In a “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” interview that aired on June 5, 2013, Khloe Kardashian spoke out publicly for the first time about being fired from “The X Factor” U.S., the show she co-hosted from October to December 2012.
Kardashian, 28, was probably too embarrassed to use the word “fired” as the reason why she is no longer on the show, but she did admit in the interview that her lack of hosting experience was a problem: “I’ve never hosted anything in my life. So, to go from nothing to being thrown into live TV, it was really hard. It was scary.”
On April 22, 2013, Fox (the U.S. network for “The X Factor” U.S.) officially confirmed that Mario Lopez will continue to host “The X Factor” U.S. and that Kardashian will no longer co-host the show.
Although Kardashian gave several interviews and posted many things on Twitter since getting fired from “The X Factor,” she did not publicly comment on being dropped from “The X Factor” until she did “The Tonight Show” interview.
In an episode of “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami” that was filmed in October 2012 and aired in March 2013, Kardashian was seen and heard loudly complaining and whining about her “X Factor” job. At one point, she said she was considering faking a heart attack to get out of the job.
In “The Tonight Show” interview, Kardashian continued her complaints about “The X Factor” by saying that while she was working on the show, it was “so annoying” that people behind the scenes would be “counting down the seconds” in her earpiece during the live “X Factor” episodes. But overall, she said (not very convincingly) that being on “The X Factor” was “a great experience.”
Kardashian also revealed in “The Tonight Show” interview that “The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell has not been in contact with her since she’s been fired, and he wasn’t the one to break the news to her: “I have not heard from Simon. I’m sure I will. There’s no bad blood. He’s busy. I love him. I love his personality. I had fun with him.”
When Leno asked Kardashian if she was told that “The X Factor” was going in a different direction, she replied, “He didn’t say that to me. It was more like through agents. I was only signed for one year, for the one season. If I I was going to do it again, they were going to pick me up. But I was only signed for the one year.”
In the first week of January 2013, I had the first exclusive worldwide report that Kardashian was getting fired as “The X Factor” U.S. co-host. Then in February 2013, the New York Post confirmed what I originally reported: Kardashian has been fired from the show. The New York Post also reported that Lopez would remain as host of the “The X Factor” U.S.
At the time, Fox and “X Factor” representatives refused to comment on who would be hosting the show in 2013. But with the official announcement made via press release, Fox confirmed these reports.
In October 2012, Kardashian and Lopez joined “The X Factor” U.S. as co-hosts. But even before she was hired, Kardashian was very unpopular with the vast majority of “X Factor” viewers who loudly complained that they did not want her to host the show.
Kardashian was a controversial choice from the beginning, since she had no prior experience hosting a TV show. Her main claim to fame is being on staged reality shows with her family. Kardashian received countless complaints from most “X Factor” viewers, who often described her as “unprofessional,” “awkward” and “horrible” as a TV host. Many viewers said they were boycotting “The X Factor” U.S. (which is televised in the U.S. on Fox) as long as Kardashian was on the show and they demanded that Kardashian get fired.
After Kardashian joined the show, the “The X Factor” U.S. lost an average of 1 million to 1.5 million viewers per episode. Before she was on “The X Factor” U.S., the show was averaging 9 million viewers per episode. After she joined the show, it started averaging 7.5 million to 8 million viewers per episode.
Cowell was one of Kardashian’s biggest champions. In several interviews, he incorrectly predicted that she would be a hit with viewers, and he ignored people who warned him that Kardashian would be a train wreck because of her lack of experience.
If Cowell and “X Factor” decision makers had paid attention to the majority of “X Factor” viewers who said they didn’t want Kardashian to host the show before she was hired, then this colossal hiring mistake never would have happened.
Kardashian caused so many viewer complaints and boycotts that several key “X Factor” decision makers saw her as a liability, according to sources.
An insider revealed to me in the first week of January 2013: “Khloe just isn’t worth the hassle. Too many viewers hate her. Sponsors started to find out that people were boycotting the show because of her. When you have someone on the show who’s having a negative impact with sponsors, it’s time to dump that person.”
Another insider said at the time, “People at Fox and a lot of viewers have been questioning Simon’s judgment because he personally fought to have Khloe on the show. The network executives were very nervous about hiring a host with no experience. And they were right to be nervous. Khloe has been a nightmare. No amount of TV training for her can save the situation. She’s alienated too many viewers.”
