Dave on Demand: Shuffling deckchairs on "X Factor"

New judges on Fox’s "X Factor": Britney Spears (left) and Demi Lovato. If either proves to be too stable and sane, there are possible replacements.
New judges on Fox’s "X Factor": Britney Spears (left) and Demi Lovato. If either proves to be too stable and sane, there are possible replacements.
Posted: May 27, 2012

The fun never stops, folks.

During the broadcast of American Idol’s season finale, Ryan Seacrest announced the cities and dates for next season’s auditions.

And the very next morning, Fox’s other singing competition, The X Factor, began taping its second season in Austin, Texas, with new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

As you no doubt heard, Simon Cowell, X Factor’s de facto dictator, conducted a purge when the first season fared poorly in the ratings, firing Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger as judges. Sure, blame it on the gals. (I have to admit, I didn’t know Scherzinger was on the show. I thought I was watching Kim Kardashian the whole time.)

But the first day of the new regime went better than expected, as Britney reportedly stormed off the set in the middle of an audition. She later tweeted a denial, saying she had just taken a break (during a performance?). I’m sure Brit caught heat from Simon for downplaying the incident. He recruited her expressly to bring the crazy, to add that note of unpredictability and danger, the looming possibility of a spontaneous breakdown on air. Do you really think anyone is interested in her musical opinions?

A word of advice, Simon, if I may: There is a chance, however slight, that Ms. Spears may have temporarily subdued her demons. If she proves to be boringly stable and sane, don’t wait all season to dump her. You badly need a ratings boost this time around.

With that in mind, I have assembled a short list of possible replacements for the judging panel:

Gary Busey. Musical background: Played Buddy Holly. And there’s this crazy persistent rumor he was the original drummer for the Monkees. Loopy factor: 9.

Courtney Love. Musical background: Front woman of punk band Hole. Requires a censor on the bleep button at all times. Loopy factor: 8.

Lindsay Lohan. Musical background: Dated a D.J. Has serious club cred. Loopy factor: 9.

Russell Crowe. Musical background: Played guitar and sang for the bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God. May need restraints. Loopy factor: 7.

One last thing, Simon. I know you got rid of the original host, Steve Jones, although I don’t know why. Too bland? If you want to stay with the circus theme, how about turning over the microphone to Andy Dick? Just an idea.

Try, try again

During the finale of Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump asked Clay Aiken why he deserved to win. "Because my mother is here in the audience," said the singer, who finished a close second to Ruben Studdard on the second season of American Idol, "and I don’t want her to see me lose again."

Sorry, Mrs. Aiken. How are Clay’s cooking skills? There’s always Top Chef.

Jamais vu

I need to start watching Glee more closely. Until this week’s finale, in which the departing glee members serenaded the younger kids with New Radicals’ "You Get What You Give," I really wasn’t sure which ones were seniors and which ones were juniors (except for those with obvious graduation plot lines). They could have all been in the same class as far as I knew.

Finn Hudson (played by Cory Monteith) provided some other surprises. Since when was he committed to pursuing a career in acting? (That cameo by James Lipton was the most gratuitous since Josh Groban’s.) And then, when that failed, enlisting in the Army to honor his father’s memory? Where did any of this stuff come from?

Déjà oublié

At the top of this column, I mentioned the American Idol finale, so I know it was only a few days ago. But can someone please remind me who won?

Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_tv. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.

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