“The X Factor” U.S. is in a major crisis over the show’s plummeting ratings and overwhelming number of viewer complaints ever since Khloe Kardashian became a co-host of the show. As previously reported, there has been a huge public backlash against Kardashian hosting “The X Factor,” ever since she and co-host Mario Lopez made their “X Factor” debut in the first live episode of the show’s second season on October 31, 2012. And now, ratings for “The X Factor” U.S. have dropped to an even more alarming level for the second “X Factor” episode with Kardashian hosting that aired on November 1, 2012.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the October 31 episode had 7.6 million U.S. viewers. The ratings for the November 1 episode decreased to 6.24 million U.S. viewers. Those are the lowest numbers that “The X Factor” U.S. has ever had when new episodes of the show aired in the show’s regular Wednesday and Thursday time slots.
Let’s also look at these facts:
- “The X Factor” U.S. ratings average in 2011 (the show’s first season): 12 million U.S. viewers per episode
- “The X Factor” U.S. ratings average in 2012 (the show’s second season): 9 million U.S. viewers per episode so far
- “The X Factor” U.S. ratings for Kardashian’s debut episode: 7.6 million U.S. viewers
- “The X Factor” U.S. ratings for Kardashian’s second episode: 6.24 million U.S. viewers
That’s more than 1 million viewers lost overnight. You don’t have to be a genius to see why.
People who’ve watched reality shows for a long time know I’m not exaggerating when I say that Kardashian has to be one of the most-hated reality show hosts ever. And that’s after she’s done a only a few episodes of “The X Factor.” Countless viewers are demanding that Kardashian get fired from the show. Most viewers are saying that Lopez is doing a good job and “The X Factor” should keep him as a host. However, many people are also saying that they are boycotting “The X Factor” U.S. as long as Kardashian is on the show. And the proof is in the ratings that all of these complaints and boycott statements aren’t just idle talk.
And it gets worse. Consider that in the short time that Kardashian has been on “The X Factor,” the show’s per-episode ratings have now dropped to almost half of what they used to be in 2011. People can blame Hurricane Sandy and the fact that many people affected by the hurricane still don’t have electricity, but Hurricane Sandy is not the real problem, if you look at these facts: On November 1, 2012, “The X Factor” was absolutely clobbered in the same time slot (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time) by these shows:
- “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) – 15.9 million U.S. viewers
- “The 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards” (ABC) – 13.68 million viewers
- ‘”Person of Interest” (CBS) – 13.66 million U.S. viewers
- “Two and a Half Men” (CBS) – 12.65 million U.S. viewers
And here’s a reminder of the ratings that “The X Factor” U.S. got on the same night in the same time slot: 6.24 million U.S. viewers. That number is completely pathetic, if you consider how much money is being spent on a show like “The X Factor,” which is the most expensive reality show in TV history. Whatever they’re paying Kardashian this year (the National Enquirer says her “X Factor” salary is $1 million), it’s been an incredibly stupid waste of money. All the warning signs were there that she would be a disaster for the show.
On a side note, on November 1, 2012, “The X Factor” had higher ratings than NBC’s “The Voice” (which had 3.78 million viewers) for the first and probably last time this year. However, it’s not a true victory for “The X Factor” since that episode of “The Voice” was a rerun of the episode that originally aired on October 29, 2012, on the night that Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. NBC repeated this episode of “The Voice” on November 1 because many NBC-affiliated stations in the hurricane-ravaged areas had pre-empted all regular prime-time programming on October 29 to air local news coverage of the hurricane. It’s important to keep all of that mind if any spin doctors try to make it sound like “The X Factor” is beating “The Voice” in the ratings. Only ratings for new episodes count in the final numbers for the season.
Although there are some people in denial who are saying that Kardashian is not the cause for the alarming decrease in ratings for “The X Factor” U.S. (these people are also in denial about the fact that vast majority of “X Factor viewers say they don’t want Kardashian on the show), let’s say for the sake of argument that Kardashian can bring in viewers to increase ratings, which is what she was hired to do. Certain people (including her pushy mother/manager) have obviously conned “X Factor” executives into thinking that Khloe Kardashian is insanely popular with the public and that she would be a hit with viewers.
Wrong. If Kardashian were such a big “celebrity attraction,” and if she weren’t a problem for the show, then she would not be getting all of these viewer complaints, and the ratings would have gone up instead of down for her second episode on the show. In fact, if Kardashian and Britney Spears (“The X Factor’s” $15 million flop) were as popular as their fans say they are, then Spears and Kardashian would not only be able to deliver higher ratings than “The X Factor” U.S. got in the show’s first season in 2011, but they would also help “The X Factor” U.S. beat a rival such as “The Voice” in the ratings. Neither of that has happened. And that means that Spears and Kardashian (who are certainly big names in tabloid media) have been failures for “The X Factor,” since they have failed to bring more viewers to the show, compared to what the show had in the previous season.
