What Will Happen to 'Idol' and 'Factor' Now?
By Mike Hess Posted Jan 11th 2010 04:39PM
is leaving 'American Idol' after this season to start 'The X Factor' in the U.S., the fate of the 'Idol' juggernaut is uncertain. If Cowell wants to, he could offer up some stiff competition to his 'Idol' alma mater, leaving the show with a big "how do we compete against Simon?" conundrum. However, if he plays nice, he could work closely with FOX and 'Idol' on how to differentiate the two very similar shows. Also, does this open up the door for a triumphant return for Paula Abdul? We explore all of the 'Idol' and 'Factor' scenarios (including Paula) after the jump.
'Idol' and 'X Factor' go as such: Unknowns audition among a panel of judges, are then selected to compete, and then it's in the hands of the viewers to pick their favorite crooner. So without some major changes to one show's format, it doesn't seem like there's enough space for both right now. Cowell says he left 'Idol' because he "wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge." Aside from a title change, we'll go ahead and assume Simon's got some tricks up his sleeve to make 'Factor' its own animal ... because otherwise, what's different?
As for 'Idol,' they're losing their main voice and the reason that a good portion of its audience even watches the show. Face it: Simon's insults and overall grouchiness makes for good television whether you like it or not. So what does 'Idol' need to do?
"I suspect -- put this down as my crazy revelation for 2011 -- that Paula Abdul will return once Simon is out," Showbiz411 columnist Roger Friedman tells PopEater. "That will be a big PR event," Friedman adds.
As for the programs themselves, Friedman says "two shows are different enough," and that 'Idol' likely won't be going head-to-head with 'Factor,' but rotating during off-times.
The key difference between the shows is that 'Factor' lumps contestants into categories -- mostly by age and solo/group, whereas 'Idol' is everyone solo against everyone, no matter how old they are.
And if Paula isn't around, there's another judge already there who could take the 'Idol' reigns.
"We forget that Randy Jackson is very capable of taking over in a big way if he wants to," Friedman says.
However, it should be noted that Cowell started off in 2001 as a judge on Britain's 'Pop Idol,' and after leaving following the show's first season to start 'X Factor' (which resulted in nasty lawsuits), 'Pop Idol' lasted just two more seasons before it was replaced on the ITV network with ... wait for it ... 'X Factor.'
Simon Cowell Snapshots
The always-cool Simon Cowell is seen here sporting some mean aviator shades as he leaves an 'X Factor' taping in November. Click for More Simon Pics >>>
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