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The X Factor is returning in 2020 – but what will the show look like?

After launching a few spin-offs, Simon Cowell has several options for what could be The X Factor’s last hurrah

Published: Thursday, 12th December 2019 at 12:38 pm

ITV have negotiated a new deal with Simon Cowell, and while it’s good news for Britain’s Got Talent – which has been contracted for a further five series – the same cannot be said for The X Factor.


It looks as if it may be a case of last-chance saloon for Cowell’s once prized cash cow, which has only been offered one more year by ITV after rapidly declining ratings.

So what could The X Factor look like in 2020?

We weighed up the options…

We could finally have X Factor: All Stars in 2020

Harry Styles Late Late Show
Harry Styles Late Late Show (CBS)

After we were teased the prospect of seeing all our former X Factor favourites back on-screen for another go, Cowell shelved All Stars in favour of X Factor: The Band, currently airing now.

He decided to shake up his proposed plans after Little Mix announced they were launching their own, similar, band-finding show in 2020.

However, The Mirror reported that Cowell had actually struggled to find contestants to take part in All Stars – something he has denied.

With a little more time, however, Cowell could convince some big names to sign up next year.

The X Factor: Celebrity could return for a second series

Cowell is keen to get more celebrities to take part in a second run of The X Factor: Celebrity, who crowned Megan McKenna as their first champion in December.

However, the music mogul has hinted it may not be returning to ITV should it come back for 2020.

“As an idea we would be crazy not to do a second series,” he told new! magazine.

“Funnily enough, I’ve had an offer from another network to take it. So, to answer your question, it will be on next year.”

But with only 2.2 million viewers tuning in to see McKenna's win, whether a second round would prove more successful remains to be seen.

They could have another crack at The X Factor: The Band

X factor Girl Band (ITV)

Having been rushed-released in a bid to precede Little Mix's talent show – and encourage competition between the two – there hasn’t been much fanfare around The X Factor: The Band – which is a shame, because it’s actually quite good.

We described it as a “return to its former glory”, but audiences don’t seem as interested; indeed, last week's The Band ratings were beaten by those of Channel 5's Aldi documentary.

However, this could change should either the girl band, or boy band, have even a slither of the chart success enjoyed by One Direction or Little Mix.

We could have three short spin-offs

Cowell is keen to do another The X Factor: The Band, as well as Celebrity and All Star editions next year – so we may get a trio.

“There is every possibility next year there could be three X Factor shows — Celebrity, All Stars and another group show,” he said.

It's unlikely, however, that all three shows would be on air at once.

The X Factor could go back to basics

Leona Lewis will take part in the event
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Yes, the format is tired, and yes, ratings have been in a steady decline – but the civilian X Factor still had far better ratings than the new spin-offs.

Despite 15 years on-screen, there is still an appetite amongst X Factor fans for the show to return to its simple best: fresh-faced hopefuls singing for Simon and the judges in the hope of scoring a record deal.

Cowell’s initial plan was to bring back the original X Factor in 2020 after resting the format, and judging by the spin-off’s lack of success amongst audiences, this could be a good idea.

Or we could expect something completely new. Again.

Cowell has never been afraid to mix up The X Factor’s format. Over the years, we’ve seen the introduction (then, subsequent removal) of a fourth judge, the six chair-challenge, arena auditions, the sing-off scrapped for the prize fight, the sing-off reinstated, flash votes and Dermot O'Leary's dancing.

With The X Factor’s future hanging in the balance, Cowell could introduce an entirely new formula to attempt to restore the show to its heyday.

But with just one year left on its contract, it may well be too late.


The X Factor will return to ITV in 2020


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