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OSN explains X Factor scheduling mix-up

Fans in the UAE were shown repeats instead of the much-awaited judges picks for the live show stage of the competition

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The X Factor US judges Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and LA Reid.

What does a baseball match have to do with singing reality show X Factor? Fans of the Simon Cowell show in the US were left fuming last week when broadcaster Fox suddenly stopped the show midway and began to show a San Francisco Giants-St. Louis Cardinals match. The match, which was delayed earlier due to rain, ate into the hit show’s cliffhanger episode where judges pick the top 16 who go to the live shows stage of the competition.

Needless to say, the delay subsequently affected show schedules in the Middle East, where, instead of the “judges homes”’ episode, viewers were shown repeats of the “audition” stage.

While fans in the US posted angry messages on social media about the programming blunder, Gulf News readers wrote in to point out their confusion, some saying that they were frustrated at the lack of explanation.

The X Factor, featuring Cowell, Britney Spears, Demi Lavato and LA Reid as judges, averages about 8.19 million viewers in the US alone.

The show, which airs every Thursday and Friday in the UAE, will be back to regular programming this Thursday, said a representative of broadcaster OSN.

“The final ‘Judges’ Homes’ episode was stopped in progress and aired only partially in the east coast on October 17 due to a rain delay in the NLCS baseball game which caused a last minute schedule change. Fox will air the full two-hour episode — in which the judges choose the Top 16 acts moving on to the live shows — this coming Tuesday, 23rd October. The two-hour episode will air [in the UAE] on October 25,” explained an OSN spokeswoman.

Although some US fans who tuned in got to learn who Spears picked from her ‘Teens’ group and who Reid’s choices were for his ‘Over 25s’, before the show was disrupted, we don’t want to spoilt the fun for you.

Once the show moves to its live stage, viewers in the US will be able to vote for contestants as they are eliminated one by one. Reality star Khloe Kardashian and actor and presenter Mario Lopez were named as hosts this week. The season finale of the show, where the last contestant standing is crowned winner and awarded a $5 million recording contract, is expected to take place in two parts on December 19 and December 20 in the US, with the winner named on December 20.

*X Factor US airs every Thursday and Friday at 9pm on OSN First and OSN First HD.