Wednesday, December 30, 2009

052: Are you going to watch American Idol? Fans speak out!

No scandles this week…it’s Christmas after all! Simon gears up for a new season of Idol, will you be watching? You emails are rather telling!

Coming up: Why is it so hard to write a good Christmas song?

ALSO, don't miss: my latest Fame Games picks…and they have a Christmas theme.

Are you ready for American Idol? It’s set to begin January 12th with the auditions. Listen and find out all the guest judges!

I’ve received hundreds of idol-related emails listen to my Cowell Factor HERE or go to and hear about the Anti-Idol movement!

John Lennon said: I’m not gonna change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything.

With the Christmas no. 1 slipping out of Simon's hands, will he change his ways and conform? I find out!

And speaking of Christmas, why is it so hard to write a good Christmas song? What MUST good Christmas songs have?

I want to know from you: If you had to choose one Christmas song as a standout, what would it be?

Until after the New Year, have a Happy Holiday and be safe.

You can always email me at

(New to, to listen to this Cowell Factor and previous Cowell Factor's, on the right side of this page is a player listing all the shows, simply click on the play button to listen to the most recent Cowell Factor!)

**The Cowell Factor is an exclusive feature on the daily Fame Games Radio show, aired on Envision Radio Networks in association with Triton/DialGlobal Radio Networks. The Cowell Factor is hosted by Tony Cowell, best selling author, brother of Simon Cowell and head of CowellMedia. The Cowell Factor appears weekly on the Saturday Fame Games Final. For more information please visit

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

051 Cowell Factor: Simon tells Fame Games if this is his last year on American Idol!

Exclusive to Fame Games, I give the inside scoop: Will this season be the last for Simon on American Idol!

Coming up: Sales of albums by the best selling artists are in decline, which is good news for indies as the BIG labels go hunting for new talent!

don't miss: my two picks in the Fame Games talent bank.

As X Factor winner Joe battles it out with Rage Against the Machine, I bring you an up-close and personal interview from Simon, will he be signing another X Factor year in partnership with ITV?

Listen to my Cowell Factor HERE or go to and find out if Simon will be back on American Idol after this season?

I want to know from you: where DO all of Subo’s fans live and who is buying her album? I don’t know anyone but my mom who bought her album…and she got her copy for free.

And…are big label artists yesterday’s new? Tell me what you think!

For all the aspiring musicians and singers out there, there’s never been a better time for new artist to break through! Listen HERE and get inspired to move your music forward in 2010.

Email me at

(New to, to listen to this Cowell Factor and previous Cowell Factor's, on the right side of this page is a player listing all the shows, simply click on the play button to listen to the most recent Cowell Factor!)

**The Cowell Factor is an exclusive feature on the daily Fame Games Radio show, aired on Envision Radio Networks in association with Triton/DialGlobal Radio Networks. The Cowell Factor is hosted by Tony Cowell, best selling author, brother of Simon Cowell and head of CowellMedia. The Cowell Factor appears weekly on the Saturday Fame Games Final. For more information please visit

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

050 Cowell Factor: Will Simon be on next year's X Factor?

Will Simon sign up for next years X Factor? I find out. And coming up…If you can't get onto TV shows like Idol and X factor - how do new artists actually breakthrough. LISTEN HERE to this week's Cowell Factor!

Coming up: I tell you the special guest judges during the Americal Idol auditions phase!

ALSO, don't miss: my two picks in the Fame Games artist spotlight, AND the excitement for American Idol begins...and I can't wait to see how Simon will get on with Ellen! Or is it the other way around? Either way it's must see TV. Listen to my Cowell Factor HERE!

I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to, said Elvis Presley...

After being to this year's X Factor and seeing all the big name performances, I investigate, is TV just becoming a platform for already successful artists to promote their music? What about the artists trying to break through?


THEN, I wanna know from YOU, tell me, who do you think will breakthrough next year in the music business?

Email me at

(New to, to listen to this Cowell Factor and previous Cowell Factor's, on the right side of this page is a player listing all the shows, simply click on the play button to listen to the most recent Cowell Factor!)

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

049 Cowell Factor: Does Simon care more about money than making music?

I get to play cupid - as Maggie (Fame Games contest winner) meets Simon - in his dressing room. And Susan Boyle tops the world’s album charts! LISTEN HERE to this week's Cowell!

Coming up: Does Simon care more about making money
than making music? I find out.

ALSO, don't miss: my two picks in the Fame Games artist spotlight, AND Simon's plans for a GLOBAL X Factor...and I tell you which city he wants to host it!

