Now that Fox has officially pulled the plug on The X Factor, we can’t help but wonder what veteran reality competition judge Simon Cowell is going to do to with all the newly acquired free time (you know, when he’s not judging The X Factor in the U.K.). And because we hardly think Cowell will sit around and do nothing (though, that is an option we’ve put up for suggestion!), here are five options for Simon’s first career move, post-The X Factor. READ FULL STORY
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After another two-hour audition episode of The X Factor, we’ve still met only a few truly promising future pop stars, if any. Sixteen-year-old high school freshman and Tourette’s sufferer Carlos Guevara (pictured, happily mauled) was by far the emotional highlight of tonight’s third installment — after explaining to the judges that “Sometimes I beep and yell and my body moves…the only thing that could help me was music,” he delivered a cover of John Mayer’s “Gravity” more remarkable for the teary-eyed reactions from the judges and Carlos’ devoted gaggle of friends than the power of the brave kid’s vocal. But tears can get you far in this world. Well, on TV, anyway.
More standout auditions below — including returning contestant Jeff Gutt. (I recognized his face, but assumed he’d starred in, like, a memorable Sonic commercial or something. Not the best sign.)
Who had your favorite tryout tonight? Is anyone still watching? READ FULL STORY
The circumstances of Simon Cowell becoming a dad were a tabloid editor’s dream, but now that the dust has settled, the X Factor and American Idol mastermind told Ellen DeGeneres: “I’m actually happier than I’ve ever been.”
News broke at the end of July that Lauren Silverman, the still-married wife of one of Cowell’s friends, was pregnant with the reality-TV judge’s child. In an interview that will air on Tuesday’s Ellen, Cowell told DeGeneres how he reacted when he got the news.
“Oh my god, it’s exciting, and [also] this is going to be a bit of a nightmare now for the next few weeks,” he said, later adding, “I can’t blame the media, because it was a really juicy story. But there was a lot of stuff that was said about [Silverman] — that she trapped me and that she’s a gold digger — and it’s absolute nonsense. She’s a great girl.”
Check out a three-minute sneak peek of the interview before Tuesday’s show:
READ FULL STORY
The Material Girl isn’t going to be short on materials anytime soon.
Madonna has been named the highest paid celebrity of 2013 by Forbes, which reports that the pop star brought in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Not even an album flop can keep this woman down.
Behind Madonna is the king of movies, Steven Spielberg, with $100 million, the king of reality singing competitions, Simon Cowell, with $95 million, and the queen who gave us the red room of pain, E.L. James, also with $95 million. Rounding out the top five is Howard Stern — the king of awkwardness? — with the ever-popular intake of $95 million.
The first athlete joins the list at number 12, with Tiger Woods bringing in $78 million. And believe it or not, Oprah Winfrey sits at number 13 with $77 million. Luckily, that’s still enough money to give away a handful of cars if she feels the need.
After losing out on the No. 1 spot in 2012, Oprah is once again sitting on top of the Celebrity 100 throne. In my dreams, Oprah is currently lip-synching and dancing along to Yeezy’s “I Am a God” in one of her massive mansions.
Put away the Kibbles ‘n Bits, because the Dawg has officially left the building. Longtime judge/canine Randy Jackson announced last week he is leaving American Idol after 12 seasons of “Yo! Yo! Yo!” One can only pray the rest of the judges’ panel will shortly follow. The judging has been a major problem for this show ever since Simon Cowell packed up his scary collection of V-neck T-shirts three years ago. Sure, Idol tried to keep viewers interested by bringing in Jennifer Lopez to look gorgeous and Steven Tyler to hit on contestants roughly a third his age, but that never really worked. And the less said about this year’s panel the better.
But Idol has issues that extend far beyond the people sitting behind the red Coca-Cola cups. While it remains the only singing contest on TV that can still launch viable recording stars (as the recent success of the awkwardly named Phillip Phillips proves), the onetime television phenomenon has now become just another show, with recent episodes pulling in a paltry 11.3 million viewers. Fox should do the right thing and cancel Idol before it devolves further into irrelevance, but of course that scenario is about as likely as Mariah Carey offering any sort of useful critique whatsoever. So seeing as we’re stuck with each other, here are a few suggestions to pump some life back into the franchise. READ FULL STORY
Good news for the world’s six remaining undiscovered singers: Simon Cowell’s new Internet talent search, “The You Generation,” officially begins this afternoon. As the X Factor head honcho’s company, Syco Entertainment, first explained last month, the contest will be conducted via YouTube and welcomes all sorts of “unconventional and original talents” — including photography, cooking, visual art, makeup application, and magic as well as music.
One Direction — a band formed on Cowell’s original, British X Factor — will kick things off with a live stream interview at 3 p.m. ET. After that, fans are welcome to upload their own auditions to TYG’s YouTube page. The competition includes 26 distinct categories. Winners of each individual contest will be announced every two weeks; those victors will go on to compete for a grand prize, to be awarded one year from TYG’s launch.
Cowell himself explains the impetus for his newest venture in the video below, which also introduces the contest’s cheery host, Will Best. (Somewhere, Steve Jones weeps.) “Years ago you’d have these awful showcase. You’d have to trek across London, all the record companies would be there, the acts were normally terrible. The system’s changed now,” Cowell says, speaking from an office apparently outfitted with padded walls. “[YouTube] has literally changed the music business for the good.”
In the course of The X Factor’s two-hour finale, the Fox show crowned a winner, went overboard on Christmas sets and provoked screams out of dozens of teenage girls. You saw all that watching at home, but what didn’t you see? EW was on the scene for the taping of X Factor’s wrap-up to its sophomore season. Read on for 10 things going on at CBS Television City during the taping that you didn’t see on TV. Warning: spoilers ahead! READ FULL STORY
The judges certainly don’t! Their collective uttah indifference throughout season 2 — save for the occasional scripted standing O, shown above — has made it damn near impossible for me to feel that strongly about which of three talented but not awe-inspiring contestants should win. I tried to give The X Factor the benefit of the doubt this season. But if the judges can’t even remember these people’s names, why should viewers? READ FULL STORY
Simon Cowell may be a cad, but he’s not a criminal.
On Sunday, Beverly Hills police received a call about a disturbance at Cowell’s home, EW confirmed. The caller, who used a number from outside the city, gave the department Cowell’s Beverly Hills address and claimed that someone had been tied up with duct tape and needed assistance. Officers contacted the X-Factor creator and confirmed that the report was fake.
Cowell isn’t the first celebrity to fall prey to such a hoax. Since August, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and the Kardashians have all been targeted by prank police calls. The practice, called “swatting,” involves false reports of emergencies in order to elicit SWAT responses and other police action. There are an estimated 400 occurrences every year, enough to prompt congressional action in June. At the federal level, the crime carries a prison sentence of 5-10 years.
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