Simon Cowell's claim that this year’s X Factor is “make or break” for the show has sparked rumours that it could be the last series ever.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves folks. It definitely won’t be the final series, for the simple reason that The X Factor still has another year on its contract with ITV after 2015.
*wheels big X logo back out*
A three-year deal signed in 2013 means both of Cowell’s big entertainment shows – The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent – will air with the commercial broadcaster until 2016. So that’s at least one more series of BGT and two more of X Factor to come, including this year’s upcoming run. I’m told discussions about what will happen come 2017 haven’t started yet, but given this year’s overhaul it doesn’t exactly feel like the format is winding down.
Cowell even tempered his own comment, telling the Daily Star Sunday "It does feel like make or break this year, but I feel like every year is make or break, to be honest."
This year’s changes – from the judges to the spin-off show hosts – speak to a desire to crank things up a gear, not shut up shop. Adding Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw to the judging panel line-up shows that bosses are keen to appeal to a younger, fresher audience. Tempting former guest judge Rita Ora back from rival singing show The Voice (who wanted her too) also suggests they mean business.
This series could indeed be make or break in terms of attracting that new audience – and when it comes to securing a contract beyond 2016 – but plenty will happen between now and then. After all, it's not over until you-know-who sings...