Simon Cowell chats about the brand new X Factor: Celebrity
This year, The X Factor is back but not as we know it... Well-known faces with dreams of becoming superstar singers will be fighting for the chance to be crowned The X Factor 2019 Champion in The X Factor: Celebrity.
This brand-new take on the nation’s most talked about music talent show will make its debut on TV screens this October and will feature some of the biggest names from the world of music, film, sport, television and social media.
The celebrity hopefuls will be leaving their comfort zones at the door as they battle it out in LA to make it throughthe first stage and all the way to the live shows in London to ultimately win a life changing record deal.
The first round is judged in Simon Cowell's garden at his Malibu home, then the contestants move to the live shows in London starting later this month.
There will not be a bootcamp or six chair challenge this year/
Simon has a few things to say about the show this year.
Why did you decide to change up the normal version of the show and do a celebrity one instead?
It just felt so obvious to do a celebrity version. The only condition was I couldn’t know who was going to be on it. I said to the team, “You’ve got to find some acts who you believe can sell records off the back of this, because if you don’t do that it won’t work.” So that was the deal and we stuck to it. I swear to God I didn’t have a clue who any of the acts were. I did walk away thinking, “If we’re smart, we have artists here who could actually sell records off the back of this”. So I thought that was fun and very exciting for the show.
They do say a change is as good as a rest...!
Exactly! I think change in any aspect is good, but I was saying to someone the other day, “I’ve signed Westlife, I’ve signed Five, El Divo, One Direction, Little Mix. They’re all groups, but they’re all different.” Sometimes you’ve got to take a break of at least a year, two years between signing one kind of group and then launching another. And it’s the same with The X Factor. You can’t just keep making the same show that it was 14 years ago and expect it to be the same show today. You’ve got to take a step back for a little while.
Do you think Louis is different this time around?
I do. Apart from anything else, you have got to remember Louis was a manager when I first met him. So we’ve worked together on a lot of acts that he’s managed. I’ve never, really ever had a disagreement with Louis over an artist or a decision or anything else. We’ve worked as friends. We’re genuinely friends and that was part of the decision to have him on the show again this year. It wasn’t just the fact that he’s been on the show, it’s just that it reminded me, unlike other people, that managers can be great friends as well. Louis is a great guy. He’s a great friend. He’s gone away and has taken that time to remember what makes him tick, and that’s music.
How did it feel sitting with Louis and Nicole again?
Sitting with the two of them was like we picked it up five minutes ago. I think Nicole is great because the funny thing is everyone thinks that she’s super confident, but she’s not. She’s an incredibly dignified person. The thing with her as well is she’ll speak directly to the team rather than going through the press. It’s so rare to find that now, a million percent, she’s special.
How did it feel filming the auditions at your house?
When we filmed it that night it didn’t feel like work. I loved every second of it. I said to the producers, “If this really doesn’t work, we will have to re-audition for the show. That’s the deal.” So the fact that I felt we didn’t need to was just great. I found it interesting and fun, and doing this version of the show has also given me the chance to do All Stars. I’ve wanted to make the best of the best version of The X Factor for a long, long time. It’s been brilliant. I’ve loved every minute.
What did you think of the celebs when you first met them?
I tell you what, I was really surprised and happy about how much they cared about being on the show. With the celebrities, they really wanted it, I felt that if they bring that energy to the show and hopefully we can do our job, which is to help them make some great records, you know, we’ve got some really good artists on our hands.
The X Factor: Celebrity Saturday 12th October 8:35pm on ITV.