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The X Factor’s Simon Cowell Talks Britney, Demi, and Going Head-to-Head With The Voice

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Simon Cowell’s notorious unfiltered critiques return to our TV sets as The X Factor launches its second season tonight on FOX.

With the recent influx of high profile singing competitions on television in the last year or so, Cowell is not only attracting attention by giving away the biggest prize ($5 million, anyone?), but he’s giving the competition a run for the money by revamping The X Factor’s judging panel. Tonight, Cowell and acclaimed music producer L.A. Reid will be joined by two of today’s biggest pop stars, Demi Lovato and the one and only, Britney Spears.

THE X FACTOR: L-R: Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid. CR: Nino Munoz / FOX.

“I think Britney is a fascinating person, because you just don’t know anything about her. You never know what’s going to happen,” Cowell shared during a recent press call.

“She has taken this very seriously, and she’s surprisingly quite mean. In the past, we’ve had judges who never say no; she can’t say no quick enough on this show. She’s quite difficult to please, but she’s a fascinating person, and I’ve gotten to like her a lot.”

Spears isn’t the only one with strong opinions on the panel. Based on early previews of season two, it’s Lovato that Cowell seems to be butting heads with during the auditions.

“We have different views on the contestants, but I thought it was important, since a lot of the contestants are young and that we have this young audience, that we have to have somebody closer to that age group,” he explained.

“But, if I’m comfortable with somebody, then you can argue with them. So, I’m obviously very comfortable with Demi.”

 


Along with the new addition of Spears and Lovato, Cowell is still narrowing the field for a new host or two. He remained tight-lipped about any specific people in the running, but did share that the show is looking at both hosts and actors as possibilities.

“My gut feeling is we’ll probably go with a boy and a girl who haven’t had any hosting experience, because I think that might make it more interesting,” he said.

And speaking of keeping things interesting, Cowell had some choice words for his competition after NBC announced that they would be turning The Voice’s two-night season premiere into a three-night season premiere, which forces The X Factor to go head-to-head with its competition the night of their highly anticipated season premiere.

“The show looks different to anything we’ve ever made before. I think this is why NBC decided to put The Voice up against us,” Cowell said.

“It is a spoiling tactic and it’s very simple; they don’t want people to see the first episode. I think it’s mean-spirited, and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them, because this is one of the best shows we’ve ever made. I am pissed off about it, because I think there is kind of a gentleman’s agreement, but you have to rely that the viewers will make the right selection. I think that three nights in a row is too much. I think there is a lot of interest, rightly so, in our show, because of Britney, Demi, the way the show is going to look. We’re going to see what happens.”

You can catch Simon Cowell, along with fellow judges Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and L.A. Reid during the 2-hour season two premiere of The X Factor, which will highlight auditions in Austin, San Francisco, and Providence tonight on FOX at 8 p.m.

Photo credit: Nino Munoz / FOX

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.