This tedious X-Factor follow-up bins off most singers into oblivion. Even its winners can walk away with nothing

It must hurt to be Simon Cowell in 2021. For two decades, Cowell was the undisputed master of the singing talent show, trampling the charts into paste with his relentless barrage of power ballads and sob stories. But then The X Factor withered away, and his spot was taken by no end of niche singing shows.

Want to watch famous people singing in elaborate costumes? There’s The Masked Singer. Want to watch judges try to figure out whether people can sing, without actually hearing them sing? There’s I Can Hear Your Voice. Want to watch singers cower backstage as their voices are implanted into harrowing frog-style avatars? Go to the US and watch Alter Ego. Or rather, don’t.

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