“The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell has hit back at reports that there are problems behind the scenes with Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on “The X Factor” U.S. by saying that he’s very pleased with how Spears and Lovato are doing as judges on the show. In a June 2012 interview with X17 (a tabloid media/paparazzi company), Cowell also denied rumors that he has had recent plastic surgery and that he is clashing with Spears’ fiancé, Jason Trawick, who is a co-conservator of Spears’ personal affairs.
In May 2012, Spears and Lovato replaced fired judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. Cowell and Epic Records chairman/CEO Antonio “L.a.” Reid remain as judges on the show.
Spears, 30, has been labeled by the media as a problem judge because she has walked out on “X Factor” auditions more than once. Spears and Cowell have both publicly denied that she walked out of the auditions, and instead described her absence from the panel as “taking a break.” Meanwhile, Lovato and Cowell have openly clashed with each other and exchanged mean-spirited insults during auditions. however, 19-year-old Lovato has gotten better reviews as an “X Factor” judge than Spears, who (in this writer’s opinion) gives very generic and dull commentary and acts very disconnected from the audience and her fellow judges.
And when it comes to plastic surgery, Cowell has openly admitted to having Botox and plastic surgery in the past, but he has denied recent rumors that he had a neck lift or a face lift. The rumors began in early June 2012, when paparazzi photos showed what appeared to be pins and small bandages behind his left ear. there were even rumors that Cowell’s absence from “X Factor” auditions in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 9 and June 10, 2012, were because of he had plastic surgery, not because he had bronchitis, the official reason given for his absence. when asked by X17 about the mysterious bandages behind his left ear, Cowell denied it was because of plastic surgery and said it was because of an accidental cut.
Cowell commented to X17 on Spears and Lovato: “They’re both great. Demi’s a brat. I like brats … I’ve worked with much harder [people]. They’re doing the job we’re paying them to do. They’re trying to find a star, they’re trying to give constructive advice, and they’re doing a great job. They’re both a little bit diva-ish, but we hired them for that reason.”
Cowell elaborated on Spears: “She’s got amazing instincts, this girl. She could work for a record label. She knows how to spot a star. I’m really, really impressed with her. there was something in the paper about [a conflict] between me and her and Jason. just to set the record straight, he’s one of the nicest guys I ever met. He’s good for her, and we have a great working relationship. Don’t underestimate this girl. She’s smart. She really is smart. She took on this job, she knows what she’s doing, and she really wants to do a good job.”
As for Lovato, Cowell said: “She represents a young audience. She’s smart, a bit of a brat, but I like brats.”
He added when talking about Spears and Lovato: “They’ve both got similar backgrounds. They’ve both been child stars, they’ve done well as they got older, but they want to find somebody else [who can be a star]. I’m very impressed with them. It’s a good panel.”
To put things in perspective, Cowell is not going to publicly admit that he made a bad investment by paying Spears a reported $15 million to be an “X Factor” judge when her job performance has been described as disappointing by journalists (i.e., people who don’t work for Spears or “The X Factor”) who have attended “X Factor” auditions in 2012. to paraphrase Shakespeare, “he doth protest too much,” especially when Cowell describes Spears as “smart.”
Of course, Cowell does not mention that because of Spears’ psychiatric issues, she is not in legal control of her life and has been under a conservatorship since 2008. Even if someone wants to describe her as “smart,” the sad reality is that Spears’ mental problems are bad enough that the courts and the people close to her do not think she is capable of making decisions as an independent, sane adult. Spears had to get special permission from a conservatorship judge to become an “X Factor” judge.
Ultimately, ratings for Season 2 of “The X Factor” U.S. will prove if Spears will significantly increase the audience for the show, especially now that the show is facing stiff competition in the autumn of 2012 with the higher-rated “The Voice” U.S. on NBC.
The second season of “The X Factor” U.S. premieres on Fox in two parts on September 12 and 13, 2012, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.