Don't miss the story of Fame Games contest winner Maggie Paz and her 5000 mile journey to meet my brother Simon at last week's X Factor. AND...I explore something that George Michael said:

The music business is built on ego, vanity, and self-satisfaction, and it's total crap to pretend it's not.


THEN, I wanna know from YOU, tell me, has Simon helped the music business or is he quietly killing it?

Email me at

(New to, to listen to this Cowell Factor and previous Cowell Factor's, on the right side of this page is a player listing all the shows, simply click on the play button to listen to the most recent Cowell Factor!)

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

048 Cowell Factor: Louis tells me about Jeward's future!

Is Paula Abdul the New Oprah? I hope not. Back in London…I get the scoop from X Factor judge Louis Walsh - about what the future holds for Jedward. What future?! And coming up…who are the most influential artists of the century.

But first, it’s time to check in down at the Fame Games talent bank. I’m a sucker for a good lyrical story - and I found one this week in Nashville, TN, folk singer Laurie McClain. Your song He smiled Like an Angel has it all. Vocally it’s compelling - and you definitely know how to deliver a song Laurie.

Mmmm…I seem to have gone all mellow this week because I also really like Aussie band The Sparkling Arrest. Your song Skyman is really good. It reminds me of the Waterboys - May I suggest something? - Strip it back and do a 3 minute version - you may then have a hit on your hands.

So what’s been going on in Cowell World? Ohhhh - quite a lot - I can tell you!

As Jedwood finally get booted off the X Factor - their mentor Louis Walsh told me they could now make millions - and does Simon wears too much make up?

Listen to my podcast now to hear me talk with Louis!

Now back to the US - and you’re still going on about everything Idol AND X Factor.

Donna emailed me and said,

Tony, I can't figure out whether or not you actually like Cheryl Cole. Because I think your brother is madly in love with her. Body language says a lot and I don't think he'll sit that close to Ellen on Idol next season.

Donna - actually, I do like Cheryl…and I can assure you Simon does too. But look we’re not fighting over her - Simon’s not in love with anyone - except himself.

But yes, he’s very comfortable with Cheryl - and they definitely work well together. As for Ellen and Simon? Mmm…watch out for musical chairs.

And Paula says that she wants to do a talk show. She said, “It would be fun to jam with the band and have amazing guests and introduce different formats on the show.” Mmmmmm - don’t believe it ----is this just another red herring Paula???

So here’s the thing…this week - The British music magazine ‘Q’ launched their Who’s Who of Pop and Rock Royalty of the Century. Bit early in the century but anyway …there’s 34 of them to be exact. And just to be clear, the magazine claims that all 34 artists are there because they are influential, (mmmmm) - and have significantly shaped our musical tastes since the year 2000. OK let’s take a look. The magazine sites Amy Winehouse, Coldplay (yuk!) Paul McCartney, U2, Lily Allen, Kings of Leon, Noel Gallagher - Muse, Snow Patrol, and Mark Ronson,

Mmmm, no X Factor winners then.

I don’t mean to be rude but…it seems to me that with the inclusion of McCartney and U2, the magazine has gone for influential rather than musical achievement. What has McCartney done recently? Also, the best U2 material was like…20 years ago? And if the truth be told - none of these artists are real independents. And why no Blur, or Kasabien? Or even Lady Gaga?

You know what Q? – You’re boring me!

I wanna know from YOU - which artists do you think have really made an impact over the past ten years- and make sure there’s some indie’s in there. Email me at
I’m Tony cowell - and you’ve just heard the Cowell Factor

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

047 Cowell Factor: Who’s writing today’s anthemic rock songs?

America has spoken, you will boycott Idol. Back in London, Mariah Carey’s on the X factor - with SuBo.And coming up: Who’s writing today’s anthemic rock songs? I find out!

But first, it’s time to check in down at the Fame Games talent Bank. I’ve found Courtney Dickinson. Just love your song Falter. You are a little Taylor Swift - but how bad’s that? More songs please Courtney. And someone else whom I’m desperate to hear more from is Nashville’s Michael Estok. I’m soooo impressed with your song Burning Bridges. Brilliant vocal - love this song. Very, very impressive.

So what’s been going on in CowellWorld?

The battle hots up as Idol winner Kris Allen goes head-to-head with runner-up Adam Lambert. Kris's album hit the stores on Tuesday, six days before Lambert's. Who will win the chart battle? Well…different audiences I think - but hey you know what? - I’ll forgive the Script cover - because at least Kris has written most of the tracks himself. And I’ve got tell you…I really like what I’ve heard. I genuinely hope he does well.

So…it’s official - you will boycott Idol. Your emails prove it.

