Simon Cowell on 'Idol': 'I watched it once'
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By Molly McGonigle
Simon Cowell may be out of the "American Idol" spotlight, but he's prepping to bring the UK's wildly successful "X Factor" to the United States. And with auditions starting this weekend, Cowell is amping up the buzz around his new show. See what Cowell had to say to Sirius Radio on the Morning Mash Up about "American Idol," being too honest of a judge and more about "X Factor."
Have you watched "American Idol" since you left?
Simon Cowell: Once.
And what are your thoughts?
SC: I watched it once. To me I think they are doing fine. It is just a very, very different show [compared] to what we did before and what we are going to be doing going forward. But they seem happy, and from what I have read, thrilled that I am not on it anymore. Seriously.
What do you mean?
SC: I am talking about one of the producers. He's been doing all of these interviews, and I thought we were friends. And it is like, 'The show is so much better without Simon and he should have left years ago.' And it is like, 'Why didn't you tell me two years ago?' I would have gone earlier.
What are you hoping for in the audition process?
SC: With all of these shows, until you actually audition you don't know whether you are going to have a good show or not because if everybody is boring or useless, no matter what I try and predict, it will be terrible. If the contestants are interesting, you have got half a shot.
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Have we come up with a definite on the judges yet? Nicole Scherzinger?
SC: Well, I think there is going to be a role for her on the show. It's not confirmed yet. But she's not going to be a judge I don't think. And the truth is we have met tons and tons of people over the last few weeks. And I've liked everyone we've met, so nobody can make their mind up at the moment.
You are working on this show but you are also engaged. When do you plan on actually walking down the aisle, Simon?
SC: I would think the judges would be confirmed first.
We are so excited for "X-Factor." Make sure that you wear those amazing T-shirts and rub your chest like you did on "Idol" because we loved it.
SC: I have literally bought a load more specifically for that. You have got to rub your nipples when you are on TV, right?
You brought something that I think America hadn't really seen, which was someone with an opinion for a change.
SC: Well, thank you for saying that. It was nice to take a break for a while but ever since I have been doing all this stuff, talking about the new show, I have suddenly realized how much I have missed being on a show in America as well. But the good thing is that this is a very, very different show. It will feel and look different to anything you have seen before, and hopefully it will be more than slightly insane at the same time, because those are the kinds of shows I like making. I don't like to be too serious.