Simon Cowell: Bringing out the big guns

With US shows behind him, the music executive returns to Britain for a ratings battle.


News Desk March 28, 2012



These days it seems that no matter how hard music competition shows try to dominate US prime-time television, only NBC’s “The Voice” is on the ascent. The music contest with Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as coaches is giving NBC something positive after years of bad news in the ratings. In only its second season, “The Voice” is competitive with Fox’s “American Idol” and ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” By contrast, “Idol” viewership was down 21 percent compared to last year, reports Business Week.


UK singing competitions

Simon Cowell, the music executive-turned-television producer, is returning to “Britain’s Got Talent” as a judge after working in the United States on his other programmes, the newly launched “The X Factor” and audience favourite “American Idol”.

A television ratings battle in Britain is about to begin between music mogul Simon Cowell’s “Britain’s Got Talent” and newcomer “The Voice”, and neither side is backing down reported Reuters. Both shows premiered on Saturday in a head-to-head battle with both sides recruiting celebrity judges.

Last season, the British version of “The X Factor” lagged in ratings numbers behind BBC ballroom dance competition “Strictly Come Dancing”. But it seems Cowell is currently having the last laugh as he has wangled judge Alesha Dixon away from “Strictly” to “Talent”.

Credibility of judges

“The Voice” judge and Welsh singer Tom Jones raised the stakes in the ratings war last week, when he questioned the credibility of judges on other shows in an interview on British television channel ITN. “Some judges on other shows that have never been on stage in their lives, or they’ve never actually sang, or they don’t sing that well and you think ‘How can this person, who’s an average singer anyway, give their advice to somebody that sounds better than they do’,” Jones told ITN.

Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am, a coach on BBC1’s “The Voice” reckons that teen Cher Lloyd, who came fourth in “The X Factor” in 2010 and is signed to Cowell’s Syco label, hasn’t been allowed to reach her potential. He says this despite her debut album spawning two UK top 10 hits.

Love on the sets

Cowell has fallen for make-up artist Francesca Neill who works on his TV show “Britain’s Got Talent”. Neill is a former model and an assistant to judge Alesha Dixon. Although Simon — who is believed to have split from fiancee Mezghan Hussainy earlier this year — admits he is smitten with Neill, he hasn’t been able to pluck up the courage to ask her on a date yet.

He said: “We have the new, cutest make-up artist. But I just can’t talk to her, I’m kind of tongue-tied.” Simon, 52, was asked by “Britain’s Got Talent” host Stephen Mulhern if he wanted him to ask Francesca out on his behalf, but replied: “No, that would make it awkward.”

With additional information from The Sun, and Contactmusic

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

The Only Normal Person Here. | 9 years ago | Reply

Simon Cowell should bring out the big guns. He has that military presence afterall. Smart heading, likes

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