Fox's presumed fall titan The X Factor has the biggest budget of any reality show currently on air in America, but executive producer and judge Simon Cowell tells The Hollywood Reporter he won't be satisfied unless he hits his weekly ratings goal of 20 million viewers per episode. With the massive hype the show has already garnered, between judge-firing drama, host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger's (rumored) flirtation, and the happy reunion of Simon and Paula Abdul’s dueling personalities, we don't think 20 mil is too out of reach.
But what exactly is Simon searching for in his second attempt at launching a reality competition series stateside? "Buzz,” he says, “In England, you genuinely get the feeling the whole country is talking about the show. I hope for that," Those of you following Brits on Twitter know what he's talking about come X Factor season in the UK.
Scherzinger admits the interview process to get the gig was pretty tough. Sitting down with Fox suits to discuss her future on the show — she was initially slated to be the host, but later scored a spot on the judging panel after Cheryl Cole was sacked — was what she called a "horrible and awkward" meeting. "They were, like, 'Monkey, monkey, dance! Let’s go!'"
Fellow judge L.A. Reid is busy battling the ubiquitous Randy Jackson comparisons. "Yeah, I had those conversations where I’m the black guy with the bald head," he griped. "I’ve heard all those comments: 'If they’re gonna use Randy, why didn’t they just get Randy?'" Ooh, harsh. (Then again, Reid hasn’t really been known to hold his tongue.)
He adds, though, with a surprisingly good attitude, "That’s just how people think, but who cares? I love Randy. He’s been doing this successfully for 11 years. Comparing me to him is certainly not an insult."
We've got to admit, aside from the dreamy and decidedly un-Seacrest-like Jones, we're stoked to see the chemistry between this new crop of judges on September 21.
Meanwhile, check out what the X crew had to say about Simon behind his back (and to his face *cough* Paula) during their THR shoot for this week’s issue:
Source: The Hollywood Reporter