Seven reasons why X Factor 2015 is the worst series yet
It's all gone a bit Frankie Cocozza at the new look X Factor, with ratings for the opening episode of the latest series down one million on last season.
Obviously this is not how it was supposed to be. A revamped judging panel was intended to give the series, now in its twelfth year, an infusion of relevancy. Instead, Simon Cowell and his producers have apparently wedged a spanner in something that wasn't broken to begin with.
But, why, exactly, X Factor 2015 proved top of the flops? We have a few suggestions.
1: Nick Grimshaw.
New judge Nick Grimshaw carries himself like a random member of the public recruited to X Factor as he waited in the ITV car-park. He has little presence, his hair, frankly is ridiculous, his "put-downs" beyond weeny. Neither hero nor villain, Grimshaw's presence baffles.
2: No Louis Walsh.
Who'd have thought we'd miss X Factor's resident Captain Cringe? But it's true – episode one suffered for the absence of his terrible puns, his gushing over-praise, his endless attempts at winding-up Simon Cowell.
3: Too Many Soundalike Contestants
Uptown Funk, Whitney Houston power-ballads and Sam Smith's Stay With Me would seem the only songs the average X Factor try-out has ever heard of. Consequently, any whiff of individuality is lost - they truly do all come across as variations on a theme.
4: Olly Murs…Olly Murs
In small – actually, tiny – doses Murs is (just about) tolerable. An entire evening of the new host, though, is too much. Say what you like about Strictly Come Dancing but at least you don't have to shield your gaze as Olly's patented cheeky sod grin hoves into view. Yes, sidekick Caroline Flack is tolerable – but not to the point where it compensates for Murs.
5: It's Just Too Old
Everything outlives its purpose eventually. Eleven years in, X Factor has nothing new to show or tell. We have literally seen it all before. Rather than tinkering at the edges perhaps it's time to pull the plug.
6: Dermot O'Leary Is Missed
Suave where Murs is blaring, understated rather than squeaky in the fashion of Flack, O'Leary brought old-school show-business verve. Even more so than Louis Walsh, he is missed.
7: Simon Is Too Nice
In his defence, it's not as if Cowell could carry on as Mr Nasty forever. Still it is undeniable that the touchier-feelier Cowell of recent seasons makes for dreary viewing. To keep us interested, Simon needs to retrieve his villain's mustache and get twirling without delay.