Is Cowell’s crown starting to slip?
Up to 9,000 screaming fans will pack into the Odyssey Arena tonight as X Factor fever grips Northern Ireland.
It’s the second sell-out Belfast show of the live tour and demand was so high for tickets that Jedward, Joe McElderry and co will be back in the city again next month.
But this week Simon Cowell’s massive money-making machine was dealt a blow from a rather unlikely quarter.
The Saturday night prime time talent show lost out to BBC4’s Newswipe with Charlie Brooker in the entertainment category at the RTS Awards.
For Cowell it was a double ignominy as his other brainchild, Britain’s Got Talent, was also snubbed in the same category.
Brooker’s triumph for his acerbic analysis of current affairs was a popular one with the audience at Grosvenor House in London, with many hailing it a “victory for television”. A loud cheer went up when Newswipe was unveiled the winner.
It may be “refreshingly polemical”, as the judges put it, but isn’t the X Factor as well, with it equal share of supporters and detractors?
And surely one can’t argue with viewing figures of 13 million compared to Brooker’s paltry 400,000? It’s the second time in recent months the X Factor has been publicly humiliated, after losing out to Rage Against The Machine in the Christmas chart battle for number one.
So has the jewel in Cowell’s crown finally lost some of its shine? Try telling that to the thousands of X Factor fans pouring into the Odyssey tonight.