Simon Cowell spoke for the first time yesterday about the cloud hanging over Britain's Got Talent winners Jules and Matisse.
Viewers were in uproar when it emerged Jules dog Matisse didn't infact complete the winning routine. The dog walking the tightrope was Jules other dog Chase.
Talking to GMTV Jules explained although Matisse can walk the tightrope he wasn't comfortable doing it at a height. Not wanting to put pressure on him she used her other dog Chase for that part of the act.
Simon Cowell says he "felt like a bit of an idiot" after learning Britain's Got Talent winner Jules O'Dwyer used a stunt double dog during the final.
Simon called the incident a "c**k up", "The moment I found out I literally put my head in my hands.
"I spoke to a lot of people after, and I did raise my voice. But it was mainly people owning up to it. They felt embarrassed, they felt frustrated, they felt stupid but you've got to man up to this stuff."
Simon urged fans not to target Jules over the episode, admitting he felt the show had let her down. "There's a cloud over her and I want that cloud to go. I want people to feel proud of her and that she did well and she should be happy,"
Simon insisted that neither Jules O’Dwyer or any of the production team had any intent to deceive the viewers.
“I could hear in their voices, some were in tears, just mad at themselves,” he said. And he spent an hour on the phone to Jules. “I feel that I let her down and that the show let her down,” he said. “She shouldn’t have to be in this position because she didn’t do anything wrong. But I hopefully reassured her she should put on very good show for the Queen.” Simon admitted it was a mistake to bill them as a double act. He said Jules came up with Jules and Matisse “because she had no other name for the act, but wanted to show us that she was a multiple dog trainer”.
Simon insisted there would be no sackings, adding: “The producers are absolutely gutted. I was so depressed yesterday for the show, for Jules and for the producers themselves, because they are not horrible people. "They made a stupid mistake on a live show." “They didn’t think about how it would appear. I was frustrated because I didn’t really know what I was judging until afterwards so I felt like a bit of an idiot.”
Taking his share of the blame, Cowell said: “I’m connected with the show, so if a contestant leaves feeling unhappy I have to take some responsibility.”
And he admits Chase should have been brought on with the other dogs at the end of Sunday night’s performance. He said: “That should have happened, 100pc, and she could have said, ‘Oh, by the way, Chase was the one doing the tightrope’.” But Simon asked viewers not to judge Jules harshly over her decision not to bring Chase in front of the audience. “At the last minute we had 12 acts instead of 11 and we were very tight for time,” he said. “I think there was just a panic because she didn’t want Chase to come round because he’d done the tight-rope thing, which apparently is stressful. “I’m assuming someone not in a high position held on to the dog because they had to get them off stage ready for what was coming next.” The BGT judge is adamant no one on the show intended to “cheat or deceive”, and said: “We just wouldn’t work with people like that.” But he added: “You’ve got to own up to your mistakes. The viewers have to trust us and know exactly what goes on. There was definitely no intention from the producers to hide this, that I do know 100%.”
Jules did train her other dog to do the act, so do you think they should keep their title? Was it an honest mistke due to time contraints? Let us know your views on Twitter.
We have pictures of Simon and Lauren at the show after party on our PHOTO page.
Simon Cowell's own dogs Squiddly & Diddly have their own page of photos.