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'X Factor' U.S. viewers say good riddance to Simon Cowell; ex-finalists stay mum

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell

"The X Factor" U.S. was an embarrassing failure for Simon Cowell (one of the show's co-owners/executive producers) and Fox, the show's U.S. network. The cancellation of "The X Factor" U.S. was officially announced on Feb. 7, 2014. Based on viewers' reactions on the Internet, most people think that Cowell is largely to blame for the show's failure, and many viewers are saying "good riddance" to Cowell as a judge on American television.

On the same day that it was announced that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled, Cowell announced that in 2014, he is going back to being a judge on "The X Factor" U.K., the original "X Factor" show. (Cowell, through his Syco production company, will still continue to be an executive producer of "America's Got Talent," where he does not have an on-air role with the show.) Although there are some people on the Internet who are saying that they are disappointed that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled and say that they will miss seeing Cowell on American TV, they are clearly in the minority. That shrinking fan base was obvious from the show's rapidly declining ratings in its last year in 2013.

Although many people are speaking out on the Internet about the cancellation of "The X Factor" U.S. (which lasted three seasons on the air), most of the show's former finalists have remained curiously silent on Twitter and other social media about the cancellation of the show that gave them a lot of exposure and helped some of them recording contracts with Sony Music. None of these former finalists ever made it big with gold or platinum sales in America (and it's very unlikely that Alex & Sierra, the show's last winners in 2013, will become superstars), but their careers were still given a huge boost by their exposure on "The X Factor."

A full day after the announcement that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled, the majority of the show's former contestants who made it into the Top 12 have not commented on the show's cancellation on their official social media accounts.

Some commented in an indirect way, by retweeting what other people said about the cancellation. But there have been no direct or heartfelt comments from the majority of these former finalists in the 24 hours since the announcement about the show's cancellation. No "thank yous" to former "X Factor" mentors, no sympathetic comments for Cowell, not even any comments about any good memories or experiences that they had on the show. It's almost as if these former finalists might be embarrassed that they were associated with a show that has now been officially declared a dead failure.

One of the few former "X Factor" U.S. Top 12 contestants who has commented so far is Carlos Guevara, the singer with Tourette syndrome who originally placed in the Top 12 in 2013, but he ended up in 13th place after Josh Levi was brought back as a "wild card" contestant. Guevara tweeted on Feb. 7, 2014: "All I have to say is thank you @TheXFactorUSA for changing my life forever. Honored to have been part of your last season ... Thank you @thexfactorusa for everything! I'm glad to not only have been a fan for the past 3 years but blessed to have been a contestant on the last season. Thank you to everyone from the X Factor team for everything. #xfactor #xfactorusa #alwaysremember ...Well you can bet your bottom dollar I'll still be watching every single episode of X Factor UK and AUS. #AlwaysAFan"

Except for Cowell, "The X Factor" U.S.'s former judges and former hosts have not yet publicly commented on the cancellation, as of Feb. 8, 2014, but that's a lot more understandable since they didn't need the show to help their careers as much as the contestants needed the show. However, it speaks volumes that they haven't yet shown any public support for Cowell, their former "X Factor" boss, at this low point in his career.

To put it bluntly, the TV viewers of America have spoken through the ratings, and Cowell has been "eliminated" from American TV. Now he knows how many eliminated "X Factor" contestants and fired employees must have felt when they were dumped from the show.

To recap, here are the judges and hosts who came and went from "The X Factor" U.S. since 2011:

  • Cheryl Cole (judge) -- Fired in the first season after just a few weeks on the job.
  • Paula Abdul (judge) -- Fired after the end of the show's first season.
  • Nicole Scherzinger (judge) -- Fired after the end of the show's first season. (Scherzinger joined "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel in 2012, and she has had more success on the U.K. show.)
  • Steve Jones (host) -- Fired after the end of the show's first season.
  • Antonio "L.A." Reid (judge) -- Quit at the end of the show's second season.
  • Britney Spears (judge) -- Contract not renewed. Insiders say that Spears knew she was going to be fired, and she announced her departure from the show first to the public in order to make it look like she quit.
  • Khloe Kardashian (co-host) -- Fired after the end of the show's second season.
  • Demi Lovato (judge) -- Quit at the end of the show's third season.

