When Tate Stevens - a middle aged country singer - was crowned The X-Factor winner, there was an overwhelming feeling that this year's X-Factor has been, well, underwhelming.
It's not as of Simon Cowell - now in a relationship with Carmen Elektra - can't put a band together and take over the world, he's proven he can do that. And it's not even as if he can't dominate ratings charts; his time on American Idol proved he's got the skills there, too. So why hasn't The X-Factor USA dominated headlines and ratings? "One problem for Cowell is that 'Idol' launched 10 years ago and it's a different environment now," postulates Michael Slezak, senior editor at TVLine.com. "What worked 10 years ago might not work now." One problem may be the chemistry of judges that sit behind the infamous desk of judgement. "Britney had the hint of stunt casting and ultimately putting a big name on these panels does more for the names than the show," said Hollywood Reporter music editor Shirley Halperin. "For Britney it keeps her out there for a year without touring or making a video ... but without a meltdown or her being really awesome, was it worth the [reported] $15 million? Probably not."
It appears the American versions of both the X-Factor and The Voice switch roles depending on their audience. In America, Cowell's grievances at The Voice's domination manifests itself via public, toys-out-the-pram-esque outbursts, whereas in the U.K, The X-Factor trumps The Voice in nearly every category.