Ann says:
Yes, I will boycott American Idol. The show is nothing without Paula. Randy is a great guy, but let’s face it, without Paula & Simon, he’s nothing. And Kara who?? She has no personality, no charm and isn't even remotely interesting. Ellen has absolutely no business being on this show she is simply not qualified. BTW, that picture of Simon and Paula is so adorable! :) Tony ... I think they were always in love and always will be.

Ann - you’re breaking my heart!

So here’s the thing…John Lennon said, Song writing is about getting the demon out. It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won't let you.

While Lennon was indeed responsible for writing some of the greatest songs ever, I couldn’t help but wonder…who is writing the big anthemic rock songs of today?

There are no rules for writing great songs. But what you do need is inspiration. And…so I’m told…the only two inspirations for great song writing are Love and Death. Mmmm.

The term "anthemic" means music with an emotive connotation to it. Huge, euphoric stand alone tracks that make you hold your lighter in the air and go all dewy-eyed.

These are the songs that if you only wrote one - it becomes so huge you could live off the royalties forever.

In the past it would mean songs like Hey Jude, The Who’s My Generation, Bowie’s Starman, U2’s One, Lynard Skinard’s Freebird maybe. But this is all rock history. Rich history I admit. But who’s writing today’s rock anthems? And will they stand the test of time?

Well…I guess Oasis need a mention for Wonderwall.

But for me…Snow Patrol leads the way when it comes to contemporary rock anthems. Chasing Cars is an s good as it gets - though the song may well prove to be a ball and chain around the feet of the band. And what about Coldplay? Is Yellow a rock anthem? Probably yes. But I don’t know what it is about this band - but I don’t like them.

Still, a band that I’m convinced will stand the test of time are The Killers. My god…don’t you wish you’d written a song like… All These Things that I’ve Done. ‘Cause you do. And you can. Just remember the other John Lennon quote about song writing. Where he says…“One night I spent 5 hours trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down. Then, 'Nowhere Man ' came to me, words and music, the whole damn thing, all in one go.”

Now there’s inspiration for you.

I’m Tony Cowell - and you’ve just heard the Cowell Factor

Email me and tell me who do YOU think is writing today's anthemic rock songs:

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

046 Cowell Factor: Simon causes X Factor controversy

Simon gets in hot water on the X Factor. Jedward are getting noticed in the US - so please take them! And coming up, I find out how you make money as an indie artist without selling your soul to a major label!

But first…it’s time to check in down at the Fame Games talent Bank. Now I know I’ve mentioned Scottish band Logan before but so what? I’ve been listening to your song Something Else. And Kenny Loggins you have one great rock voice - no wonder John Bon Jovi likes you. But I still prefer your song Somewhere.
And talking of voices - a quick shout out to Gareth Asher in Atlanta. Just looooove the new song Crave.
So what’s been going on in CowellWorld?
Well…Simon is causing chaos and controversy on the X Factor - I just love meeting people that don’t watch this show - and then I hear myself having to describe the twins. Well…you may hate the twins - but ITV clearly love them as the price now for a 30-second commercial on the show has risen to £250,000!!

And you guys in the US are clearly watching the show on the web as Tiffanie Knight from Tennessee proves
She says - Hey Tony!
I'm sure your show is fuming with Cowell/Xfactor controversy. Being a huge Simon supporter, I must say what he did on last week's show is classic Simon. He is famous for creating shows that leave it up to the public. Had Lucie's fans actually VOTED she would have NEVER been in the bottom two. I admire Simon for sticking to what he does in letting Britain decide their fate. Anyone who gives Simon stick for his decision clearly doesn't appreciate the "Cowell way." Like the decision or not, he's a television genius.
How right you are I Tiffany.

Also, I’m extremely grateful to Kimberley Thurau for the heart warming pics she sent me of Simon and Paula - which you can see on my blog page - ahh, those happy times when they both looked well…almost…in love! But that was then.

Meanwhile I hear that next season Idol is going to do its “Idol Gives Back.” You know…where loads of money is raised for charity and the ratings go up. But will that be enough to keep Idol in business? From what I hear from you, NO. But will you really boycot the show just because Paula is no longer there? Or will you secretly watch and not tell your friends? We’ll see.
So here’s the thing…Elton John said… no matter what record company you're with, they're going to try to hype you, because all record companies are interested in, is making money.

Mmmm….so…I couldn’t help but wonder…how do you really make money in this business without a major record label behind you? Well…PledgeMusic is one company that appear to have the answer - by helping indie artists to raise capital from their fans.

Benji Rogers, an indie artists himself, set up Pledge music a year ago along with Malcolm Dunbar - a former A&R guy from Warners and Universal.

Benji claims he got tired of playing great shows, selling loads of CD’s but never having any money. I asked Benji and Malcolm to explain how the PledgeMusic concept actually works and how it can help you.