In 2013, "The X Factor" U.S judges were Cowell, Demi Lovato (who joined in 2012) and 2013 recruits Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. The host was Mario Lopez, who joined the show in 2012.

The cancellation of "The X Factor" U.S. was clearly an embarrassment for Fox, which chose to make the announcement late in the day on a Friday. People who work in the media and publicity know that announcements that are deliberately made at the end of the work week or on a holiday are because the people making the announcement want to decrease the media exposure as much as possible.

People who want an announcement to get maximum publicity usually make the announcement on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, which are the days that are the most likely to have the most people in the media working and the most likely to have the biggest audiences. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are almost always the deadline days for non-daily print media (such as magazines and non-daily newspapers) to go to press.

Because the Internet is on a 24-hour news cycle and because many websites employ people to work on evenings and weekends and holidays, this strategy isn't as effective as it used to be before the Internet existed.

The announcement was so embarrassing that as of Feb. 8, 2014 (one day after the announcement), "The X Factor" U.S.'s official Facebook page still hadn't been updated with the news that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled.

It may be too painful for people associated with "The X Factor" U.S. to admit that the show was a failure, but plenty of other people on the Internet have been voicing their opinions about what was wrong with the show and why it deserved to be cancelled.

Here is a sampling of comments on the Internet.

From The Huffington Post:

"What took so long? Hated it and only watched 1 or 2 episodes of Season 1."

"Same here. I watched 1/2 of the first episode of Season 2 and had to turn it off. I can't watch American Idol anymore either. The Voice is the best, in my opinion."

"I've never been less surprised by a cancellation in my life!"

"Not surprised with Demi Lovato (awful coach) and a Latina singer that no one has ever hear of. Britney Spears ruined any prospects of the show gaining ground last year. Horrible... horrible... horrible judges."

"What an awful show. I can't help but assume the time slot will be filled by something equally vapid."

"Terrible concept, idiotic judges, mediocre "talent"--what could go wrong? And Simon--when you put together the next One Direction, is there any way we can convince you to keep them in England? Jeez."

"Shows like these are yet one more way of distorting musical tastes in order to help big corporations cultivate the antiquated 'pop singer' format, and people like Cowell are nothing more than 'impresarios', another antiquated and totally unnecessary appendage to the business. Left to their own devices, people are certainly capable of deciding what's good and what's not, and generally their taste tends to be a good bit more sophisticated. Naturally big conglomerates hate this, because it means that they would have to once again deal with actual musical artists who have their own ideas."

"Ah, if only this would take Simon's ego down a notch or 12."

"Good. I tried to like it, I tried to watch it, but lost interest very fast. Some might not like AI, but I'll always be a fan of American Idol even after all the hiccups from last year. It's the only one I can stand to watch from beginning to end. And as far as America Got Talent and The Voice, I only like the auditions and that's it."

"Good riddances. There are enough of these show on the telly. Oh, but I'm sure another one will pop up. They already have one lined up I'm sure."

"I loved the UK version and had a lot of hope for the US, but it was doomed from the start by poor decision making from the ground up. I don't know what Simon Cowell was thinking, but from the initial auditions (I accompanied a friend who auditioned for the second and third seasons) it was evident that the process was doomed to fail. I've never seen such a disorganized mess in my life---and when one is dealing with 5,000 +/- people, being THAT disorganized can be dangerous. This last year, in New Orleans, I personally saw and met so many wonderfully talented people, that I just shook my head in dismay when none of them made it to the televised auditions. The decisions Cowell made in selecting judges was more than unfortunate--it was reprehensible. As someone who hasn't been invested in Idol or The Voice, I'd hoped that XF would be a viable alternative, but it was a mess from beginning to end."

"Cancellation well-deserved. But, don't believe for a minute that the network has anything better planned. This was about ratings, not quality."

"Good Riddance!!! I'm glad Simon Cowell's T.V. show became a major fail. I hope this is the beginning of the end for a man that brought us worthless music. Bring back music executives like Berry Gordy & Clive Davis to discover new artists & new talent. In meantime I hope shows 'American Idol', 'America's Got Talent' & 'The Voice' will be next to get the ax."