Kardashian’s “X Factor” ouster is among the sweeping changes that sources say the show is making in 2013 in an effort to increase ratings, after the show lost millions of viewers in 2012.
This won’t be the first time that “The X Factor” U.S. is undergoing a major overhaul. In May 2012, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato replaced fired judges Paula Abdul and Scherzinger. Kardashian and Lopez replaced fired host Steve Jones in October 2012. Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones were dismissed from “The X Factor” at the end of January 2012.
Despite these changes, and even though “X Factor” U.S. executives had hoped that Spears’ presence on the show would increase ratings in 2012, the opposite happened. In 2011 for the show’s first season, “The X Factor” U.S. averaged 12 million U.S. viewers per episode, according to the Nielsen Company. In 2012, when Spears became an “X Factor” judge, the show’s ratings plummeted to an average of 8 million U.S. viewers per episode.
In December 2012, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, 56, quit the show’s judging panel because he said that he wants to spend more time focusing on his main job as chairman/CEO of Epic Records.
In January 2013, Spears, 31, announced that she would not be returning to “The X Factor” U.S. Whether she quit because she really wanted to leave or was “forced to quit” (in other words, fired) is open to debate, but the majority of “X Factor” viewers on the Internet said that they are happy that Spears is gone from the show.
In May 2013, “The X Factor” U.K. Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio replaced Spears and Reid. Cowell and Lovato, 20, are the show’s other two judges. Rowland, 32, was a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2011. Rubio, 41 is also a judge on “La Vox Mexico” and “La Vox Kids,” which are Spanish-language versions of “The Voice.”
Fox has lost millions in advertising revenue because of the steep decline in “The X Factor” U.S. ratings in 2012. Because the ratings have failed to meet expectations, Fox has had to discount or reduce fees for advertisers and other sponsors who were promised a certain level of ratings that “The X Factor” U.S. did not deliver. These revenue losses are often not reported in the media because the advertising revenue that is reported is what the network charged before the season began, i.e., before the actual ratings for that season existed.
As for Lopez, 39, he has his share of fans and critics, but Kardashian was getting a lot more viewer complaints than Lopez got. He is an experienced TV host, who has emceed shows such as syndicated celebrity news program “Extra,” MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” NuvoTv talk show “Mario Lopez: One on One,” the ALMA Awards and the Miss America Pageant.
Most viewers say that “The X Factor” U.S. only needs one host and that Lopez was doing a good job and should continue to host the show. It seems like the show’s decision makers finally paid attention to what the majority of “X Factor” viewers want.
In a Fox press release, Lopez commented about his “X Factor” return: “I’m looking forward to returning to ‘The X Factor’ team. We’re coming back stronger and better than ever and I’m excited to check out all the new talent.”
Cowell added, “I’m thrilled Mario is back for Season Three of ‘The X Factor.’ Hosting a live show and keeping the judges – especially Demi – in line, is not an easy job, but Mario is a pro and we are glad he’s coming back.”
According to a report in Globe magazine’s issue dated April 22, 2013, Lopez’s “X Factor” salary in 2012 was $1.5 million. Lopez allegedly agreed to return to “The X Factor” on the condition that he host the show by himself and that his “X Factor” salary would be increased to $3 million in 2013.
With Lopez continuing to host “The X Factor” U.S. and “Extra,” it appears the decision has been made to have him host only the live episodes of “The X Factor” that will begin in late October or early November and will continue to the show’s season finale in December. The show’s live episodes take place in Los Angeles.
Realistically, Lopez would not be able to get time off from “Extra” (a Los Angeles-based show that he films on weekdays) to attend “X Factor” auditions in front of the judges, boot camp and the “judges’ houses” phases of the competition, which are all prerecorded and take place in various cities from May to September.
By contrast, Jones was the host of “The X Factor” U.S. for all of its episodes in 2011. Jones is now a correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight.”
In 2012, the show’s prerecorded episodes did not have a host, and the episodes got mixed-to-negative reviews. One of the biggest complaints from viewers was that the backstage drama looked very fake and staged.
Before she was fired, Kardashian said in several interviews that she wanted to continue to host “The X Factor” U.S., but apparently she was in denial or did not want to admit how many “X Factor” viewers disliked her and wanted her gone from the show.