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Report: Cowell Quits UK’s ‘The X Factor’

While he continues to do his tedious fan dance as to who will judge the U.S. X Factor, Simon Cowell has reportedly told Brit broadcaster ITV that he will not be judging this year’s home-grown version. According to the Daily Mail, Cowell has dropped out because of health fears. Coping with running two X Factors on either side of the Atlantic, as well as producing both versions of Got Talent and ITV’s new game show Red Or Black, is too much –- even for the famously workaholic Cowell apparently. ITV mainstay presenters Ant ‘n’ Dec will host Cowell’s new game show, which begins filming in June for a September premiere. Even Cowell’s mother Julie has told him to slow down in case the 51-year-old has a heart attack. Syco tells me that “everything is still being discussed.” Reps for co-producer Talkback Thames and ITV declined to comment on the Mail story, describing it as “speculation.” But one insider tells me that you just have to look at how much overlap there will be between the runs of the Fox and ITV versions to see that it is just not humanly possible, even if Cowell only does the live shows in the U.K. and gets a private plane from ITV to shuttle him between Los Angeles and London every week. The U.S. and UK versions of X Factor both start airing in August and reach their finales at Christmas. … Read More »

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‘The X Factor’ Won’t Be on ITV Screens Next Year As Simon Cowell Focuses On U.S. Fox Launch

UPDATE: Simon Cowell has confirmed he may not do next year’s X Factor for ITV. He is still undecided as he wants to concentrate on the US version. His final decision will be made in a few more weeks. Cowell said: “At the moment you are going to see me doing one show next year – and not one in England.” Cowell told the Daily Star that the launch of US X Factor could leave him no time to do X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

PREVIOUS: ITV bosses have been quietly looking for shows to replace its Saturday night ratings juggernaut next year. Cowell and his Syco production company are concentrating on next year’s Fox launch. X Factor’s disappearance until autumn 2012 would blow a hole in ITV’s ratings. This weekend the show celebrated its highest ratings of the series yet – peaking with 12.5 million watching. Saturday’s show was watched by an average 10.6 million UK viewers — compared with 9.8 million the week before. Last year’s X Factor contributed an estimated £100 million in ITV ad revenue. A single 30 second spot during last year’s pre-Christmas finale cost advertisers £250,000. It was thought Cowell would juggle his time between Britain and America, perhaps splitting the 2011 UK show in two parts straddling Christmas. All ITV and X Factor producers Talkback Thames and Syco will tell me is that … Read More »

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Simon Cowell’s Third UK Cheating Scandal

UPDATE: Susan Boyle’s famous audition for Britain’s Got Talent was digitally tweaked, according to a show insider. The Evening Standard quotes an anonymous source saying that the show’s production team — which is the same as The X Factor — smoothed out the Scottish singer’s voice in post-production.

PREVIOUS: Talkback Thames, which co-produces Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent with his Syco, has admitted to me that the show has used Auto-Tune to make auditions sound better. (Auto-Tune is primarily designed to correct pitch and disguise off-key mistakes as well as filter outside noise.) This is now the 2nd Cowell contest show which is using sound enhancement technology and the 3rd  Cowell contest show which is cheating. ”In line with standard television practice, sound filtering technology has been used on Britain’s Got Talent on our pre-recorded shows, but this does not unfairly reflect any singer’s performance. The performance shown on screen is a fair reflection of performance given in the live theatre.  Judges make their decision based on that live performance,” Talkback Thames emailed me. The producers are trying to split hairs; they claim the sound enhancement software is used only in post-production, and that Cowell and fellow panelists Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden do hear and judge only the performers’ raw efforts. But the audience is deprived of making fair comparisons about the contestants’ talent amid allegations that some singers are advancing because of interesting backstories instead of vocal … Read More »

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