The competition between singing competitions kicked off with a bang last night. Fox's "The X Factor" went head-to-head with both NBC's "The Voice" and "America's Got Talent" programs in separate hours, with Simon Cowell's show losing out to both.
The season premiere of "X Factor" averaged 8.5 million viewers, down over 3.5 million from last year's premiere. Speculation was that the off-season shake-up of the judge's panel might see a jump in ratings success for the singing competition, as both Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul left the show and pop superstar Britney Spears fill the void. It didn't pay off, however, as night three of "The Voice" drew a whopping 10.7 million viewers for NBC from 8-9pm versus "X Factor"'s 7.5 million. The news wasn't all bad for Fox, as the second hour of their program grew its audience to 9.5 million viewers, still losing out to NBC's "America's Got Talent" finals which pulled in 11 million.
One would think a judge of a singing competition would be up for a little competition for himself. However, Cowell had voiced irritation regarding NBC's move to put "The Voice" on three nights up against his show. "I think it's mean-spirited and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them because this is one of the best shows we've ever made," Cowell said during a September 6th conference call. "I am pissed off about it. I think of it as kind of a gentleman's agreement, but you have to rely that the viewers will make the right selection. I think three nights in a row [for 'The Voice'] is too much."
What's wrong with a little friendly competition, Simon?