Changes are in store for Season 3 of “The X Factor.” Only thing is, executive producers Rob Wade and Andrew Llinares don’t know what those changes will be.
As auditions kick off next Wednesday in Los Angeles, the producers say they are focusing only on the try-outs for now, rather than major overhauls like reconfiguring the judges’ panel for the second consecutive year, or deciding what to do about the hostess with the leastest, Khloe Kardashian Odom.
“We’re sort of at the beginning of the process at the moment,” Wade said. “We’re looking at everything in the show, whether it’s the hosts, the judges, the contestants…We’re still open to all options on that.”
But the focus right now, he said, is the auditions. “At the end of the day, the stars of this show are the contestants.”
After a second season of troubled ratings, criticism over the selection of Kardashian Odom as a host with no experience, and a slate of mentors who are departing one-by-one, it seems everything is subject to change, even the format, the producers said. “We’re looking at everything again and making it as good a watch as possible for the viewer,” Wade said.
Llinares admitted their lack of specifics might come across as shady. “It feels like we’re cloaking everything in secret,” he said, “but it’s not quite as serious as we’re making it out.”
The pair described the reconfigurations as “an organic process” and an “exciting thing to do.”
In regard to Kardashian Odom’s less than stellar reviews, the producers said the thing hosts need to “come from a place where you’re sort of speaking with your heart. It’s a show about real people who want to change their lives…Everybody on this show has to kind of understand that and speak with their heart”—as opposed to providing only a robotic recitation of the word “phenomenal.”
Whether they will replace her with another companion to seasoned host Mario Lopez or let Lopez reign solo is still up in the air. Having a pair, they said, brings “an award ceremony feel” to the show, but “there are pros and cons to both, really.”
Though they felt she “did a great job,” the producers admit she was still only a beginner. “But we would never presume to put someone in a hosting role in their first year of having done it and expect them to be perfect.”