It seems the addition of one of the planet’s biggest pop stars as a judge wasn’t enough to help Simon Cowell’s reality competition series The X Factor beat out NBC’s The Voice as the show’s second season premiered Wednesday night with 8.73 million viewers compared to The Voice’s 10.89 million viewers. But it wasn’t just their competitors on another network that beat them out, the Fox series also lost out to itself, down 32 percent from last season’s X Factor premiere.
Disappointing numbers are nothing new for Cowell, who predicted last year that The X Factor would premiere with 20 million viewers, but it only managed to bring in 12.7 million. This season his big talk revolved around the “last minute” announcement that The Voice would be adding a third night of episodes for its season premiere on Wednesday night to directly compete with The X Factor. Simon Cowell and judge Britney Spears were on Ellen last week where a rather bitter Cowell addressed the scheduling decision:
“We’ve had the schedule set for months. They were gonna go Monday-Tuesday. We were gonna go Wednesday-Thursday. And then they waited till the last second to announce that they were going to put a third show up against our premiere because they wanted to spoil our premiere. Boooo!”
He later added, “I think what happened was they got wind of how good our first episode is … and they’ve done this because they don’t want people to see them [judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato] on the show.” He then explained why the move was a dirty one. “I think that when you play with the audience and you start messing around saying, ‘Now you can’t watch both shows,’ it’s a spoiling tactic.” he said. “My gut feeling is, I think this is going to backfire on them, because you don’t mess with the audience”
It appears that Simon’s gut was wrong.
And for those wondering, The X Factor‘s second half of their two-part premiere on Thursday night fell ever so slightly to 8.28 viewers.
So, starcasm readers, which show (if either) are you tuning into? The reviews for Britney and Demi have been great, but the blind auditions of The Voice are a real fan favorite.