"The X Factor" Season 3 has come to a close, and the future of the series is now in flux. It's not yet been officially announced that there will be a Season 4; judge Demi Lovato has already left the show; and Simon Cowell, whose closing remarks on Thursday's "X Factor" finale almost sounded like a goodbye, has hinted that he might take on a more behind-the-scenes role if and when the series returns in 2014.
So, who could ever take Simon's seat on the "X Factor" judging panel? Speaking exclusively to Yahoo's Reality Rocks backstage after the finale, he said: "Who would replace me? Hopefully someone with the same kind of experience as me. The job I do well is I do know how to make hit records. And I do that in my day job. I think that's what we need more of on these shows — people who've made records, rather than just sang records. I've always had a theory of, how much does a singer want another singer to do well? I kind of query that — because I know what singers are like!"
"The X Factor" caught a lot of flak this season (some of it deserved), but Simon, the mentor of excellent, credible Season 3 winners Alex & Sierra, seemed pleased with how things ultimately panned out. "The last three weeks worked," he stressed, referring to Alex & Sierra's multiple, unprecedented iTunes hits. (Runner-up Jeff Gutt and third-placer Carlito Olivero also charted respectably.) "From a record-company perspective, which is kind of where I look at it from, we started to get it right. I'm not going to say what I would and wouldn't do differently [in Season 4]…but the show has to be relevant. You have to believe, like with Alex & Sierra, that you're going to find a star."
As for the irony that "The X Factor's" lowest-rated season just may have yielded its most successful winner, Simon said: "Look, I'm not going to lie — both [ratings and record sales] are important. If you don't have big ratings, you've got a problem. And if you can't produce stars, you've got a problem. Somehow the two have to work together."
We'll see what happens with "The X Factor" next year. In the meantime, check out Simon's interview above, and interviews with fellow judges Kelly Rowland and Demi Lovato below!
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