Using Social Media To Explain Your Feelings Towards The X Factor Hosts
In 1666, the English Physicist Isaac Newton retired to his mother’s cottage in Lincolnshire and in that summer he would regularly take walks in her garden orchard. As he watched ripe apples fall to the ground, he wondered why they so consistently fell downwards, and not sideways or upwards. Two decades later, he formulated the idea of gravity, maybe the most famous of the laws of physics that we take for granted today.
While watching The X Factor in my youth, I often felt like Isaac Newton. Every year there was a season of The X Factor, and every year it was one of the most popular shows on TV, without fail. It was almost like a law of physics. However, that all changed this year, when The X Factor began to fray at the edges. It recorded some of the lowest viewing figures in its history, it even lost the ratings war with its long-time rival, Strictly Come Dancing, and you know things must have gone pretty badly wrong when you lose in a ratings war to a program about ballroom dancing!
Last year, Dermot O’Leary, the long time presenter, announced he was quitting the show and was replaced by two new hosts, Olly Murs, a former X Factor contestant and a cheeky chappy and successful pop star in his own right, and Caroline Flack, who is moderately famous for an eclectic bunch of presenting roles and for dating a 17 year old Harry Styles. People have been quick to point the finger at the new hosts of the show for its lack of popularity, and Caroline Flack is already rumored to be getting fired from the show.
But this all begs the question, what makes a popular presenter? Is it charisma? Good looks? A good sense of humor? If social media is anything to go by, it’s none of the above. According to social media, there is one decisive factor that dictates the success of a presenter, fame.
The more famous you are before you go on the show, the more talked about you will be, and the bigger stir you will cause on social media.
The more famous you are before you go on the show, the more talked about you will be and the bigger the buzz you will cause on social media. Olly Murs received significantly more attention on social media than Caroline Flack, despite the fact that they had pretty much the same amount of screen time and had the same jobs.
In fact, Flack has the benefit of extensive presenting experience, so there shouldn’t have been any real reason for Olly to be so much more popular. Furthermore, the evidence even suggests that people liked Caroline’s presenting style more when you look at the sentiment overview of her versus her partner.
Flack’s online sentiment
Murs’ online sentiment
The only way I can explain this gulf in popularity is by pre-existing popularity and fame. Caroline might have been the better presenter, but she was unable to compete with Olly’s established reputation. The same pattern can be seen with the hosts of the Xtra Factor, the X Factor’s companion program. It is hosted by Rochelle Humes and Melvin O’Doom.
Rochelle Humes is a pop star, a former member of girl group The Saturdays. She is married to Marvin from The X Factor discovered group JLS, something I can personally confirm, since I was actually a waiter at their wedding (true story!). Melvin O’Doom is charming and energetic, but lacks Rochelle’s show business pedigree, his most famous appearance prior to the Xtra Factor was in the cult classic, Dick ‘n’ Dom in da Bungalow.
Melvin is without doubt the more ostentatious of the two, and is usually the instigator of the show’s pranks and jokes, as you can see here:
However, he is still considerably less popular than Rochelle on social media.
Despite him arguably being a more important element of the show. Once again, the simplest explanation is Rochelle’s pre-existing reputation and fame. The more familiar you are with a host, the more you will be inclined to take interest in them.
So, the longer and more often you are exposed to Olly Murs before the show begins, the more likely you will be to watch him and talk about him.
So what’s the moral of this story? If you’re looking for a new presenter, hire a famous pop star, and not necessarily a polished presenter.
Oh, and don’t stand underneath apple trees.