As ratings for “The X Factor” U.S. continue on a downward spiral and hit an all-time low on October 23, 2012, it has now been reported that “X Factor” U.S. producers are so nervous about how “X Factor” U.S. judge Britney Spears (who has been a $15 million flop for the show) will do on this year’s live episodes that they are requesting that Fox (the show’s U.S. network) have a delay of up to seven seconds for the live episodes. Although many people think that Spears will be the biggest “train wreck” on the live shows, “X Factor” U.S. co-host Khloe Kardashian should also be cause for concern due to her well-known tendency be a foul-mouthed loose cannon.
The first live episodes for Season 2 of “The X Factor” U.S. begin on November 1, 2012, in a two-and-a-half-hour episode that starts at 8 p.m. Eastern Time/7 p.m. Central Time.* (The live episodes are shown tape delayed in other U.S. time zones.) Kardashian and “X Factor” U.S. co-host Mario Lopez will begin their “X Factor” U.S. hosting duties in these live episodes. The show was without a host for all of its prerecorded episodes in Season 2. (British TV personality Steve Jones, who hosted the show’s first season in 2011, was fired. He is now a correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight.”)
The curse words that Kardashian uses can easily be edited out of the prerecorded reality shows that she does with her family on cable TV, but live programs on prime-time U.S. network TV have a very different level of standards, since TV networks can be heavily fined for programming that violates Federal Communications Commission rules about obscenity. Curse words are the most common cause for FCC obscenity fines on network TV.
The Daily Mail reported that “X Factor” producers are concerned about Spears because she has had erratic behavior on “The X Factor” set. She walked off of the set at least twice during auditions in May 2012 (including her first day on the job), and she requires more breaks than what the show previously allowed. Spears and her representatives have not commented on a Radar Online report that she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but is not taking medication to treat ADHD, since ADHD medication supposedly would be a dangerous counteraction to the medication that Spears allegedly takes for her psychiatric problems.
Spears is getting paid a reported $15 million to be a judge on Season of “The X Factor” U.S., but she has failed to bring in more viewers than the show had overall in 2011. She has also gotten mixed-to-negative reviews for her “X Factor” judging abilities that have been shown so far in prerecorded, heavily edited episodes. Many viewers and TV critics have noted that her body language and facial expressions show that she is very uncomfortable being a judge on “The X Factor.” And many people think that her commentary, even if it has been edited in the most flattering way possible, has not been very impressive, compared to memorable feedback that judge Simon Cowell gives, or the feisty banter between judges Cowell and Demi Lovato.
A source commented to the Daily Mail about “X Factor” producers’ concerns about Spears in the live episodes: “It’s not surprising people are concerned, it’s going to be a huge test for her and there’s a lot of pressure, in fact producers have had meetings to discuss having an extended time delay on the live show broadcast which is usually seven seconds delay. It’s up to Fox if they can make it longer but everyone’s nervous and no one knows what to expect.”
Another insider told the Daily Mail: “Britney is going to be live on-air for 3 hours a week. If anything goes wrong, it happens in front of the whole country – there is no rewind button on LIVE TV. Taping auditions is one thing when they have a whole day to take breaks but live shows could be a train wreck if she isn’t super-prepared for it or if she can’t handle the pressure. ‘X Factor’ has always claimed that Britney didn’t walk off during auditions but everyone knows she struggled at the start, so its hardly a surprise if the producers are asking for an extension into the live broadcast. Auditions are one thing, but live is a whole other ballgame.”
As for Kardashian, the majority of viewers on the Internet who have commented on her joining the show have complained about her being hired as an “X Factor” co-host since she is only famous for starring in reality shows with her family members. By contrast, Lopez has several years of experiencing hosting TV shows. He is currently the host of celebrity news show “Extra” and talent contest “Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew.” He has also been a host of the ALMA Awards and the Miss America Pageant.
Although the Kardashian women get a lot of media attention and have enough fans who have made the family a merchandising powerhouse, the Kardashian sisters (Khloe, Kim and Kourtney) and their mother, Kris Jenner, are disliked by millions of people who consider them to be spoiled, shallow, desperate for fame and lacking in talent. Many viewers have said that they will no longer watch “The X Factor” U.S. as long as a Kardashian is on the show.
The live episodes that begin on November 1, 2012, are not expected to drop to the all-time low of 5.71 million U.S. viewers that “The X Factor” got on October 23, 2012, but the show’s second season overall has had much less viewers than the show’s first season in 2011. So far in 2012, “The X Factor” U.S. is averaging 9 million U.S. viewers per episode, according to Nielsen Media Research. The show averaged 12 million U.S. viewers per episode in the show’s first season in 2011.
Even if there is a time delay in the live episodes, it wouldn’t be enough time to cover up the most likely train wrecks during the live episodes, such as:
- contestants/and or judges having tearful meltdowns
- contestants getting angry at feedback or voting results that they did not expect
- a contestant or guest artist doing something inappropriate during a performance
- judges arguing with each other in a mean-spirited manner
- a judge giving rambling feedback and/or taking too long to make a decision on which contestant to eliminate
- a judge walking off of the set in anger, frustration or disgust
- a host being stiff and awkward in speaking and interacting with people
- a host being ill-prepared to deal with the unpredictability of live TV
*October 29, 2012 update: Due to Major League Baseball’s World Series of 2012 ending earlier than expected, the first live “X Factor” U.S. episode of 2012 has been rescheduled for October 31, 2012, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time. Fox says the episode will be two hours and seven minutes. Click here for more details.