How Simon Cowell Swayed Britney to 'X Factor'
By ROBERT PACE
September 10, 2012
Simon Cowell has played a tremendous role in opening up the singing show market in the U.S., initially by creating American Idol and now by bringing The X Factor to American soil. After his most recent blockbuster move, Cowell explained to ET how he landed Britney Spears as a judge on X Factor.
With the competition growing amongst singing shows amid forerunner American Idol still running strong and The Voice increasingly gaining popularity, Cowell's impressive move to add Spears to the judging table has created a growing buzz about the show, which posted high ratings in its first season last year.
"He was so charming and such a doll to speak with on the phone...I was extremely flattered," said the 30-year-old pop star of Cowell's attempt to sway her into becoming an X Factor judge.
While Cowell has sometimes displayed volatility and crass humor as a judge on Idol and X Factor, his track record suggests that he is an outstanding businessman and knows how to positively influence others, and knew how to convince Spears to join the show.
"I was on full charm alert," said Cowell. "I thought...'You don't get these opportunities very often. If I've got Britney Spears on the phone, I'm going to be super charming, super persuasive'...I was amazed [at] how sweet she was and very humble."
Spears, who has been the subject of media bombardment during her career, has never been outspoken in the press, which has created all the more hype around her enthralling new role on the reality singing show. As seen in the show's promos, Spears isn't afraid to speak her mind, which she refers to as "a more honest, bold approach."
With the competition stiffening between singing shows, Cowell alleges that fellow singing show The Voice is attempting to rain on the excitement of his game-changing signing of Spears by adding its third show of the week during the same time slot as X Factor's premiere.
"They waited 'til the last possible second to announce that they're going to add a third show, not because they want to put three shows out that week [but] because they don't want people to watch this first episode of 'The X Factor.'" Cowell maintains. "I...hope it backfires on them because I do think it's mean-spirited."
Check out the full interview in the video above to hear Spear's comments on constantly crossing paths with Christina Aguilera in her career, as well as her thoughts on the upcoming Glee episode dedicated to her music.
The X Factor's second season premieres on Wednesday (Sept. 12) at 8 p.m. on FOX.