‘X Factor:’ Unlike Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones’ Awkwardness is Endearing

COMMENTARY | “X Factor” host Steve Jones may be getting the boot next season.

According to Daily Mirror, Fox has already decided not to renew his contract. So “short of a miracle happening, it is pretty much a done deal that he will not take part next season.” There is also talk of Nicole Scherzinger replacing him as the host.

Yet we don’t know for sure if Jones is really being fired. According to an Entertainment Weekly source, “Absolutely no discussions have been had and no discussions will be made about any contacts until the New Year.”

Jones has received negative reviews from critics and fans alike in the inaugural season of “X Factor.” Most recently, audiences criticized him for haplessly fumbling during 13-year-old Rachel Crow’s post-elimination breakdown.

It would be a shame if he’s axed. Sure he’s fumbling, awkward, and ineffectual. Yet he was finally starting to grow on me. His awkwardness is strangely endearing. It shows that he isn’t slick and jaded like many current Hollywood personalities. And he really comes across as a nice guy.

It’s Jones’ first season. We can’t expect him to be as seasoned as Ryan Seacrest or Tom Bergeron. Brooke Burke-Charvet is a case in point, and she still has a job.

One of my favorite moments with Jones was watching him put Nicole Scherzinger in her place after Crow’s elimination. Scherzinger, of course, had made the controversial (in)decision to go to deadlock, sealing the younger singer’s fate.

After Simon Cowell offered his closing remarks to Rachel, Jones pointedly asked the bawling Scherzinger if she had anything to say (after which she turned her back to camera).

“X Factor” shot itself in the foot by axing Cheryl Cole and replacing her with Scherzinger. During Cole’s few days on the “X Factor” judging panel, she came across as charming, knowledgeable, and articulate. Scherzinger, on the other hand, has been an irrelevant drama queen. Throughout the season, she’s been babbling about “love and light” and how she “can’t make this decision.”

Audiences seem to view Scherzinger and Jones as dead weight. Yet the difference between them is that Jones at least comes across as sincere. And his performance could improve with experience. I hope he sticks around for another season. He may be a train wreck, but he’s a likable train wreck.

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