The rumors had been swirling for months, and now, according to reports, the pop princess herself, Britney Spears, will be joining the judging panel on “The X Factor,” landing a $15 million deal for one season.
Yet, after 15 years in the public eye, seven studio albums and more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, many are wondering: Is “The X Factor” the right career move for Spears ?
“I think it is a good move, actually,” Entertainment Weekly writer Tanner Stransky told MTV News. “I think she has so many people on her team watching what she’s doing and being careful. I think nobody would let her take a misstep, but I think it’s the right move right now.”
This new role certainly has many advantages. It keeps Spears in the public eye while keeping her close to her family, and it will most likely bring in the big ratings that “X Factor” and Simon Cowell are hoping for. Yet there are some experts who are a little wary of Spears taking a spot on the panel, since over the years, the pop star has been noticeably withdrawn from press, rarely giving on-camera interviews.
“I think everyone is a little concerned, simply because Britney has been very press-shy since she’s been in her conservatorship, and everything is incredibly guarded and incredibly controlled,” Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts at Billboard, said. “And there can be uncontrollable moments on ‘The X Factor,’ and if things are not completely in control and things are not rehearsed, things could go wrong. With a live show, anything can happen, and that can be very exciting but, at the same time, a little worrisome.”
Stransky agreed and believes that, while Spears is judging the contestants, viewers will ultimately be judging her.
“Everyone is going to take a close look at her and pay attention to what she says,” Stransky said. “She’s sort of been so managed on her interviews in the past five years, it’s risky.”
But Spears’ loyal fanbase feels that putting Spears in an environment where anything can happen is actually a good thing, and will show a whole different side of the pop star.
“That’s part of the excitement of her being on this: It’s unscripted,” said Jordan Miller, webmaster for Spears’ biggest fan site, BreatheHeavy.com. “We are so used to her reading cue cards and kind of being controlled in that way, so for her to break out of that and to do something that’s stepping outside her comfort zone, I think it’s a great step for her, career-wise, and for her as a person. I think she’s going to do really good. I think she’s confident.”
And confidence is key when judging a singing competition, but so is experience — which Spears has in spades. For years, fans have listened to her chart-topping music and have seen her on tour, but now they’re ready to connect with the star on a new level.
“I think the overall consensus is that people are really excited to see Britney do something new and be able to connect with her a couple times a week on national television,” Miller said. “It’s exciting for fans to see that she’s going to be able to mentor these contestants, because like it or not, Britney does have the ‘X Factor,’ so it’s going to be great to see how she can transcend this into more singers and inspire other people.”
Are you excited for Britney Spears to be a judge on “The X Factor”? Let us know in the comments!