LOSER: Simon Cowell
What Went Wrong in 2013: Sorry, Simon. It may just be time to give up on "The X Factor" in the United States. After an underwhelming first season and a weak second season, "The X Factor" just stumbled along in Season 3 drawing steady-but-way-too-low numbers. Nobody can say that Cowell hasn't tried. Each season has had a different judging panel. Each season has had a different hosting configuration. Each season has had a different format and structure. And some of the changes have been good. The 4-Chair Challenge kinda worked! Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland weren't bad at all! And all hail Alex & Sierra! Simon Cowell doesn't like to admit defeat, but this is a loss, even if FOX has given it three seasons.
What's Ahead in 2014: That's the big mystery. Will Cowell return to the U.K. for various potential judging options? Will FOX give "X Factor" one last change with yet another altered format? We'll see. The only impending certainty for Cowell? Fatherhood. So he's got that going for him.
- Daniel Fienberg