'X Factor' Vs. 'American Idol': Drama = Awesome Publicity!

October 4, 2012 By:
'X Factor' Vs. 'American Idol': Drama = Awesome Publicity!

Storming off set, back stabbing, shouting obscenities at your colleagues…

Since the dawn of reality television, from shows like “Real World” to today’s “Real Housewives of Various Socialite Areas,” one constant has always rang true… Adults behaving like children, a.k.a. “drama,” sells!

Singing competition shows have seemed to have caught on to the technique with both of FOX’s hit series “The X Factor” and ‘American Idol” pulling the "drama card" well in advance of their big premieres.

This week was no exception… New “American Idol” judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey went claws out on each other in a judges' panel argument.

According to TMZ, Minaj has since insisted that Mariah called her a “bitch” multiple times, causing her verbal explosion.

The caught on camera moment – whether accidental or not - serves as some quality guerilla marketing and calls to mind a similar development in the early days of Season 2 of “X Factor” when Britney Spears reportedly stormed off stage during auditions.

At the time, “Britney Walks Off” was crucial to our news feeds. And, when we tuned in to discover it was, as Birtney said, a “little break” it was a bit anti-climatic. But the tease nevertheless got us there in the first place to find out.

It’s that conflict that tantalized us!

Demi Lovato herself fed into the subtle drama endorsement, promising that there would be “tons of drama that goes on backstage between the contestants.”

Even recorded audio with Demi and Britney behind the judges’ panel had us on the edge of our seats.

While it’s always been about getting people to watch, the singing competition show genre has prolonged its relevance by shifting attention away from the talented contestants and toward the overpaid celebrity judges and hosts.

Now celebrity hype trumps talent hype…

Whether it’s Nicki, Mariah and Keith Urban on “Idol,” Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez on “X Factor,” or Usher and Shakira on “The Voice,” rumors about celebrity appearances on the competing shows somehow always re-ignite our interests.

Fake or fabricated, slight or high-priced, it’s these tactics that cause us, the naive audience, to collectively gasp, tweet (further feeding the fire) and – most importantly – tune in to the shows.

Meanwhile, the networks and promoters sit back and laugh… All the way to the friggin’ bank.