Notorious as the say-it-like-you-mean-it, persnickety, and caustic former American Idol judge, Simon Cowell closes the book and begins a new saga with the U.S. version of The X Factor. I have to say, he was absolutely dashing! I was mesmerized. Cowell was candid, charming, whimsical and intelligent during a recent conference call with television writers. I haven’t the faintest idea as to why he often has a bad rep. I found his personality to be very similar to mine… hey, wait a second! Yes, I am aware of the old adage, ”like attracts like”, I don’t think my wit is acerbic (not really), but if his creative genius is any indication… I am in stellar company!
So, what did Simon have to say?
From like a production standpoint, how is doing the American version of the show been different so far from your stance doing the British version?
Well it’s a good question, because when we first did this it was kind of weird for me. We do these auditions in front of crowds: 4,000 people, 5,000 people, 6,000 people in arenas, and of course nobody had seen the show before. And in a strange way it made it more interesting, because the audience didn’t know what to expect. I could feel that they were kind of excited and a bit edgy, and then they got it quite quickly.
I would say the American audiences are more vocal; that when they like someone they let you know, and they certainly let you know when they disagree with you. There were a few occasions where we had to (otherwise I think I may have got seriously injured) bring back some contestants we said no to because the audience wanted them [to get] through; we did say to [the audience] you’re sort of like the fifth judge here. So it was fun and everywhere we went the crowds were good. Better in the evenings, because you could feel a lot of them were drunk so they were louder, and I like that. I might do that for the live shows, just make everybody drink before they come in.