What The X Factor needs to change for the 2018 series

Rak-Su, the 2017 winners

I’m sure even the most diehard X Factor fans can admit that this series has been the worst of the lot. They tried to mix up the tried and tested format to draw in more viewers but instead it managed to drive people away, with just over five million watching the final, the lowest ever.

Some people have suggested it goes on a break, but it certainly seems like it will be back in 2018 as Dermot O’Leary did the usual call for contestants during the final.

While I totally lost interest this year and would welcome a hiatus, if it does come back next year, these are the changes I want to see:

Bring back deadlock

This is crucial. Removing the judges’ vote robbed the show of that nail-biting Sunday night showdown. This year, contestants got booted off without a chance to save themselves and I really missed that tense moment you used to get when everyone lined up and we found out who was in the bottom two. This leads me to…

Get rid of the two-night performances

In previous years, everyone would perform on the Saturday and we would get the results on Sunday. This year, two categories performed on a Saturday and the other two on the Sunday and there was an elimination both nights. The old format needs to come back – I prefer all contestants competing against each other. The new formula also made the voting window really small which wasn’t ideal for those who normally watch TV on catch-up (like me).

Ditch the prize fight 

Nobody cared about the prize fight and it was quite frankly a lame idea. Also Dermot reading out the most popular contestant each night ruined the surprise about who was top. I will be amazed if this is still a part of the live shows next year. Replace it with deadlock and judges’ vote please.

Keep shorter weeks

The series didn’t run for as long as it used to – it began later than usual in September and finished a couple of weeks earlier in December. Some people have complained that it was over before we really got to know anyone, but since it takes up such a chunk of my weekend, I gave this change a huge thumbs up.

Keep new look studio

The studio really worked and I liked the other acts watching their competition perform from the balcony, Strictly-style.

Keep original songs 

I like that Rak-Su and Grace Davies were able to show who they really are and the kind of artists they want to be on the show by performing their own music. However, some people are just performers and not songwriters and I hope they don’t get penalised for doing covers.

Get a judging panel who can commit to the whole series

In the early series, it was very rare that judges would be missing from the earlier stages and tended to just happen in an emergency. It seems to be happening increasingly often and so many people were missing from the audition rounds and it was poor form. I like Sharon Osbourne, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger (particularly Nicole) but they didn’t seem to be fully engaged this year.

Keep Dermot O’Leary

Dermot is the X Factor and he should never be replaced. Let Olly Murs and Caroline Flack be a lesson to you.

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