me.” (This may already have happened). He could just casually walk in one week, perch next to Gary Barlow and tell us which acts are going to make him any money.  

X Factor continues Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV