Simon Cowell Talks Paula, Cheryl, “The Voice,” His “Super Final” Idea…and Jedward
In a new interview with Yahoo!'s Reality Rocks, "X Factor" honcho Simon Cowell addresses these tough issues. How did Paula take the news of her pink-slipping? Does he still feel bad about what went down with Cheryl? Is he at all threatened by "Idol" and "The Voice"--and was he really serious about that "super final" idea? Is he surprised (or annoyed) that "Idol" survived, even thrived, without him? He answers all this and more.
And, even more excitingly, he addresses my entirely serious suggestion that "X Factor U.K." stars Jedward be hired to host the American version of the show next season. Remember, you read about that idea here first!
REALITY ROCKS: So I know you are recasting "The X Factor," and word is you're going to have two hosts, not one, next season. Can I make a suggestion for who you should hire?
SIMON COWELL: Sure, go ahead.
REALITY ROCKS: Jedward!
SIMON: [Laughs] Brilliant! You know what, Lyndsey? Stranger things have happened. That is a very, very funny suggestion. I am thinking about it...they are hilarious, those two. What started off as a joke...I mean, my God, the joke's on us now! These guys are now multimillionaires. That is a very funny suggestion; I will genuinely put that in the pool. And if it happens, I will give you credit.
REALITY ROCKS: Deal! Okay, in all seriousness now, you're not just replacing the "X Factor" host, but two of the show's judges. Was there a specific moment during "The X Factor" Season 1 when you thought, "This isn't working out"? When you realized you'd have to wipe the slate clean?
SIMON: No, I was happy with the show last year. I was kind of thinking this year, as we all were, what the marketplace was going to be like in a year's time. And what we anticipated was a big competition between us and "American Idol," plus the chance that "The Voice" may compete with us in the fall. Plus the change in the music scene, which is we predicted that pop music was going to make a big comeback--you're definitely going see that starting with One Direction, who ironically were on the U.K. "X Factor," a boy band who could debut at number one on the album charts in a couple weeks' time. This is just the beginning, so the show was really gearing up to take all of that into account. And the thing with Paula in particular was that the network felt was that it was still too similar to what we had done on "Idol," and they wanted to separate the shows further. So it's sad that we're losing them, but you hope that the changes will overall make the show do better this year, because that's all we were thinking about.
REALITY ROCKS: You say that the concern with having Paula Abdul on "The X Factor" was it made the show too similar to "Idol." But wasn't that the whole idea--that having you two together again on television would play into the nostalgia of fans who missed your old "Idol" era?