Simon Cowell reportedly is going younger in his search for judges on the U.S. version of his music show “X Factor.” Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Avril Lavigne, and Demi Lovato are all getting big mentions in the sweepstakes. Even Britney Spears!
If Cowell can pull off a Britney, or a Miley, it would skew his show to a much younger demographic than rivals “The Voice,” and especially his old show “American Idol.”
On the hit Fox show, Jennifer Lopez is the youngster, yet she’s over 40, while Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is 63, and Randy Jackson is in his 50s. How many kids remember Journey, anyway?
The newcomer to the musical contest shows, “The Voice,” has made strong inroads with younger judges. The show, which premiered a year ago in April on NBC counts among its judges Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton.
Of that group, Green is the oldest at 37; Shelton is 35, Levine is 33 and Aguilera is 31.
It looks like Cowell would be aiming to go even younger. Cyrus and Lovato are both 19; Lavigne is 27, Spears is 30 and Fergie is the oldster at 36.
In January, Cowell cleaned house, pushing out judge and longtime friend Paula Abdul, as well as judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones.
Gwen Stefani, who is 41, reportedly has been offered Jones’ job for $7 million. Spears has signed for a reported $15 million, according to some reports.
The show definitely needs a boost. Its premiere drew 12.1 million viewers, less than half the 26 million viewers who watched season 10 premiere of “American Idol.” “X Factor” is routinely beaten by the hit ABC comedy “Modern Family,” while the show has out-legged “The Voice,” although barely.
But if you can’t beat them with raw numbers, you can be delivering more 18- to 49-year-old viewers, which are the most coveted by advertisers. That appears to be Cowell’s game plan.