"Too many of the same type of shows. Boring. Tired of Simon Cowell's thoughtless comments and his affair with his ex-best friend's wife."

"No loss lol. Picking Demi Lovato as a JUDGE was a clear sign the show was headed for cancellation."

From Entertainment Weekly:

"About time someone put this show out of its misery! Total, complete utter fail!"

"I never could buy the warm and fuzzy version of Simon."

"I try not to be snide and b*tchy about TV shows others might like, but this show really needed to be put out of its misery."

"The news of Simon's departure is very upsetting to me! Where am I supposed to go now to see aspiring singers humiliated and made fun of???"

"Do they think viewers are so dumb? The show was awful and so were the ratings so the show was cancelled. The UK show has been struggling a bit with more judges changes so they were bringing Simon back. They could have done the US show without him if they wanted."

"It's funny that they are kinda blaming the cancelation on Simon's decision to go back to UK, but it's the other way around. He is only going back cause his american version didn't work out."

"I also think they tried to find judges for the next year and NO ONE good wanted to be at that judges table."

"Simon was very weak as the head judge and not able to carry the show. His ego would not allow him to hire judges that might out shine him either, wanting only young boring females on the panel. They were all a humorless bunch and no doubt Simon was impossible to work with."

From Yahoo!

"Simon's biggest issue was his inability to allow real moments happen. The painfully staged moments to build up drama (ex. The contestant stripping on stage as Paula runs from the theater feigning puking, yet no security comes to take the guy off.) almost made Idols staged bits seem real. Odd that a man devoid of sincerity spent so much energy attempting to create emotion in an emotionless product (it wasn't even a show). Audiences are wiser now, they know when they're being manipulated you pompous pin head."

"On shows like this, and I follow X-Factor UK and Australia on line, it comes down to the Judges. The chemistry is most important but what they have to say is equally important. Britney, Demi, Paulina...never had much to say and when they did it was like...say what?????? So I will continue to follow X-Factor on line...and now with Simon return to the UK version who he helps assemble as his fellow judges will determine if that show makes it another season."

"How about the fact the Simon Cowell didn't act like Simon Cowell and instead he turned into a generic 'That was Beautiful' saying type judge."

"Everyone saw this coming except the idiots who produced the show. These shows have run their course and it is time for some new creative shows. Everyone jumps on the bandwagon until it gets over saturated and then it is on to the next big fad for the fanatics who have no life. These shows have not produced any talent for a long time and are basically rigged to determine the winner for the beginning. Reality shows are not reality folks. Never have been. All scripted."

"Awwww, poor little Simon who blinked his friend's WIFE, and is now going to be a father, gets what he deserves. But, that's not why! -- he's getting what he deserves bc he basically spit in the eye of American Idol after he left that show. AI made him a multi-millionaire and he had the audacity to criticize it?? I'm THRILLED(!!) that the X Factor FAILED."

"The beginning of the end was hiring a Kardashian.... What the hell was FOX thinking? She sounded like she was #$%$. But it was fun to watch because it just proved that all Kardashians have NO talent, except for being a #$%$....They are good at that...Then Paulina Rubio? She sounded like she was drunk...I don't get those two decisions. Overall, the show was fun to watch."

"America's X factor cancelled due to three most important failures: Simon, Simon and Simon. Outdated themes for song choice, Simon bullying and humiliating contestants and fellow Judges, and fixing the final contestants (anyone who could sing better than Simon's groups were eliminated). It was so fixed, only a 'Simple Simon' couldn't see it!"

"The day he fired C Cole was his undoing, it showed him as a complete #$%$, The joke was she would have been the best hire, just look at her time on Idol UK, His show never recovered."

"This show was done from the start with the whole fake Melanie Amaro saga of Simon going to her house. It was apparent at that point she was already set up and staged to be the winner that season. Couldn't watch anymre after that and I'm sure many would agree. By the way, why isn't Simon or the corrupt decision makers of the show helping Melanie now?"

"Simon worked (for a while) as the grouch on Idol. However, when he tried the same shtick but also tried to be the producer/cheerleader on the bombastic/phony X-Factor, it was a terrible mix. I couldn't even watch the show - it felt fake even by reality standards."

