Experts break down Lovato's casting on the Fox reality show to MTV News.
By Jocelyn Vena
The world is still reacting to the now-confirmed news that Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will sit together at the "The X Factor" judges table this fall. While their spots on the show remain among worst-kept secrets in recent memory, these two former Disney princesses will now set out to prove they are savvy enough to judge up-and-coming talent on the Fox competition series.
While L.A. Reid, Simon Cowell and Spears bring decades of experience with them to the show, Lovato, only 19, may seem too much like a rookie on the surface. But, she's already amassed the kind of experience performers triple her age could wish for.
She's released three albums, which have all landed top-five spots on the Billboard 200. She's starred on the hit Disney series, "Sonny With a Chance" and was the female lead, alongside the Jonas Brothers, in both "Camp Rock" films, which were incredibly successful for the Mouse House.
All the success at such a young age makes Lovato a perfect pick for the show. "They're looking for female pop singers who can engage a younger audience," Monica Herrera, a senior editor at Rolling Stone, told MTV News. "Demi seems like a good choice because she hits not just music fans, but TV fans and I think they're kind of trying to find somebody who can hit all angles."
She may have tons of teenage Lovatics, but Keith Caulfield, associate director of charts/retail at Billboard, added that she still hasn't yet permeated the adult market, which makes this the right time to make this move.
"I thought it was interesting choice just because, I mean, she is a star, but she seems a bit under the radar to a degree so this is a great look for her because it's going to elevate her visibility and give her a whole new audience and a great platform to introduce new material," he said. "I think it's a great opportunity for her to really expand her fanbase. I think a lot of people are going to discover Demi for the very first time."
And, that's why, Herrera adds, she needs to strike while the iron is hot. "I think it's definitely a smart move; I don't think she can afford to wait at this point. I think that is kind of a way to jumpstart it and really get herself out there," she explained. "Obviously she's gonna want to put out an album timed to the fall show. She'll have the team behind her to really kind of maximize this opportunity and put out a single and an album that will kind of get the lift that she really needs right now."
Caulfield notes that Lovato will serve as the perfect answer to Spears. "Demi, considering her history and frankly her years of experience, she's gone through the ringer," he said. "Demi is probably going to have more realistic commentary, probably not harsh but probably coming from the point of view of 'I did this before.' Certainly her and Britney have the X factor, that something about them that makes them stars, it's hard to pin down. I think it's going to be good. I think they're both interesting choices."
So for anyone wondering if Lovato is still too young to mentor, well, Herrera says they should put those concerns aside. "I really think it does [help that she's young], especially since they are skewing younger and younger with the contestants. I think someone like Demi would have been perfect for someone like Rachel Crow [who competed last season]. She obviously knows what it's like to be thrust into the spotlight in that way from a really young age," she said. "I really think that she can be that guiding force."
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