The X Factor final, which saw Jamaican crooner Dalton Harris take home the grand prize, kicked off by announcing it had a new boss. And it turned out to be none other than Simon Cowell’s four-year-old son, Eric Cowell.
The young boy announced it was time for ‘Baby Shark!’ which was followed by children performing to the hit song while adults dressed as sharks danced around them.
The song has become a viral hit around the world this year, mainly thanks to its YouTube video version ‘Baby Shark Dance,’ which currently has over two billion hits.
And Simon explained that he has bought the rights to the song and that a version of the single has now been released under his son’s recently founded record label, SyKids Records.
“This is Eric’s first release on SyKids records! The record is out now. He is now my boss!” said Simon.
But while it may be a megahit with young children and knowing parents, many X Factor viewers were left utterly confused by the shark mayhem that enfolded.
Several viewers took to Twitter to ask ‘What is happening?’ while others poked fun at the slump in this year’s X Factor ratings and joked that the series had officially ‘hit rock bottom.’
#XFactor just opened the final with Baby Shark… what is happening 🤦🏻♀️
— LJ (@Leahjdawe00) December 2, 2018
you know when xfactor has hit rock bottom when “baby shark” is the opening song to the final #xfactor
— naomi (@lumsdennn) December 2, 2018
While many frustrated parents mockingly slammed the show for giving airtime to the ridiculously catchy track.
#xfactor for goodness sake the shark song seriously?! The most irritating children's song ever and the worst earworm anyone can ever have and WHY on the start of The X Factor ? I just don't get it! Turned over good luck #Dalton you're my winner fabulous voice!
— JDS (@JodesiJo) December 2, 2018
— elemsee 🥝 ⚽️ 🍀 🦕 (@elemsee) December 2, 2018
Others were shocked that Simon Cowell was putting his son in the public spotlight at such a young age – and presumedly all in the name of record sales.
— lovinlife (@davidsonjack50) December 3, 2018
Did Simon Cowell actually get his 4 year old son on stage to sing Baby Shark? And it’s being released as a single? The guy will literally try to make money from anyone he can use. No shame at all. Embarrassing 😳 #XFactor
— Steve (@Nintendoubt815) December 2, 2018
But all is not loss, as for all the ‘haters’ many viewers professed their love for the performance on Twitter – including quite a few parents.
@SimonCowell you and Eric made my sons night. He LOVES baby shark. He was unwell today so that has cheered him up #XFactor & they share the same birthday. Valentine babies 😍❤🤴#BabyShark 🦈🦈🦈🦈 pic.twitter.com/mR5YLdiuKH
— SabrinaS (@Sab27) December 2, 2018
Eric Cowell has his own single out (his version of baby shark) at the age of just 4 years old!! Not doing bad at life are ya son #XFactor
— paigebartram (@pbartram86) December 2, 2018
— 💕🌸🦋🏳️🌈🦋🌸💕 (@NonevyaBusiness) December 2, 2018
Eric Cowell is Simon Cowell’s first and only child, who he has had with his partner Lauren Silverman. He has openly spoken about leaving his entertainment empire to Eric, including the X Factor franchise.