Simon Cowell Blames Gary Barlow for X Factor Ratings Slump

Simon Cowell has publicly blamed Gary Barlow for X Factor ratings slumps over the past several years. Simon says just because somebody is popular, their celebrity status doesn’t mean they’ll be a good X Factor judge. Simon is returning to the show as head judge this year.


Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell has publicly slammed former X Factor head judge Gary Barlow, blaming him for a huge slump in the TV show’s ratings.  

Simon was replaced by the Take That frontman as head judge when he left in 2010 to work on the US version of the show – and he thinks he and the Greatest Day hitmaker have very different ways of approaching their work.

He told The Sun newspaper: ‘Gary was seen as the head judge – and so am I. I do believe I am the best person at spotting a potential star and making them work well on the show.

‘That is what I am good at doing, not being a big-mouth on the show. It is making the show I am on better.’

While Gary’s forthright attitude served as an adequate transition from the equally forthright Cowell, ratings faltered during his three series tenure – with last year’s final, won by former prison officer Sam Bailey, watched by 9.7 million, its lowest viewing figure since 2005.

Simon is confident his return is exactly what the show needs to turn it around, and the 54-year-old record label owner thinks pop stars don’t always work on the judging panel as they worry finding a talented artist would overshadow their own careers.


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Simon Cowell knows what it takes to be a good head judge on X Factor, so why on earth did he pick Gary Barlow? We all learn from our experiences, and Simon is no exception. Simon is who made X Factor what it is and without him it was never the same. I’m glad he’s returning.