Remember those two hours you spent watching and I spent recapping FOX’s “The X Factor” on Wednesday (November 6) night?
[Waving my hand in front of your face, Jedi-style.] It never happened.
Late Wednesday night, FOX announced that “as a result of a graphics error (incorrect voting numbers were displayed on screen) during the performance recap at the end” of the East Coast broadcast of the show, all votes for the telecast have been scrapped. Fortunately, all “X Factor” contestants prepare two songs each week, a bigger production number for Wednesday and a “Save Me” song for Thursday. Because of the SNAFU, Thursday’s telecast will feature all 13 acts doing their “Save Me” songs before FOX reopens voting after the show. Results will then be revealed at the top of next Wednesday’s show and the remaining Finalists will do their ’80s Night performances.
Amidst posting pictures of his dog Squiddly, series creator/judge/mentor Simon Cowell noted the voting mix-up on Twitter.
In a string of messages, Cowell tweeted, “A lot of you noticed there were some problems with the voting numbers at the end of the show tonight…you were right! There was an issue so everyone has to sing their save me song live tomorrow and America will vote on that performance. Mistakes happen. But now I have 24 hours to prepare my groups for tomorrow night. Let’s hope they all deliver. Now they will understand what pressure means.”
That last tweet sounds particularly ominous.
Voting gaffes are, indeed, a part of reality TV. “Dancing with the Stars” had a non-elimination episode earlier this season due to an error. Cowell dealt with a similar problem in the fourth season of “American Idol,” which led to a really awkward special Wednesday telecast composed of clips from the previous night’s performances along with new commentary, followed by a revote and a special Thursday elimination.
FOX maintains that Thursday’s show will still be an even hour, airing from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and leading into a new “Glee.” Given the show’s struggles to fit 16 performances into 125 minutes last week, it should be interesting to watch the producers squeeze 13 live performances into 60 minutes tonight. [I asked FOX sources what this will mean for Thursday’s scheduled Selena Gomez performance. When they let me know, I’ll update.]
If there’s a bright side for FOX and “X Factor,” this practically counts as a mulligan week. Wednesday’s telecast was crushed by ABC’s coverage of the CMA Awards, while Thursday’s show was already expected to struggle against NBC’s airing of a random “The Voice” results episode.
Check back later tonight for what is sure to be a frenzied hour of recapping.