How X Factor Has Conquered Reality TV

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the musical talent show The X Factor. The first episode of the latest run aired on September 2, with Heavy saying that the entire roster of judges from 2016 – Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, and Nicole Scherzinger – returned to reprise their roles.

With nearly 50 franchises across the world, as well as The X Factor Games digital platform up and running, it’s undeniable that the series is one of the most popular and enduring reality shows to date. So what makes the show so special to have made such an impact to so many viewers globally?

For starters, the show seems constantly bent on reinventing itself to make sure that audiences can expect something new every season. Its 2017 incarnation is no different, with Digital Spy reporting that viewers can expect several surprises. This stable sense of originality is what keeps many of the show’s fans tuned into the series.

Another reason for the continued popularity of the show is that its roster of judges is big names in the music industry, as can be seen in the 2017 line-up of the UK’s The X Factor. This format is actually followed in its other editions worldwide. Fans of the celebrity judges, go along way to help sustain the show’s viewing numbers.

Social media has also allowed the show to remain relevant to its audience and specific target markets. In an interview with The Guardian, Peter Fincham, the director of programs at ITV which was home to the original The X Factor, acknowledged the talent competition’s social media presence. He stated, “When The X Factor began, Twitter didn’t exist. Yet last year’s X Factor final was the most tweeted-about entertainment show ever. So new forms of interactivity have made a happy marriage with a show like The X Factor.”

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Another reason why The X Factor continues to maintain its momentum is that it never fails to live up to its promise of churning out superstars. Boy band One Direction is unquestionably the biggest success story of the show, however, it is far from being the only act that made it big. Some of the artists that managed to make their way to the big time thanks to their appearances in either the UK or the US version of the talent show. They include Little Mix, Cher Lloyd and pop superstar, Leona Lewis.

While The X Factor in India only has one season to its name so far, which aired back in 2011, it still managed to create a lasting impression on its viewers. The BBC described it as a show that highlighted ‘the country’s rich and diverse musical heritage,’ with the performers ranging from Rajasthani folk singers to those who were clearly influenced by Bollywood.

The X Factor also served as the launching pad of some of the today’s famous acts who were relatively unheard of in the music industry prior to their appearance on the show. For instance, Siddharth Menon, who gained a bevy of fans when he joined the show with his Nirmitee bandmates, is still held in high regard in India and is reportedly working on a solo album.

Also enjoying his career after appearing in India’s The X Factor is Jubin Nautiyal, who claims is now on his way to being one of the most well-known musical faces in Bollywood.

The UK version of the show has been contracted to run until 2019, proof that it’s not done yet.

Authored by Sebastian Watts