Ahhhh. The bitch fight between Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller/Nigel Lythgoe continues. LOVES IT. In a new cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, Simon reveals how he feels about some of the goss thrown his way by Idol peeps *coughnigellythgoecough* and the pending lawsuit against Fox and Freemantle media by Simon Fuller for X Factor producer credit. (More on the lawsuit HERE.)
On Idol, ““The truth is, I was a big part of Idol being a success, ” says Cowell. “I worked my nuts off. Then when you read catty comments that play down my role, that’s disrespectful.” In the end, Cowell says he didn’t see much personal or professional gain from the arrangement, other than the payday. “My attitude on Idol was, I didn’t have anything, ” he elaborates. “I had a stupid three- or four-year license for the records, and that’s not what I wanted or expected.”
On Simon Fuller’s lawsuit: “You can’t give someone an executive producer’s title if they didn’t executive produce the show. It’s like me saying I want to be executive producer on The Voice or Project Runway, ” said Cowell. “Genuinely, when it comes to this lawsuit, I haven’t got a clue. It’s not part of our settlement agreement, so I was as surprised as anyone.” A source contends that Fox and Fremantle entered into a separate contract giving Fuller a stake in X Factor should the show make it to air in the U.S. Cowell calls his relationship with Fuller “complicated, ” but while he’s careful to point out that he’s not named in the suit, clearly Cowell is bothered. “It goes back to being a kid; if you shake hands with somebody, then it’s a deal, simple as that, ” he says. “If someone breaks that trust, and they can’t admit it to you, it’s cowardly. I’d rather have a person look me in the eye and say, ‘I’m going to screw you.'”
Plus, More on the Cheryl Cole Fiasco, “Cowell revealed that two weeks before the show started taping, Cole wasn’t comfortable in the U.S.. and was expressing hesitation about going through with the deal. Through her representatives (Cole is co-managed by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am and his business partner Seth Friedman), Cole began to inquire about a return to the U.K. version. “I came to the conclusion that she may not be as comfortable here because I was seeing a different person, ” he says. “She was like Princess Diana when she would walk out in England, and I accepted the fact that people didn’t know her here, but I think it did have an effect on her.” Cole’s quiet demeanor on camera prompted a call from Cowell on Day 2 of filming. “I said: ‘Cheryl, you’ve got to raise your game a bit. This is America, it’s a much tougher market.'” Cowell explored the idea of having her return to the U.K. show and had even secured a substantial pay raise (more than $4 million, according to a source); 24 hours later, they were negotiating the offer. “We had gotten to the point where she wanted my dressing room, ” Cowell continues. But Cowell says Cole then never responded to the final offer. They haven’t spoken since.”
Simon’s Ratings goals are 20m a week, “Cowell says that any less than 20 million would be “a disappointment.” What else is the man with the Midas touch searching for with The X Factor? “Buzz. In England, you genuinely get the feeling the whole country is talking about the show. I hope for that., ” he says.”
This came out of nowhere, Nigel Lythgoe tweeted this morning, “I’m not sure why Simon Cowell is knocking our contestants on #SYTYCD saying they are not interesting. I hope he finds equally TALENTED ones.” Maybe Simon’s criticism is somewhere in the print edition version of the interview.