Wetpaint Entertainment chatted with Simon on October 30, and we took the chance to ask him how Khloe and Mario ended up hosting the show. We asked the showrunner how he went from saying he wanted a host with no experience, to FOX’s announcement that pro-host Mario Lopez would be splitting mic duties with newbie Khloe.
“That’s very observant of you. I was waiting for someone to ask that,” Simon told us. [We fell over and had a minor stroke at this point, so all the rest is hazy. Thank goodness for tape recorders.] “There were a lot of people who tested, and we went back on the test with Mario and Khloe and it was the network really who said that it’s too risky to put two people on a show who haven’t hosted before,” he continued.
“And what they thought was that Mario... he’s a really professional, safe pair of hands... and Khloe — certainly in her first season — would need someone around who’s had a lot of experience. And that’s why in the end we decided on those two. I mean, Mario was always up there as one of the top candidates. And seeing them together... it was the right decision. They do have a great chemistry.”
What about the talk of feuds between the pair: Is there any truth to that? “Well, both probably want more air time than the other,” Simon told us. “That goes without saying. But I don’t know specifically of anything between them happening. But now that you’ve asked, I’ll ask later once I get down there.”
Simon added that the reason for having two hosts was that on his British Pop Idol, having two hosts seemed to work well. “They’ve got each other to rely on,” he said.
As for the role Khloe has to play, Simon explained, “She’s there to be the voice for the contestants,” he said, mentioning that he liked her outspoken personality. “She should have fun. If you want to go off script, go off script.” He compared the talkative Kardashian to former host Steve Jones, whom he criticized for being too stiff. “They’re there to have opinions and that’s what was lacking last year.”
Well, we’re pretty sure Khloe has that part nailed already.