X Factor mercifully ends as Steve Jones candidly discusses whether he’ll have a job next season

The X Factor, a show that’s been hyped for years, ends its first season tonight. Compared to Fox’s typical fall programing, the show has succeeded by bringing in higher ratings. Compared to even diminished expectations, X Factor appears to be a very shiny version of American Idol‘s diaper contents.

The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes runs down five things that are wrong with the show, and in Vulture, Dave Holmes identifies “10 things that still make no sense about The X Factor”. They pretty much cover everything, from the fakeness to Nicole Scherzinger to the awfulness of including children to the over-production.

Both lists include host Steve Jones, who’s the anti-Ryan Seacrest in the best and worst ways. This week, he’s been the subject of UK tabloid rumors that he’s already been fired.

I interviewed Steve for Vulture, and in the a condensed version of our conversation, he talks candidly about whether he’ll be back next year, discusses criticism (“I wanna be liked”), and how the producers interact with him (” I’m not like a robot that’ll do anything I’m told to do”), and also uses the word “dicks.”

If he returns, I hope the producers let him be himself more, because he’s engaging and charming on TV and in conversation. But I also can’t imagine caring enough about this series to watch a second season, since it blew its first one so bad on so many levels.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.