Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller in a Tug-of-War over Tommy Mattola?

Ohhhh. Here’s some juicy Idol gossip for ya. And, I’d normally take this sort of scuttlebutt with a grain of salt, if the info weren’t coming from Nikki Finke. Here’s the deal about Nikke and her blog, Deadline Hollywood: She’s got great sources and she’s right more often than she’s not.

  • So, read up on the dirt, right HERE.

Rumor has it Ellen Degeneres and Simon Cowell got off on the wrong foot:

It was American Idol’s newest judge Ellen DeGeneres’ first day of taping the Hollywood segment, and she was excited and nervous, sources tell us. But then that turned to anger. Because, our insiders say, Simon Cowell was an hour and a half late for the taping. And Ellen stewed while she waited. She had reason: to accomodate both her talk show hosting duties and her American Idol judging duties, she had moved up her schedule so that now she shot the talk show earlier in the day and then jumped in the car to go to Idol. She was on time, and Cowell was not. “Here it was the first day of taping of the Hollywood shows, and Ellen was there waiting for Simon to show up. Ellen’s new to gig and she’s very organized and she made a commitment to take this on, and now she’s asking herself, ‘What did I get myself into?’ She called Simon Cowell a prima donna. So right from the start, the chemistry isn’t great, ” an insider tells us.

I’ve heard, as nice as she seems on TV, Ellen can be a total bitch behind the camera.  It’s going to be interesting to watch the dynamic develop between Ellen and Simon over the season.  If Ellen challenges Simon like she’s promised she will, I don’t think Simon’s going to like that much. In fact, I think Simon’s going to have a hard time adjusting to not having  anyone to condescend to or treat like a little pet anymore  (Paula’s gone).

No wonder Simon’s leaving the show (and taking his little pet Paula with him). That, and the opportunity to be not only famous like he is now, but powerful too. That is, if X Factor, a show he’ll own (he does not own a piece of the action on Idol) takes off when it debuts in Fall, 2011.

Ok, this next bit has me a little puzzled:

Our sources say that American Idol’s first choice to succeed Cowell is former Sony music chief Tommy Mottola, best known to the public as Mariah Carey’s ex-husband and the top executive behind Michael Jackson’s music in its heyday. But Cowell has also designated Mottola as first choice to be a judge on Simon’s American X Factor show just announced.

Execs behind American Idol and The X Factor want a high-profile music industry professional to give some gravitas. And our sources say Mottola, who hasn’t made headlines since he left Sony and started a new music label, is loving this situation. He’s in the middle of an American TV tug of war!

According to our insiders, Fox, Darnell, and Fremantle’s American Idol producers have “come up with a list of 25 people led by 60-year-old Tommy Mottola, the co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint venture with the Universal Music Group.

To folks outside the music industry, Tommy Mattola is unknown. The reports that Idol producers are prepared to spend 40M on Simon’s replacement indicates,   to me anyway, that Idol wants to hire a known quantity.

Finke is reporting the producers are considering two other record execs, Jimmy Iovine and Guy Oseary. Seriously?  Mattola’s marriage to  Mariah Carey put him on magazine covers in the 90’s, ensuring that at least a couple of people know who he is.

But, I could totally see Simon Cowell trying to undermine Simon Fuller by wooing away Fuller’s top pick for judge. Those two hate each other.

Mattola has already appeared on Idol. He mentored the Season 5 Top 4 during the a special Graceland episode. And I noted that I couldn’t figure out who was scarier looking, Mattola or Priscilla Presley. When plastic surgery attacks, y’all. I couldn’t have been too impressed, because I barely mentioned Mattola in my recap.

About mj santilli 34550 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!