When American Idol first hit television, it was all about Simon Cowell and his biting, nasty criticisms. But now, it’s a woman’s game. More specifically, it’s a Pop Princess’ game.
Reports are circulating that the pop star of the late 90s and early 2000s, Britney Spears, is sitting on a $10 million deal to judge Fox’s The X Factor in place of dethroned judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. While those ladies are clearly successful pop singers, Abdul hasn’t been an “icon” since the early 90s and Scherzinger’s seen fame, but never to the level of a pop music superstar. Britney is so huge that she can rock one of the most common names in America, and most people still know who you’re talking about when you leave off her surname. It’s Britney, b—h.
But the idea of signing someone of that caliber isn’t some revolutionary path on the part of the X Factor producers. It’s a model that’s just a little familiar. In 2011, both The Voice and American Idol soared to new heights on the wings of two ladies who duked it out with Spears in her prime: Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez. The Voice opened to over 11 million viewers (a huge number for NBC), and by the time Idol reached its tenser live episodes, the series saw upwards of 25 million viewers.
Both divas proved to be feisty nice girls, but being that they both appeal to such a broad range of viewers – those who danced in their pajamas to “Genie in a Bottle” and the parents who accidentally learned those lyrics by unwilling immersion – they hit a sweet spot as far as celebrity reality show judges go. Besides, whether or not they’re spot-on in their judgments, we’ve all seen these ladies take on stadium crowd after stadium crowd. They’re experts in that right, and their recognizable mugs are instant proof for the audience.
If Cowell’s singing competition nabs Britney, it will be a great move for the mildly successful singing show. She could be the show’s X Factor, but even so, they’ll simply be keeping up with the Joneses.