If Spears and Kardashian were able to achieve these goals for “The X Factor” U.S. after they joined the show, they (and their handlers and their fans) would be the first people to take credit for the increase in ratings. But now that Spears and Kardashian have failed to live up to the hype and aren’t bringing in more viewers to the show, certain people are still in denial over the cause of the downward spiral in ratings. I predicted this downward spiral would happen long before Kardashian and Spears joined the show, because I was reporting from the beginning that too many TV viewers were saying that they didn’t want to see Spears and Kardashian as a judge or host on “The X Factor.” (Click here for more details.) The reality is, based on the proof in the show’s declining ratings, Spears and especially Kardashian are turning off viewers and driving viewers away, which I warned would happen.
One of the biggest mistakes that TV executives make is when they ignore what the majority of the viewers say they want to see or don’t want to see on a show. When a TV series is getting lower ratings than it did the previous season, the most obvious and logical thing to do is to not just examine the changes that the show made in the current season but also (and more importantly) examine the changes that viewers say they dislike the most. Because it’s what they dislike that is causing the show to lose viewers.
And that is the huge problem that “The X Factor” U.S. is facing with Kardashian, who is undoubtedly the change to the show that viewers dislike the most. It may be too late to win back all the viewers who have been alienated by Kardashian, who has been described in many viewer complaints as being a host who is “unprofessional,” “awkward,” “dumb,” “self-absorbed” and “unbearable to watch.” (Click here to get more details on viewer complaints about Kardashian.)
As previously reported, “The X Factor” U.S. was headed toward cancellation, mainly because the show’s disappointing ratings could not justify the show’s extravagant spending, but “The X Factor” executive producer Cowell and the show’s production companies were able to convince Fox to give the show another chance. Fox renewed the show for a third season, on the condition that “The X Factor” U.S. make major reductions in spending in Season 3.
(And by the way, here’s an example of what’s wrong with how “The X Factor” U.S. is overspending, besides hiring and overpaying tabloid bimbos such as Kardashian and Spears: “The X Factor’s” bombastic, over-the-top stage production is one of the least-liked aspects of the show because it distracts from the contestants, but apparently “The X Factor” wants to continue to ignore viewer feedback about how the show needs to tone down its stage gimmicks.)
Several insiders say that many high-level Fox executives are now furious with Cowell over yet another major blunder for “The X Factor” U.S., since Cowell was pushing for Kardashian to be the female host for the show. Before and after Kardashian was hired, when people would ask Cowell in interviews why he wanted to risk hiring Kardashian (who has no previous experience as a TV host) and asked Cowell if he was worried about Kardashian being a train wreck on “The X Factor,” Cowell would laugh off those concerns and say that he and Kardashian would prove the naysayers wrong.
Unfortunately for Cowell, the naysayers were right. And Kardashian has turned into a bigger train wreck than Fox and “X Factor” executives had ever anticipated. And unfortunately, Cowell was in the driver’s seat on this particular train wreck, since he put himself out there as Kardashian’s biggest champion to be on “The X Factor.”
Cowell has gotten a lot of things right in his career, but he made a colossal mistake with Kardashian. You have to give credit where credit is due in accomplishments as well as failures. The U.S. version of “The X Factor” had so much potential to be a great show, but it has been failing in too many areas that matter the most to viewers and sponsors. Hiring a Kardashian who is now killing the show’s ratings and who has turned out to be one of the most-hated TV show hosts ever is undoubtedly one of the biggest failures for Cowell and “The X Factor.”
There are certain media outlets that are too afraid to report this news about Kardashian being such a catastrophe for “The X Factor” because they’re in the business of getting interviews with the Kardashians. But anyone who reads my “X Factor” blog can tell that I don’t care about interviewing any of the Kardashians or groveling to their publicists for Kardashian “exclusives,” which are basically self-serving puff pieces that never really explain why these people are put up on a pedestal in the first place, considering none of the Kardashians has any artistic talent to share with the world. And no, the world doesn’t consider Kim Kardashian’s kinky sex video to be “artistic talent.”
I value my brain cells too much to waste time doing silly interviews with no-talent, spoiled brats such as the Kardashians, who have an obnoxious sense of “celebrity” entitlement just because their names and images have been marketed well. I also don’t care if delusional and angry fans of the Kardashians (or delusional and angry fans of Spears) hate that I’m reporting the truth about how these overrated stars are ruining “The X Factor.”
The truth is that “The X Factor” viewer backlash against Khloe Kardashian is massive, it’s real, and it can’t be ignored. The proof is in the ratings in how much viewers are abandoning the show now that Kardashian has been polluting our TV screens as a host of “The X Factor.” It remains to be seen if “X Factor” executives will wake up and get rid of the garbage that is ruining the show’s business and losing good will with viewers.