Cowell says new 'X Factor' panel reflects music's 'girl's world'
By Piya Sinha-Roy
BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - After lackluster viewership ratings, Fox's reality singing contest "The X Factor" will enter season three with a revamped panel dominated by women that creator Simon Cowell says will reflect female artists' dominance in the music charts.
"The X Factor," which Cowell created in Britain in 2004 and brought to the United States in 2011, suffered a drop in viewership in its second season, falling from an average of 12.5 million per episode in 2011 to 9.7 million last year.
The show faces stiff competition for fans from other reality talent shows such as NBC's "The Voice," which is currently leading the race.
Cowell admitted that many of the judging panels were "starting to look the same," and by bringing on Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland and Mexican artist Paulina Rubio this season, he hoped to reflect the current music industry.
"It's a girl's world in the music business, so many girls are doing so well in the charts, we thought the panel should reflect it," Cowell told a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Thursday.
Cowell has overhauled the judging panel after each season, firing singers Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger after the first season and replacing season two judges Britney Spears and music mogul LA Reid with Rowland and Rubio.
Grammy-winning Latin music artist Rubio said she was hoping to bring her own expertise to the show, in which aspiring singers compete for a spot in the live finals, where viewers vote for their favorite artists.
"I'm an artist that has been in the limelight for many, many years, and I'm going to transmit that knowledge," said Rubio, who noted that she is "not mean" and is also the only mother on the panel. "That means I'm very mature," Rubio added. Continued...