After months of competition and numerous grueling eliminations, the wait is over for fans of the U.S. version of The X Factor. After one last round of performances Wednesday evening, Americans found out Thursday night who won the $5 million singing contract: it was between the country-singing family man Tate Stevens, the powerhouse 13-year-old vocalist Carly Rose Sonenclar, or the underdog girl group Fifth Harmony. In the end, Tate Stevens took the prize.
Since the live shows began, Stevens and Sonenclar were clear frontrunners, passing back and forth the top and second-best spot on the weekly voting leaderboard, a new aspect of the show this season. However, just in the last couple of episodes, Fifth Harmony came in strong, gaining some momentum. But, in my opinion, the winner should have been Sonenclar, given her strong singing chops beyond her teenage years. But, given a visible pattern of country/country-alternative singers taking the crown in many recent singing shows (most recently Cassadee Pope, who took home the crown in The Voice’s 3rd season finale), it was no surprise to see Stevens come out on top (American Idol’s last two seasons also follow this trend with Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips).
As American Idol heads into its 12th season, and singing shows seem to dominate primetime television, one must ask why they are still so successful.
As of recent, singing shows have actually had declining ratings. Specifically, according to a New York Post article, American Idol’s ratings dropped 23% this past season, The Voice’s dropped 12-15%, and The X Factor’s fell 22-23%.
However, according to television analysts, singing shows are here to stay. All three of the shows mentioned above are scheduled for new seasons, and they are all the biggest contributors to their respective channels’ success. American Idol is still TV’s #1 show, followed by CBS’s NCIS. The Voice is the third most watched show by 18-49 year olds and has moved NBC to the #1 station this fall, and The X Factor is the most talked about show on social media sites. In fact, one analyst predictions that The Voice could be on TV as long as the 26-season powerhouse Survivor.