X Factor may not be dead, but it's certainly got a bed in the ICU and the undertakers are on speed dial.
In a desperate attempt to keep his cash cow alive, Simon Cowell has changed the line-up of judges yet again, bringing back two people who can hardly be said to have their fingers on the pulse of the 18-24 year old demographic.
And that's the key issue; this is the group who vote in TV reality singing competitions and the group whose approval is most desired. Just how informed will be the opinion of Louis Walsh, 63, a man for whom Westlife counts as cutting edge?
PR people know when they choose a celebrity to front a campaign, that celebrity should be relevant to the chosen audience.
The X Factor’s slide into middle age has been irreversible. Even last year, as Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw were drafted in to give the programme a superficial sheen of youth, the winner’s single ended up being a Bob Dylan number. The new judging panel is Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger. Average age 54 years and eight months. they’re going to spend the rest of the year telling teenage girls how to be sexy pop stars - not creepy at all. Their combined age is 219. Realistically, you could sack them all right now and replace them with a Galapagos tortoise, because not only would it have the same experience as them, but it’d also have a similar level of insight when it came to discerning the music kids enjoy listening to these days.