Listen to my blog now to hear my interview with them!

Look - as these guys make clear - there will always be artists that suit the major labels. I get that. But some artists can actually prosper by taking this route. At the end of the day you want to continue to make music - so it makes sense to keep gigging - build that loyal fan base - and ensure you keep your fans with you all the way.

If you wanna know more about Pledge music - take a look at their website at

I’m Tony Cowell - and you’ve just heard the Cowell Factor.

Email me and tell me what you think:

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

045 Cowell Factor: What’s more important - the ability to sing - or the ability to entertain?

Is Idol boss Simon Fuller working with my brother to bring X Factor to America? - I have a hunch. And…what’s more important to an artist - the ability to sing - or the ability to entertain? I find out!

But first – Let’s get down into the Fame Games talent bank - and this week I have to mention Chicago band Beckon Q. I’m really impressed with your song Written On My Soul. Your voice Becky is hypnotic. Great sound.

And now up to New York for Natalie Major and your song Hide and Seek. Yea, like this a lot Natalie - and also your balled Lullaby. You have one big voice - and one big future.

So what’s been going on in CowellWorld? Some of you have emailed me saying - Tony, we’re not interested in hearing about the X Factor - We only wanna know whether there is going to be an American X Factor. And so many of you say - as Paula is no longer on idol - you wont bother to watch it next year.

Diane Andrews says:

Hey Tony.
I hope Paula & Simon will be two of the judges. I have watched a couple of episodes and I think the format is far superior to the Idol format. Especially the part where the judges sort of compete with each other. (you mean mentor Diane) It’s far more interesting than boring old Idol. Also they have groups compete, which makes it more interesting. Hope to see the show happen.

Oh It will Diane. It will.

Talking of Idol, I notice Kris Allen’s first single is a cover of The Scripts Live like We’re Dying. Mmm, covers are a bit of a cop out 19 Management. Do you like Kris? Is he your Idol - Let me know please.

By the way, I forgot to mention this a couple of weeks ago. If you thought my Simon and Simon Fuller hate each others guts - then why was Fuller at Simon’s 50th birthday party? Have they made up? Well, till Mr. Cowell takes the X Factor to America, that is. Or…is that what it’s all about -- they’re both working on this deal. Well Fuller wasn’t giving anything away. So…once again, we’ll have to wait and see.

So here’s the thing…Robbie Williams said “I’ve nothing against anyone following their dream - but not if there’re crap.” Mmm – can’t imagine what show he’s talking about.
Now Last week Simon called one of the contestants on X Factor “a singing candle.” In other words - great voice but no stage presence. She’s just motionless on stage when she sings. On the other hand The Twins can’t sing - but move around the stage like two kids possessed. So…I couldn’t help but wonder…what’s more important - the ability to sing or the ability to entertain? What is it that the record buying public actually want from you artists? Well, for two kids who can’t sing - the twins are clearly getting a hell of a lot of votes from girls who think they’re entertaining.
The twins and the singing candle are both under 21. Time enough then, for them both to learn each others skills. But whether it’s the X factor or Idol - the one thing we never know about these contestants until the shows over - is whether they can actually write songs.

As I’ve said before - that’s your pension. All my favourite Idol artists who have gone on to make a great career have been good songwriters.

So, is success all about looks then? Sure…We live in a beauty-obsessed society, so if you don’t look good, do music producers think you won’t be able to attract a large fan base?

I got to be honest, there are thousands of singers out there with a great voice - the whole world has talent. But as far as dance is concerned: You don’t have to be a ballerina, but an ability to move well on stage is kinda important. Very few artists have both qualities in abundance - though Michael Jackson comes to mind.

And what about the candle factor - stage presence. Do you bring the house down when you are on stage, or do you simply stand there and sing like the candle girl?

At the end of the day - for me, it’s always going to be about the songwriting: Ok, you have a great voice, but the reality is that if you are not writing your own songs – and great ones, too – you will, in my opinion, never have a long-term career. And that’s why I’m convinced that musical platforms like Fame Games are going to play such a huge role in the future of music.

Email me and tell me what you think, Is Kris Allen your Idol?:

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

044 Cowell Factor: "This is It" or Is It?

Michael Jackson's film opens up to rave reviews, but is it really a fitting tribute to the "King of Pop." The twins heat up for ROCK week...and coming up, I have a message for Paula Abdul. Listen to my Cowell Factor NOW!

Let’s take a trip down into the Fame Games talent bank - and this week I’ve come over all retro thanks to Chicago based band The Backroom. I kinda like your song Lost Without You. It’s way too sixties but reminds me a little bit of British band The Feeling. I love it. And… just for fun…a quick call out to Victoria Aitken - with her dance track I’ll Be Your Bitch. Mmmmm - and that’s all I’m gonna say.

