‘The X Factor’ USA: Khloe Kardashian, format, and other quick fixes

Earlier this season, “The X Factor” USA was worthy of praise for presenting some interesting audition rounds. Having no hosts took away the most useless part of the show, and we had more of an opportunity to see the contestants in their element, and not have to answer canned questions that are on every reality show known to mankind. In addition to that, there were judges that, by and large, actually wanted to judge.

However, life has changed since the show went live. How much so? It’s almost become tiresome to watch, and it makes us almost pine for the days of season 1 save for Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. The issues with the show now are possible to fix, and they can be done by the time the show airs next week; it’s just not clear if producers is going to be too stubborn to make them.

1. Put Khloe Kardashian backstage – Since you can’t go back in time here and just scrap the hosts altogether, let’s make the best of this situation. Khloe cannot read a teleprompter, and the way she starts every sentence with “yes!” before finishing her thought is so grating it calls for the mute button. We’re not even saying this as one of those prototypical Kardashian haters; she has a fun personality, and giving her a more natural venue backstage could be useful. Not only could she be herself, but so could the contestants away from all of the lights and the constant panic.

2. More opinions from Britney, please! – Britney Spears is paid $15 million for one season of the show. Thus far, she has given about one-sentence answers to the vast majority of the contestants. We get the feeling that she is just giving her critique every time while thinking “it’s almost over” in her brain. Britney needs to open up, and then the other judges will feed off of that. If you’re the biggest pop star on the planet, why not share some of your experiences with the contestants? There’s no one out there with more to share or a larger capacity to help.

This note goes for all judges: what gives with not explaining why you are voting to send someone home? Yes, this segment can drag, but you need some sort of explanation, and the contestants are worth that. Basically, you cut out Jason Brack finding out why Simon Cowell didn’t want him around for something horrendously below…

3. Integrate the ads better – It’s inevitable that you are going to have advertisements during the show these days, but can’t you make them a little less obvious than making the most-popular boy band in the world stand on stage talking about Pepsi? We feel for Mario Lopez that he had to keep a straight face with this. “American Idol” is the master of this with the Coco-Cola interviews and the Ford Music Videos. Even though the ads are there, they are presented in a way that is sleek and still remains natural to the show.

4. New songs – “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston should be retired. Forever.

5. Tone it down – Sometimes, less is more … and there could definitely be more of this spirit versus the loud colors, blaring crowd, and strobe lights here. If every performance is a Super Bowl halftime show, then none of them will feel exciting.

What do you think is the biggest problem weighing down the “X Factor” USA shows right now?

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