After four shows, too many awkward moments, and numerous pockets of silence, should Simon Cowell cut his losses and fire new "X Factor" co-host Khloe Kardashian?
What will it take to get Khloe Kardashian booted from the "X Factor?" Of course, she could have a meltdown or say something so inappropriate as to get herself fired, something she admittedly fears might happen. But the truth of the matter is the fact that Kardashian is just plain awful at her hosting job on singing competition show. Can we get rid of her now... please?
There is no doubt people everywhere would be thinking "They got rid of Brian Dunkleman, didn't they?" if they only knew who Brian Dunkleman was. (He was a co-host with Ryan Seacrest on the first season of "American Idol.") Still, there is no need for two hosts on a live competition show. Look at ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." Even though Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke are listed as co-hosts, it is Bergeron that takes the lead on the show, doing most of the talking. Burke has her moments of camera time, but she's mostly relegated to beginning and ending segments and interviews with the dancers backstage. On "American Idol," Seacrest is the only host. And on NBC's "The Voice," Carson Daly holds down the hosting position alone. ("The Voice" does have a secondary person, social media correspondent Christina Milian, but she's also relegated to side moments and performer interviews.)
And that could be the answer to the Khloe Kardashian problem. She could do interviews with the acts backstage. (Some quick wits out there most likely continued that last sentence with "... at Dancing With The Stars.") Because standing alongside the smooth and highly professional Mario Lopez, the Kardashian sister is coming up quite short (except in actual height) in comparison. In her defense, Lopez has had quite a bit of experience at hosting, not only doing segments of "Extra" and the occasional beauty pageant, but hosting shows like Animal Planet's "Pet Star" and MTV's "America's Favorite Dance Crew." And "X Factor" got what they paid for in Kardashian, given that she was hired with the full knowledge she had no experience at all.
Of course, there are those who would say, "What problem?" To that, one would have to say, "Where have you been? You certainly haven't watched 'X Factor' this season."
For those who saw her first two-hour show and were distracted, like Judge Simon Cowell, by her sheer blouse, it would be easy to write off the first minutes to her lack of experience. But she's now put in six hours and it doesn't appear that she's getting any better at the craft. The problems are legion: There's her inability to read a teleprompter without sounding like she's been called on to read in front of the class and the fact that when she's called on to emphasize her lines, she tends to stress each word like the asthmatic kid on "Malcolm In The Middle." Then there are the roaring silences when she misses her cues and the inane questions asked of the performers (but she can be forgiven the latter, because inane questions seem to be part of the job). And how about when she asks questions and doesn't wait until the questioned person has finished speaking before asking another question? And doesn't it seem as if Simon looks a bit irritated -- not even slightly amused -- when she flirts with him?
In sum, Khloe Kardashian is the excited little girl that wants badly to do well, loves the attention she's getting, seems a little stiff and uncomfortable, and is just functional enough to do the job. But just barely. And not at all well.
Besides, according to some, she's costing "X Factor" viewers. Carla Hay at Examiner has produced an extended treatment of Khloe Kardashian's impact on "X Factor" viewership and notes that not only has the show lost even more viewers since Kardashian hit the stage, the number of negative comments about Kardashian (not to mention numerous requests for her dismissal as host) have increased.
It now appears that "X Factor," for all intents and purposes, has jumped the shark...
So how about it, Simon? It's your show. Give her the Brian Dunkleman award for trying and go to one-person hosting. If she's locked into a contract, put her backstage to talk with the acts before and after they perform. Just do something to minimize her time on the microphone. Please.
And just because "X Factor" has been renewed for a third season, Simon Cowell shouldn't get stubborn and try to ride this out. It is doubtful Khloe Kardashian will get much better at her job and she certainly won't be getting more popular. (Let's face it: You either love her or hate her. Some because of who she is; some because of her hosting abilities; and some because of both.) And if it is true that some aren't watching the show just because one of the Kardashians is on it, well... In short, keeping the "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" star could be a lose-lose situation for the show.
So how about it, Simon? Ready to admit to another mistake, cut your losses, and move forward? Or are you just waiting for her to sit on your lap?
"X Factor" airs on Fox Television on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. (EST).
(photo credit: X Factor, Freemantle North America, SycoTV, Fox Television)
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