So what’s been goin’ on in CowellWorld? Well…I guess all you guys in the US are sick and tired of hearing me go on about the X Factor every week. Is that right?? OK – let’s talk Idol then.

Adam Lambert debuted at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his song "Time For Miracles." Do you like it? - I do…. It’s very Adam.

But I can’t wait to see what happens when Adam’s album goes up against last years Idol winner Kris Allen - remember him? Yeaaaa, you’d forgotten hadn’t you. I think I know who’ll win that battle.

And…in just over two months time…American Idol is back on your screens - and I’ll be right there reporting on Idol for US radio so hopefully you guys will be getting a few exclusives with those who matter - and you too Simon!

Talking of those who matter…Paula Abdul still hasn't decided whether to take on judging duties on US show So You Think You Can Dance. So I’ve just sent her a text saying…Oh Paula - please take it. There are too many people that want you back on TV. So stop tweeting and call up Nigel Lithgow and do a deal.
So here’s the thing…Michael Jackson said….“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” Mmmmmm.

I couldn’t help but wonder…is Michael Jackson really loved?

It’s kind of poignant that Michael’s documentary film, and song, is called This is It. Because it is - or is it? Because it’s all so ironic when the only way to really get out of debt is to die. How crazy is that?
According to Forbes magazine Michael is now officially the third highest earning deceased celebrity, surpassing icons including Elvis and John Lennon.

Jackson earned $90 million this year, despite only being deceased four months.
Even more infuriating is how he’s now being hailed as the saviour of Sony. Michael would not be amused.

So is this documentary a fitting tribute to the King of Pop? Well, in one way, yes, given that the film proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Michael was clearly fit and able (during rehearsals anyway) to make a credible comeback at the age of 50. I say 50 because you surely have to be really fit to pull off all those signature dance routines that everyone would have expected to see. Whether he could have physically coped with the strain of completing the full 50 London shows that he was contracted to do is debatable. But the pure fact that the footage clearly demonstrates that Michael was looking so in shape makes the manner and timing of his death that much more contentious.

I guess for me the one reason to see the film is to rejoice in the fact that Michael looked so happy - and it’s proof that if he hadn’t died so tragically he would surely have been back on top for the right reasons. He had a unique talent and could indeed then have left this world knowing people loved him.
Email me and tell me what you think:

The Cowell Factor
If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

043 Cowell Factor: Hear my exclusive interview with my brother Simon

Listen and I get a Fame Games exclusive with my brother Simon as he tells me all about Big Band week!

But first - never mind Simon...lets break into the Fame Games Talent Bank and find some real talent. This week I’ve found British singer songwriter Eva Turkoni. You know what Eva, I think you have great talent - but you seem to lack self confidence. You say in your bio, “Getting rejected is a sign of hope”. It’s not. If you want my advice…keep writing songs as good as Back Home and you will never be rejected – You will definitely succeed in this business.

And I just have to give a quick shout out to Krista Herring. I love your country song Your Letter.

So what’s been going on in Cowellworld? Well, last week I watched Whitney lose her dress on the X Factor stage - but that didn’t seem to bother Simon. I took refuge in his new £50,000 dressing room where he told me what he thought. Listen the to the interview in this blog!

Yes this week its Simon’s favourite - Big Band week and just to let you in on the secret – Westlife’s new song is called Shadows - which was written by Ryan Tedder who of course wrote bleeding love for Leona - so, it should be a cracker. So who’s going be voted off this week? Not the twins, that’s for sure because they’ve got X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman behind them…so to speak. To listen to my interview with Brian, listen to this podcast!

Some people have described her as homely - others just boring. But Susan Boyle and her music are looking pretty darn good when it comes to making history. says Boyle's upcoming album has become the largest CD pre-order in the history of She beats marks set by Norah Jones, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay. Whatever!

So here’s the thing…Kurt Cobain said - "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." I tend to agree. It’s like these X Factor contestants who want to be like Mariah, Christina, or god help us Amy Winehouse. So I couldn’t help but wonder, why do you want to be like someone else? Why can’t you be yourself ?

Take last years X Factor winner Alexandra Burke - who got sooooo emotional when she sang with her hero Beyonce. But In just 12 months Alex has had to grow up real fast. She had to - to survive in this business. Luckily she has the right people around her. And at only 21 she now has her own musical identity. She’s not just another Beyonce! and from what I saw of her performance on the X Factor - she’s very much her own artist. Thank god.

