Opinion Brief

Will Paula Abdul help The X Factor beat American Idol?

Reuniting Idol's kookiest ex-judge with Simon Cowell could be the key to the new singing competition show's success

After more than a year of speculation, it's official: Paula Abdul will reunite with Simon Cowell as a judge on his new reality singing program, The X Factor. The news that Abdul is joining the program — which premieres in the fall, months after the 10th season of American Idol wraps up — raises one big question, says Linda Holmes at NPR. "With Idol's most popular judges reunited in a new format, can the new show crush the old show?"

Yes, it will be just like the good old days: "This is seriously the best news ever," says Michael at PopBytes. I was devastated when Abdul left Idol, and the show has been lost this season without Cowell. I'm just thrilled that the two will be back together. "I would bet my bottom dollar the show will live up to all the intense hype and will probably be a ratings gold mine, leaving Idol in the dust!"
"Paula Abdul reunites with Simon Cowell for The X Factor"

Abdul will be integral to the show's success: Paula Abdul just might be the "most important" judge on The X Factor, says Megan Angelo at Business Insider. Her "positive reinforcement (however spacy it may be)" will temper Simon Cowell's notoriously critical voice, easing fears that the show won't be able to compete with the "love-everyone" nature of American Idol and The Voice. But even more importantly, she and Cowell have great chemistry, and she'll "play into his aura instead of subtracting from it."
"Why Paula Abdul is the most important person on Fox's X Factor"

And Idol is on the decline: Idol is "really not fun anymore," says Holmes. While the "accepted narrative" is that new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have breathed fresh life into the show, and given it a little ratings boost — proving that Cowell and Abdul weren't that important — I don't buy it. It's dying a slow death, as long-running reality shows do, and this has been "by far the most unwatchable season in the show's history."
"Paula Abdul joins Simon Cowell's X Factor, but can they hurt Idol?

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