X Factor
returns to dominate our Saturday schedules on the run up to Christmas, but can it win the war of the reality show ratings?

With the end of Big Brother in sight the series X Factor has returned to our screens marking the autumn/winter season of reality television. It has only been on for a couple of weeks but already the new series has sparked newspaper interest (though perhaps not for the right reasons).

X Factor is in trouble with reported Auto-tuning in the audition stages of the show. They have supposedly made some of the acts sound a lot better than they are in reality, however, since this came to light last week, the show’s producers have made it clear that they no longer auto-tune, and what you hear on the television is a true reflection of how the contestants actually sing.

Another thing keeping this show in the press is the news that fellow judge Louis Walsh intended to leave the show because of his mixed relationship with head judge Simon Cowell. However this is yet another publicity stunt as Louis Walsh quits and comes back every year and to be honest they need to think of another way to keep the show in the press as this is getting extremely boring.

The show has also started at least a month earlier than it usually does, probably to get a head start on the BBC reality show Strictly Come Dancing. The two shows also go head to head in the schedules, battling it out for ratings, and Strictly always used to come out on top. Since the ageism row that saw Arlene Phillips ‘let go’ to be replaced by the younger Alicia Dixon, however, X Factor has come out on top with viewer ratings. But it’s not just the television ratings that X Factor is struggling to maintain its hold on.

Last Christmas, X Factor failed to take the number one chart slot for the first time in more than 6 years. To avert such humiliation this year Simon Cowell is making each song from the live shows available to download at the end of the episode, to try to guarantee at least one number one from this year’s X Factor.

Even though this show is getting tired and stagnant the audition stages at least are still very entertaining to watch and can be extremely funny. Clearly the idea of people embarrassing themselves on television is still a very popular concept and as long as it is, X Factor will be here to fill that niche.