So many new artists tend to model themselves on celebrities, but why are they like that? Each new successful artist has a unique aura. You may not always like them - or buy their music. But the most successful artists stay true to their art. Take it from me, musical copycats will never succeed. The best new artists always tend to carve out their own niche. You have to own your own image. Break your own new ground. Be true to yourself and don’t be swayed by others who want to mould or fashion you into the current trend. If you have talent - let it out naturally. Be your own star - and don’t be celebrity led.

Kurt Cobain died tragically I Know - but through it all he was an innovator. He was always himself. And he was right. "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

042 Cowell Factor: Have we crossed the line in our obsession with celebrity?

Robbie Williams makes a rather strange X Factor comeback. Leona Lewis is attacked at a book signing in London…and…Whitney Houston gets set to give the X Factor finalists a vocal master class!

But first - I gotta tell you - I’ve been down in the Fame Games Talent Bank this morning and oh boy …..have I found a hot singer.

Stefanie Shabashova - you are one classy singer. I just love your track Don’t Call Me I’ll Call You. This is such a fun sexy track - and you know what? I also love your ballad All in Time - absolutely stunning. You are definitely the most original female vocalist I have found on Fame Games for a long time.

And I just have to give a quick shout out to another girl singer…Katie Mack.
Katie - I also like your song Everytime You Come Around.

So what’s been goin’ on in CowellWorld? Well…Leona Lewis gets attacked by a loony in a book shop - which has prompted Simon to tighten up security yet again. But you know what? We’ve been here before. You can never do anything to stop a loony no matter how much security you have.
It’s very scary indeed - and I feel sorry for Leona - she’s such a normal sweet person.

Meantime… The X factor hots up and did you see Robbie Williams performance last week? I found the whole thing very uncomfortable. If you saw him - let me know your opinion please.
So who will be voted off the show this week? I spoke with X Factor voice coach the lovely Yvie Burnett - and YVIE told me she thought the two most improved contestants vocally were the Grim twins John and Edward. MMMm…..

Well…it’s Diva week this week with Whitney Houston making her comeback - so god only knows what the twins will sing. And will they get voted off this week? You know what - I don’t think they will.

So here’s the thing - So you STILL wanna be famous? You wanna write that hit song and make millions and become a celebrity do you? Well some of you do. But some of you who I’ve spoken to just want to be able to make a living out of your music. With the news that Leona Lewis was the subject of an unprovoked attack at a London bookshop…I couldn’t help but wonder - at what point does a celebrity become public property. Just because they share their talent why do they lose their claim to privacy and respect? Who signs them over to the loonies? The bullying and stalking of so many celebrities today is testimony to the fact that the line between fact and fiction, has been crossed. It’s reached a point where the boundaries have been pushed so far that the so-called fans out there who truly believe their own fantasies and delusions about whichever celebrity they attach to.

It appears the loonies shift too easily from admiring the celebrity and wanting to be like them into the danger zone of wanting to hurt them. Weird!

I remember being in LA when Terri Seymour was attacked outside the Idol studios. I was with Simon at the house when she came home. She was terrified. Moreover - she didn’t understand it. Why would some woman she had never met before grab her round the neck and try and strangle her?

Taking my mum to Simon’s party last week I was yet again reminded of what celebrities have to endure just dealing with the paparazzi. As our car reached the gates - the photographers just slammed their cameras up against the windscreen - the driver was instantly blinded - and had to stop the car. It was so dangerous. Crazy. And at that point they can’t even see who’s in the car. My 83 year old mum was terrified!

Naturallly I continue to worry about Simon - and how much he is a target. Yea, sure, there is a price to pay for fame and celebrity status. And he can throw as much money as he likes at security men - high fences, electric gates whatever.

So if a celebrity’s energy and time is being consumed in protecting themselves from bullies and stalkers they will never be completely free to share their talent with a world so scary and unpredictable.

Have we crossed the line in our obsession with celebrity?
Email me at

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

041 Cowell Factor: Would Carrie Underwood win American Idol today?

The X Factor gets down to business with the first live show. Meantime…Paula didn’t make it to the party. Simon has man flu - and Louis has surgery!

America has spoken…as you tell me which show you would rather watch. (Well, as long as Simon and Paula are on it)
Right come with me…’cause I’m gonna kick down the door to the Fame Games talent bank and release some hits. This week I’ve got to give a shout out to Beta Rays. I’ve just heard your song I like Dancing. I gotta tell you THIS IS HOT! I love it to bits and you know why? It’s infectious and you’re having so much fun. I absolutely love this song. Well done!

And it’s all British today because I have to include Oliver Piggott with his song Take No Prisoners. Oliver, you know I’m already a big fan of yours. This song takes a while to get going and I would have liked the chorus to come in a little sooner. That said – it’s another little gem of a song.

