I truly didn't think there was much of anything that could get me to watch The X Factor. I stopped watching American Idol a couple years ago, I've never tuned in to The Voice, and I can't say that I miss Simon Cowell enough to spend an hour a week in front of yet another singing competition just to clap eyes on his hairy chest.
However, if the rumors are true, The X Factor may be adding the one celebrity judge whose presence virtually guarantees I'd watch at least ONE episode. Yes, I'm talking about Britney Spears, and I can't believe I'm about to say this, but ... I think the show should pay her every penny of that ridiculous $16 million paycheck she's reportedly asking for.
The latest gossip on X Factor's behind-the-scenes judge search is that Spears' fiance/agent, Jason Trawick, is handling her contract negotiations in a deal that could be signed as soon as next week. According to E! News, Britney's currently being offered a cool $10 million to join the show next season—but she's saying gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more. What's cooler than $10 million? Sixteen million, that's what.
$16 million is a lot of cash, especially for a celebrity who arguably hasn't been on the top of her musical game for years—not to mention the fact that some might say she was never really known for her natural singing talent—but I think it would be a solid investment. What was intriguing about the now-shit-canned Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul? Nothing. Britney Spears, however, is a different story.
People will watch her for all kinds of reasons. Dedicated fans will tune in because they love her, critics will want to see if she's a total trainwreck, and the rest of us will watch because we're just plain curious. Will she be professional and surprisingly smart and offer all kinds of great advice—or will she smack her gum, twirl her weave, and occasionally bash Cowell over the head with an umbrella? Inquiring minds will want to know!
Even though the kind of money Spears is asking for sounds NUTS when you consider how most of the country is working to make ends meet, the truth is that it's pretty standard for big reality competitions these days. Howard Stern will reportedly pull down $15 million on America's Got Talent this season, and J.Lo makes about $20 million on American Idol.
Besides, the only shot X Factor has of pulling down the record-busting profits is to boost viewership. A $16 million investment in the right talent will pay off in a fairly short amount of time: sponsorships for the show last season ran between $280,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second commercial spot, and those numbers will only go higher if more people are watching.
Really, I think Spears would be a total ratings gold mine for the show, and I predict they'll go ahead and sign on the dotted line to get her. She's a hot topic, she's still making hit records, and she's eternally controversial—for a "singing competition" that's really more about the It Factor than actual talent, what's not to love?
Would you be more likely to watch The X Factor if Britney Spears was a judge next season?
Image via Flickr/chicagofabulous