"This show sucked the minute it got out of the gate. How many more copy-cat talent shows do we need??"

"The thing about these shows is that they never pick people's voices the the music industry could really use like Lillie McCloud, Jeffery Adam Gutt, Aknu, etc. They always pick people that are ok or in Alex and Sierra's case, cute together. When these people audition they sometimes pick a song they are good at and later the judges/ "mentors" will pick songs that don't fit their voice or the right genre for them."

"Simon is done in America, he's better off in the UK. He thought he was more than American Idol, he believed the X Factor would surpass American Idol, he was absolutely wrong."

"Damn; Now this is shockingly bad news to me. I really enjoyed the show, in fact I think it was better than the past few seasons of American Idol. Simon is in my opinion, very funny, and Kelly Rowland is undoubtedly an expert judge of singing character, an outstanding mentor, and not to mention one of the most beautiful ladies in the world."

"THANK GOD !!!!!! No more Simon Cowell !!!!! What an annoying person. American Idol will soon follow. The Voice is the only singing show worth watching. I like Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr and I'm trying very hard to over look Lopez . I'm not seeing anybody this year that I can say blew me away in any of the auditions. So many untalented singers on AI this year. I'm actually surprised the X Factor lasted 3 seasons. Now put on reruns of Cheers and The Odd Couple and America will be happy."

"I loved X Factor! Seeing raw talent flower is amazing to me."

"We stopped watching after they hired Kloe. Not a Kardashian hater,but the show lost all credibility. Wanted to see Britney but it was tough once the live shows started and Kloe irritated the #$%$ out of us."

"I thought from the get-go this show had no originality. It was a carbon copy of AI. Surprised it lasted as long as it has."

"When a brand new show has to clean house and 're-vamp' its structure after only one season, it's destined for failure."

"I quit watching after the kid in the first season had the meltdown on stage and Paula and the other lady were falling apart on judges row. Paula was a train wreck. Wish Simon would return to AI."

"X-factor 's format sucked from the beginning, just too many singing comp shows now (boring karaoke) What TV needs to do is go back to it's roots with variety shows like Caroll Burnett, Ed Sullivan. Have great comedies like Mash and All in the Family...."

"About two seasons too late to cancel this train wreck. I would like to think this might bring a little humility to Simon's pompous a-- and that he might learn from it. But he won't. It could have worked if he ego had not got in the way."

"Poorly produced it just really never had a chance........and now thats it gone......good riddance. The voice is well produced and Idol is showing a resurgence for this season....JLo and Harry Connick share chemistry with Keith just works....Xfactor never did."

"It was Simons arrogance that ultimately canceled this program."

"The fawning of judges over talentless singers was the real problem. I could always spot the winner from the first program, the only one close to being a singer! Boring!"

"Simon should have stayed with IDOL instead of thinking he was so much better."

"It was nothing but a transparent bore ... I couldnt even sit thru one show."

"The show sucked from day one-period! His announcers were lame, his judges were biased and racist, and then we also had to endure hearing that ignorant Kardashian chick screaming into the mike, 'What's going thru your head right now' ten million times. Good riddance!"

"This does not surprise me at all, the judges where wrong to begin with after the first yr. and the set up was weird for the whole program...."

"The biggest reason for the failure was Simon Cowell."

"Every time I tuned in, no one was singing. There is more time spent on the judges yakking than the contestants singing. I stopped watching, get a clue from The Voice, they know how to do it."

"I could not stand to watch or listen to Demi Lovato from the very first show! Didn't ever watch that #$%$ again. It is time to cancel American Idol too! I'm tired of reality TV Get rid of it all........ #$%$ like the Kardashians!!!!!!!"

"Simon was/is the problem. Let him go back to the UK and hate on contestants there...Loving the fact that Harry Connick Jr. is the new idol judge. His critiques and encouragement are a whole lot healthier than Simon's verbal/psychological abuse. Harry is building people up, which is refreshing in light of how Simon tends to tear people down. Bravo, Harry! Stay in the UK, Simon."

"I'm glad this show was put out of it's misery. It was painful to watch. Couldn't even watch it for laughs because it was so awful. The judges were much too annoying, and, besides, you don't need four judges. The breaking point for me was the part in the show when they had the four chairs on each end of the X. That was brutal to watch. So, I turned it off and never turned it back on again. It was also rough watching untalented people judging other people singing. Demi Lovato is a terrible singer."