So what’s been going on in CowellWorld?….well…for starters my mailbox is full of emails from you making it absolutely clear what you think about The X Factor coming to America. Just to re-cap I asked you Are you ready for an Americanized X Factor? And would you watch both shows or dump Idol?

Stephanie Murphy writes: “I guess for me it is all about Simon and Paula, also, when they launch the show it will be great publicity for both of them. And Yes, I would watch both Idol and X-Factor, unless I just can't handle Kara and Ellen, and then Idol will have to go."

Jenice Beatty says:
I think X-Factor will have the longer life. Idol is already dying because it's just getting boring. As far as judges go I love Louis and Cheryl but I don't think American audiences will go for them.”

Yea but Jenice - why has Louis had his teeth whitened and his eye bags removed? Errr America calling!!!! Thank you so much for all your emails and I do read them all -- AND pass some to Simon!

Meanwhile The X Factor live shows are upon us. There’s a new set, a new face for Louis and a long way to go till Christmas. Hot on the heels of Robbie Williams appearance on the show - Next week its Whitney Houston’s turn to ask Simon if she can use his stage to make a comeback. Diva alert!!!

And what about that party…Mmmm. It was so wild! And, just for the record - Paula didn’t show. I know. I was so upset ‘cause had my mic at the ready. I asked Ryan Seacrest where she was - his reply? “Don’t Ask Tony.” The mystery deepens - but I’m on the case. Check out my party diary at the end of this blog!

So here’s the thing…I found a little poem the other day - not one of mine I hasten to add. But I think it was TS Elliot. The first line goes like this…Human nature cannot stand too much reality. I like that!

And with all these TV talent shows - I couldn’t help but wonder - Are we in danger of being overwhelmed? Are we getting SO used to seeing only singers of a certain type breaking through?

How much has changed since Carrie Underwood won Idol back in 2005. I don’t think Carrie would win Idol today. We’re too concerned in looking for pretty girls and pretty boys. There’s
no decline in the amount of people applying to go on Idol - but Is the talent being diluted? How good is last years X Factor winner Alexandra Burke? Is she better than Leona Lewis? No. She’s just a bit more urban. I wonder who has the longer shelf life. And what of Subo. Will her new album storm the charts? Yes. But the fact remains, she’s just a product of a reality show which she didn’t even win. Long life - or just a fad?

Look, don’t get me wrong I love music. But I love Country music, Jazz, Folk and classical too. I just don’t see any way that a country singer could win Idol as it is today. It’s odd really given that Simon rates Carrie as one of his favourite Idol winners. So what do you think? Would Carrie win Idol today?
Email me at

In the meantime - get ready for American X Factor.
EXCLUSIVE to this blog: Simon’s Birthday Party Reportl!

My Party Diary
7pm – Simon’s house -- Simon is still having his vitamin injections and a massage upstairs. Mum announces our car is outside. We finish our drink and rush outside the house. Car’s not there - but the paparazzi are. Mum starts poses immediately - I phone security for car. Car comes. Push mum in back seat - mid-pose and still holding glass.

8pm - arrive outside security gates at party…at least 100 Paparazzi. Mum poses again - but this time from inside the car and bashes Emma’s face.

Walk into the most beautiful 18th century building that appears to have had some sort of odd renovation. A huge projected image of Simon’s face at least 100 ft up covers the whole front of the house.

Enter 1st marquee - to be confronted by at least 50 waiters holding trays of vintage Dom Perignon champagne all wearing Simon masks! Mum nearly fainted. One Simon was enough for her!

Saw Danni Minogue - and chatted about the X Factor - and Simon. Love her. So very pretty - close up…Great dress - Loads of style. She reckons Lucie Jones will be in the final.
Cheryl’s sat next to Simon, shadowed by Phillip and Tina Green who as party organizers put on the most spectacular show I have ever seen.

9pm Dinner. Chicken soup with Simon’s name spelt out in the noodles! Then a choice of fish fingers or Spaghetti Bolognese - followed by buttercream cupcakes with pics of Simon in the icing.

10pm - Leona Lewis comes on stage, followed by Alexandra Burke. Both Brilliant!

11pm - At the bar - get accosted by Jordan and her weird boyfriend Alex Reid who then spends 15 minutes convincing us that he’s not a cage fighter - he’s an “artist!!” So boring. Jordan asks Emma to take her to the loo as she too scared to go alone. Surreal!

The unisex loo has wall to wall mirrors and make-up girls in attendance. One wall houses a gigantic fish tank full of baby sharks! Talking of sharks - met up with Kate Moss for a chat - but I don’t know what she’s talking about!

