Simon Cowell Says He Fought To Keep Paula Abdul On ‘The X Factor’

"She understands it's business; it's never personal."

A few weeks ago we learned that host Steve Jones and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul (in that order) were unceremoniously fired from season 2 of The X Factor here in the US. Shortly after news broke of the firings, Simon Cowell issued a short statement expressing his regret over the way things went down. Today we are hearing from Simon again in new comments he made to Extra. According to Cowell, he really wanted to keep Paula as an X Factor judge but he says he was overruled by higher ups. HMMM. Read on to find out what else he has to say about the X Factor casting drama.

Simon Cowell blames himself for the big shakeup at The X Factor, saying he set unreasonable expectations for the show, and was forced to let Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger go when it underperformed. “I would’ve liked to have kept [Paula],” Cowell, 52, tells Extra. “She was very gracious, and I said that to her. She understands it’s business; it’s never personal.” Of Scherzinger, he added: “I don’t think she’s mad. I think she’s disappointed.” Why the big changes? “It’s only because I opened my big mouth and said we were going to get 20 million [viewers],” Cowell says. “If I hadn’t said that, everybody would be saying the show was a huge success.” As it turns out, L.A. Reid was the only fellow judge who was indispensable. “There’s not a record executive out there who is as good as him for the job,” Cowell says. Asked about potential new judges, Cowell called rumors that Beyoncé was being considered “complete nonsense.” He said that Madonna would be “great” but “expensive,” and that Katy Perry would be “fun” and “feisty.” And what about Mariah Carey? “I would love her,” he admits, “but you can’t expect someone who’s just had two kids to make the kind of commitment you would need on this show.”

I’m not sure that I totally believe that Simon really fought for Paula because I’m of the mind that what Simon wants, Simon gets. That being said, I do believe that Paula‘s firing was not personal (nor were the firings of Nicole and Steve). The show underperformed, something had to be done to try and fix the problem. It would be a great boon if the show were able to nab a Mariah Carey or a Madonna for the show but I don’t really see that happening. If The X Factor does manage to sign up a big name like that, they are going to have to pay a LOT of money. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. As for Simon‘s attempt to save Paula‘s job, well, I do believe he is sorry she got axed but I don’t believe that he wasn’t on board with a total revamp of the show. We shall see if the X Factor bloodbath is enough to save the show.

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  1. Dennis

    It would rock if they got Kylie to do it. But that will never happen either.

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