As The X Factor goes the way of every reality TV show before it, maybe it’s time to inject some new blood into its stiffening corpse. The format has become a parody of itself, the acts are getting worse, and the quality of the judges has never recovered since Cowell ordered Louis Walsh’s assassination.
At this rate, even the presence of long-dead historical figures on the panel would liven things up. Here’s our choice of the best three candidates.
Vlad The Impaler
Proud wearer of a natty moustache and scraggly black hair, he’s easily mistaken for Russell Brand by channel-hoppers, something that’ll surely bring in a few thousand more viewers every week.
The real draw, however, is his exceptional cruelty. An anti-Vlad pamphlet from 1521 warns readers, “He let children be roasted; those, their mothers were forced to eat. And (he) cut off the breasts of women; those, their husbands were forced to eat. After that, he had them all impaled”.
Now, who doesn’t want to see an off-key boyband from Milton Keynes forced to cannibalise each other on a Saturday night? His penchant for murder might be an issue when the show progresses into the later rounds, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Britain’s Got Talent has already shown that having a verbose camp guy on the panel is a good thing – Walliams has been a huge hit for the show’s ratings. And in the increasingly plaigarised format changes that the two shows are going through, Wilde would fit right in. But probably not next to Louis Walsh.
Audiences used to love Cowell’s funny put-downs – imagine how they’d react to the biting insults of Victorian London’s greatest wits. At the very least, it would add a bit of culture to the ITV Saturday night schedule.
18th century occultist and opium-eater Crowley would fill the ‘bad guy’ hole in the panel left by Simon Cowell perfectly. Gary Barlow’s making a decent effort, but it’s just not the same. Contestants are going to be far more intimidated by a man who was often called “the wickedest man in the world” than an ex-boyband member who looks like a fat Northern baby.
A womanizer, drug addict and cult member, he’s pure tabloid fodder. A quiet night in for Crowley will give the show weeks of free publicity on MailOnline. His extensive experience with the dark arts will surely help him overcome whatever demon has possessed Nicole Scherzinger as well. Really, the perfect candidate.