There was a time when it was a genuine concern that we would all eventually be forced to kneel at the altar of Simon Cowell. Riding on the success of his many talent shows, Cowell's omnipresence on television had us worrying that one day we would have to baptise our children in the fountain of Cowell, drink the bood of Cowell, eat the body of Cowell, and go to Cowell confession and confess that we had been visiting friends and had therefore missed the juggling dog on Britain's Got Talent that week.
But ratings for the X Factor are continuing to decline, leading many to question whether Cowell's time as our Supreme Leader is almost up. With that being said, here are a few ways in which he could improve the show and regain his spot on Earth's throne.
MORE LOUIS WALSH
As the judging panel line-up has been endlessly fiddled with since the show's inception in 2004, there has been one constant: Louis Walsh. Although his influence on the music industry largely extends to him giving a record contract to people whom he shares an accent with, Louis is so charismatic that he has outlasted the likes of Cheryl Cole, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Rowland and Dannii Minogue on the judging panel, his giddy charm and thin grasp on reality keeping viewers entertained throughout these past 9 years.
Louis Walsh is the grinning, imbecilic glue that holds the X Factor together, and Cowell should realise this and give him more air-time. Forget Gary Barlow and his emotionless thousand-yard stare, we need Louis, bouncing on his chair excitedly whilst throwing ill-informed opinions at aspiring pop stars.
HIRE A JOKE WRITER FOR GARY BARLOW
Above is not a photograph of Gary Barlow attempting to overcome a bout of indigestion. It is a photograph of Gary Barlow smiling. Raising the left side of his mouth slightly whilst wincing is how Gary Barlow smiles. That's what he believes happiness looks like.
Gary Barlow is like a geography teacher who has become disenchanted with his career and hates kids. He's every character Paul Rudd has ever played, only minus the natural American enthusiasm. He sits on the panel, staring bleakly at the contestants and talking to them with an underlying hint of resentment that suggests he really doesn't want to be spending the latter half of his music career telling overweight Liverpudlians that they can't sing.
Gary's presence on the panel negates the charming whimsy of our beloved Louis Walsh, and if they are to continue coexisting then there's really only one thing for it: Cowell needs to hire a personal comedian to write lines for the Take That singer/songwriter. Whilst him pausing mid-show to tell us "the one about the Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman" might be a little jarring, it will at least be more captivating than watching his eyes burrow themselves into every contestants soul like a shellshocked 'Nam veteran experiencing a horrifying flashback.
INTRODUCE A SHARK PIT
Sharks: nature's villain. Even though Simon Cowell could be a bit mean to contestants at times, very rarely did he eat them alive. This is where the shark pit comes in. Contestants will be forced to prove how dedicated they are to making it in the music industry by performing over a shark pit. If they fail to impress the judges, well, you know what happens next.
Incorporating a shark pit into the show's tired format will introduce some much-needed Darwinism into proceedings, and will also ensure that contestants will no longer be crying because Jedward's manager rejected them, but will instead be crying because they are about to be mercilessly devoured by apex predators.
PUT A CLAUSE IN MEL B'S CONTRACT THAT STATES SHE MUST INCITE AT LEAST ONE MENTAL BREAKDOWN
Former Spice Girl Mel B's unique blend of embittered and hate-filled judging has certainly got fans talking this year, as she refuses to let little things like politeness and human decency get in the way of the cold hard truth. So now that Mel's time as an X Factor guest judge is over and she continues with her day-to-day life of breathing fire and drowning kittens, Cowell will no doubt be hoping to make her a full-time judge next season.
As Cowell's absence has left a gaping hole on the panel, he will likely be looking to fill his role as the show's resident 'Mr Nasty' with the fundamentally unlikeable Mel B. Mel, who is most famous for informing us that she "really really really wanna zig-a-zig-ah" throughout the 90s, has proven that she has no problem with showcasing her incredible lack of self-awareness by brutally informing contestants why they lack the credentials to make it in today's music industry.
Mel, whose last single peaked at #41 in the charts, should be encouraged to continue with her abhorrent behaviour via a clause in her contract, which states that she must incite at least one mental breakdown per series. The public love watching a good ol' fashioned mental breakdown, and by giving Mel free reign to say whatever she likes ("You've just overcome breast cancer? Pft, get over it. I had to share a stage with Victoria Beckham for 6 years!"), the show will be sure to regain some of those golden TV moments it has struggled to provide recently, such as fat people crying, poor people crying and loathsome teenagers punching each other in their mouths.
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