Music executive, T.V. producer and T.V. personality Simon Cowell spoke with Concrete Loop on Tuesday afternoon in promotion of X-Factor finally coming to the United States. The series (which is already popular in a number of countries), will premiere on FOX this upcoming September. Simon also spoke about the new season of American Idol, confessing that he only watched one episode.
Check out our exclusive interview below and also make sure to keep reading for details on upcoming auditions.
CL EXCLUSIVE w/ SIMON COWELL
ANGEL: Hey Simon! How are you doing?
SIMON: I’m very well indeed, Angel. How are you?
ANGEL: I’m pretty good, pretty good. So I know you’re excited about The X Factor finally coming to the states. For those of us who aren’t familiar with it, can you explain the difference between The X Factor and American Idol?
SIMON: Well look first of all, you’ve got to see the show I think to really see the difference. I’ve worked from both shows. I’ve done the UK version of X Factor and Idol simultaneously. Although they’re both talent shows, they’re very very different shows. But to anyone who hasn’t see this before, the main difference is that the lower age range is twelve, there’s no upper age limit and vocal groups are allowed to enter this competition as well. And in the final part of the show, the judges get to mentor three contestants each, so that you’re actually totally responsible for what that artist does at the later(ship?) part of the show.
ANGEL: Oh yeah. I remember watching some of Leona Lewis a few years ago on Youtube, like some of those, you know coming to the house and her being mentored by you and someone else. I thought that was pretty cool.
SIMON Yeah, but it also puts the judges in the competition as well. It’s a more fun show to be on. In addition to that, we’ve put up a $5 million dollar cash prize for the winner of the show as well.
ANGEL: Wow! Okay! And they get a contract with Sony as well, right?
SIMON:…and in addition to that, you get a recording contract with Sony. Yeah. So you know, it’s a show worth winning.
ANGEL: So I read that Mariah Carey was initially supposed to be one of the judges, but with her pregnancy she wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. So do you have anyone else in mind to fill that spot?
SIMON: We’ve been talking to a number of people. We announced our third judge last week and it’s a guy called L.A. Reid…
ANGEL: Oh, we know who LA. Reid is. [laughs]
SIMON: [laughs] Okay, well LA is my third guy.
ANGEL: Well that’s going to be interesting.
SIMON: Yeah and LA, I have so much respect for him. He is probably the number one hit maker in the world right now, and the fact that he has agreed to join the show as one of the judges mentors is fantastic.
ANGEL: I read a rumor that the girl from Pussycat Dolls, Nicole…
ANGEL: Yeah I heard that she was pursuing to get the title or…
SIMON: We’ve spoken to a lot of people and we’ve had a lot of meetings. As I said LA was the 3rd announcement and I’m guess in the next week or so we’ll announce the final two.
ANGEL: Okay. How do you feel about these other singing competitions that are jumping off with other celebrity judges, kind of biting off X Factor and American Idol?
SIMON: I’ve seen this happen for years. The same thing happened in the UK. Everybody tried to do it, but at the end of the day, either the good ones survive and the weak ones fall away. We’ve gone into just believing that, you know…well we said we’re going to try. We’re going to try to make this the best of the lot. And we’re going to put everything into it. You will see once the show starts, it’s going to look different to anything else you’ve see before.
ANGEL: I have one final question. It’s pretty much about American Idol. How do you feel about this season with the new judges, and you’re not on there anymore being a part of it…?
SIMON: Well I’ve only watched one episode…Umm, I mean It’s like watching a completely different show…
ANGEL: It really is!
SIMON: Yeah, I mean they, they’re all happy…
ANGEL: [laughs] That’s true.
SIMON: [laughs] Umm…You know, look, it’s, you know it was a different show than what I was used to and I watched it just to see how much different we’re going to be and it’s going to be a lot different.
ANGEL: Yeah, I have to say, I stopped watching American Idol about 3, 4 seasons ago, but I watched this new season to see the difference as well and you definitely made the show…you now, they’re pretty much done. [laughs]
SIMON: Well thank you, Angel. [smiles] Well he good news is we’re going to come back with something different and I hope you enjoy. I think you will.
ANGEL: We will. Alright well thank you, Simon!
SIMON: Nice to talk to you, sweetheart.
ANGEL: You as well.
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