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Cowell’s show not X-actly new

Louis Walksh, Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. Cowell will bring a version of the show to America.

Simon Cowell might be done with “American Idol,” but he’s not done with singing competitions.

The 51-year-old, who helped judge “American Idol” hopefuls for nine years, is planning to bring a new show, titled “The X-Factor,” to Fox this fall.

Cowell told “Entertainment Tonight” “The X-Factor” will audition any solo singer or vocal group older than 12 years old. “American Idol” allows only solo singers older than 16 to audition, but caps the age limit at 28.

Cowell used his appearance on ET to encourage aspiring music artists to audition for the show, announcing that the winner will be awarded a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music.

Despite the changes from “American Idol,” will “The X-Factor” really be that different? Singing competitions have seemed to run their course. I stopped having any interest in “American Idol” after season four, and the show’s winners seem to have increasingly worse careers season after season.

When Cowell was faced with doubt about “The X-Factor’s” difference from “American Idol,” he told ET that “The X-Factor” contestants will audition in front of a live audience, unlike “American Idol.”

Getting the audience in on the auditioning process will make it more entertaining, but doesn’t “America’s Got Talent” already do this? The only difference a live audience can make with Cowell during the audition round is a more rambunctious background.

Cowell’s show just seems like a combination of “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent.” This might not be such a bad thing; the shows are still getting ratings, but have viewers been exposed to one too many talent shows for “The X-Factor” to be successful?

If there’s one thing “The X-Factor” has going for it, it’s Cowell himself. People either love to hate him or simply respect his honesty. Either way, he gave “American Idol” life and might do the same for his new show if people haven’t had enough of him yet.

Reality talent shows like “The X-Factor” have long over-flooded television, but that doesn’t mean their chance for success is gone. After all, MTV’s “The Real World” is still successful after years of comparable shows.

“The X-Factor” sounds like the same old reality talent competition to me, but its success is hard to predict. Cowell is already creating a stir for the show with controversy over his fellow judges, who have yet to be named. If Cowell can get the right names and is capable of reinventing reality singing shows, he might have some hope. I just know that another “American Idol” will not get the reaction Cowell’s hoping for.

With Cowell as the face of “The X-Factor,” the show will be successful, but it won’t be groundbreaking.


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