The X Factor Announces Changes for Season 3
Aug 01 2013 09:32 pm CET

Fox presented at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Thursday and announced several changes to the struggling singing competition The X Factor.

The first big change is the elimination of Boot Camp and Judges' Houses. Instead, there will be a middle round where the panel (Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio) will cut the competition down to 16 acts. Both Boot Camp and Judges' House are part of The X Factor formula in most of the other adaptations of the show, so I'm not sure how I feel about this change.

The categories for the upcoming season will be the same used in the first season of the show: Boys under 25, Girls under 25, the Over 25s, and Groups. According to the panel, who spoke at TCA, the judges received their mentoring assignments Wednesday. Also, the production values for the performances will escalate over the course of the season, rather than be a mix of over-the-top and boring over the course of an episode.

Finally, the prize for the winner has been reduced by 80%. The last act standing will receive $1 million (instead of $5 million) and a Sony recording contract. Considering the cost-cutting going on at both The X Factor and American Idol, this is hardly shocking. Although second-season winner Tate Stevens has had modest success with his debut release, first-season winner Melanie Amaro has yet to release her album. That's a $10 million investment which has not paid off.

The X Factor kicks off Fox's fall season on Wednesday, September 11.

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