"The bottom line is Simon Cowell has run his course in the U.S. He's always been a pompous #$%$ and I think America has finally had enough of his antics and overexposure. Although he's not the only decision maker on the show, you can bet he was involved in every one of these bad decisions and sometimes he's too blind to see the forest for the trees. I quit watching American Idol 2 years ago too because it had completely lost its direction. Remarkably they may actually be on the upswing by finally bringing in someone with class (Harry Connick Jr), and cutting out some of the show clutter. Although I'd still bet it's a dying breed. I'm just happy to see the X-Factor fail and be removed from the U.S. market. Simon needs to go back to England and worry about his adultery spawned baby to be, and admire himself in his homeland where apparently they can tolerate his extreme level of douchebaggery."

"I really was annoyed with several of the judges. They sure didn't get their monies worth from Brittiney Spears and I would have been outraged as a contestant at some of the totally stupid song choices and stage props and costumes that they were put in and made to use. Several of the contestants lost their spot because of idiot choices their mentor made. Truly a cluster f."

"There was no extraordinary talent like Jennifer Hudson or Carrie Underwood or Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert of Chris Daughtry. And I do agree: Too much silly nonsense. They need more judges who were articulate and far better talent."

"Really didn't like LA Reid, he was so obviously racist. Remember him and that punk Astro? and how they let him do whatever he wanted? Every week the contestants were supposed to perform a different type of song and that Astro kid only did Rap. He was a joke."

"Show was terrible and it only got worse. Mario Lopez made it seem more like he was at a miss America competition. Way over produced, lousy judges. By far the worst of the singing shows."

"Don't forget Season 3: putting the wrong phone numbers up for the contestants at the end of the show. Also, Paulina was an absolute disaster."

"The talent level on X factor as always been so-so. I think Demi was a horrible judge. She's just too young and experienced. Paula Rubio was probably the worst judge they ever had. She always seemed like she was on something every show. I can say I won't miss it."

"I really enjoyed the X-Factor more than The Voice. I hate that it was canceled. True they had a few faulty items to deal with (the judges mainly) but all in all I really liked so many of the talented people who graced that stage. I bought Tate Stevens and Josh Krajcik's albums and in my opinion both are really good. People are so fickle today and they fail to support the people they voted for."

"I actually liked the X-factor when Paula Abdul was on the show and Mario was a great host but the x-factor became messy when they kept changing hosts and judges each year. And the replacement judges were poor. The judges kept passing over great talent because of the way the contestants looked. The Voice has always been a much better show."

"I tried to watch a episode of the US X Factor, but couldn't even get through the entire ep. Boring... I do watch the Australian X Factor and it's awesome! Love all the judges they've had and the contestants seem much more talented than the US ones."

"I figured it would be cancelled - the show just got worse and worse. X-factor was super cheesy, the set was ridiculous, judges were idiots, contestants came across as desperate misfits. Stupid, marble mouth Paulina Rubio was the kiss of death, remember her performance on the last show - what where the producers thinking? Glad its gone and Simon failed."

"The X-Factor was nothing new. Simon might as well have stayed on American Idol, where he already was and had a following of people who actually liked (ugh!!) the way he told contestants exactly what he was thinking and most of it was unkind. The way it was hyped, it was going to be something completely new. As soon as I realized it was just the same old thing done not nearly as well, I went back to American Idol."

"This should have been called the 'Simon Show'. It was just a long tribute to his never ceasing ego....."

"The show sucked. I don't think I finished a single season I started."

"The show was an over-produced horror, and the fake judging and the real question is why it lasted as long as it did ... however, I thought some of the contestants were the best I'd seen on these sorts of shows, oddly enough."

"Good riddance-- couldn't stomach X-Factor -- a phony totally over-the-top show."

"Thank God!And Demi Lovato quitting was a godsend annoying twit!"

"Finally, Simon got what he deserved for his arrogance and petulance. The X-Factor was awful in every way possible. It has become a living proof that not even Simon knows it all and that his ego was and remains unwarranted..."

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