Ryan Seacrest comes over (he always makes a beeline for my Emma!) I ask him where Paula Abdul is and he replies “Don’t ask Tony.” Disappointed.

12pm - My younger brother Nicholas makes a funny speech to get his own back on Simon - who made a really embarrassing speech at Nick’s wedding. Simon then makes his speech - which was actually very moving and he spoke about being ’very lucky’ and that fame does not last for ever. Mum cries.

1am - Earth Wind and Fire take the stage - and Randy Jackson plays guitar with them. Awesome!

2am - Chat with Gordon Ramsey and his wife. Really funny guy - like him.

3am - All a bit of a blur - but find out later David Hassllehoff has been evicted from the party through a secret door!

4am - Mum has got very wobbly and keeps posing for imaginary paparazzi. I sit her down on Simon’s table. He ignores her so she chats up Dermot O’Leary. I feel for Dermot!

5am - Stuff mum into back of limo and arrive back at Simon’s house at 5.30. Try to put her to bed but she insists on sitting up drinking tea and talking about Piers Morgan. Goodnight Mum…..

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

040 Cowell Factor: I predict X Factor's final 3!

I reveal The X Factor final 12 - and tell you who I think the final 3 will be.
And what news on the X Factor coming to America? Well…I expect to hear from the birthday boy himself!

And coming up…who will win the battle of this year’s Cowell Christmas number one album? The list is endless…Leona Lewis, Adam Lambert, Alexandra Burke, or Subo?

But first…let’s kick down the door to the Fame Games talent bank and showcase some of my favorite songs.

There’s a big buzz about Scottish band Logan. And guys…You say you are a hard rock band but your song With Me - shows your soft side. You write great rock songs and I agree with one critic - you deserve to be on a massive stage.

Next up is Californian singer Mika Cole. Mika, you definitely have jazz in your blood. Your voice is stunning and your song Say What You Want shows it off beautifully. More songs please…NOW.

So what’s been going on in CowellWorld?

Well…it’s all about my brothers 50th birthday party this weekend and the world’s press are camped outside at a certain country mansion in north London.

My plan is to get there early and leave Simon at the house to finish ironing his t shirt. Because… as I’m recording this, there are false eyelashes and Carmen rollers flying everywhere – it’s chaos…. So I’m hoping Simon will give them back to Mum so she can start to get dressed!!!

As you guys in America already know…. Paula Abdul is flying in to be at the party. So I’ll be definitely asking Paula a number of questions that I know you want answers to.

Meantime - the X Factor top 12 has been revealed. And yes, Danyl Johnson is through. So too is the worlds most annoying twins John and Edward. If you wanna know the full list - check out my blog. Right now!

X Factor Final 12
Groups (Louis Walsh):Kandy Rain, John And Edward and GrimesMiss F.R.A.N.K
Boys (Cheryl Cole):Lloyd Daniels, Rikki Loney, and Joe McElderry
Girls (Dannii Minogue):Rachel Adedeji, Stacey Soloman, and Lucie Jones
Over 25s (Simon Cowell):Jamie Afro, Danyl Johnson. and Olly Murs

Here is my prediction for the final 3:
Danyl Johnson
Olly Murs
And Lucie Jones -
Mmmm…I might live to regret that!

And Simon had a warning for the final 12. He told me, “We all saw what happened with Susan Boyle on BGT, and Danyl Johnson’s audition has already had over 7.5 million hits in a month! The world is watching… so make it count guys!”

Both Robbie Williams and Alexandra Burke are expected to perform on the first live shows with Whitney Houston and Cheryl Cole, who has her solo single out, appearing the following week. AND expect to see Susan Boyle on the show in November to launch her solo album due out on the 24th. Boy, November appears to be a busy month for Simon related releases. Adam Lambert, Subo, last years X Factor winner Alexandra Burke - AND Leona Lewis 2nd album.

So here’s the thing

If you live in the US - and this American version of X Factor goes ahead. Would you watch both Idol and X Factor??
And which show is likely to live longer? Or is it all down to who is on the judging panel?
For those of you stateside who are unfamiliar with the X Factor format. The show mixes groups and solo performers across four categories — 16–24 males, 16–24 females, Over 25s, and Groups. And the X Factor’s four judges also serve as mentors — one across each contestant category.

Does the X Factor format excite you more than the more - well established (but tired) Idol format.
Or is it for you …all about Simon and Paula?

Your emails tell their own story
Diane Andrews writes: If X Factor comes to the US I sure hope to see Paula on the panel. I think that show will be more exciting for her than Idol.

And Linda says: The American media are so excited about the X Factor coming here. So they are already convinced this is going to happen.

What do you think, fellow Idoloonies? Are you ready for an Americanized X Factor? Or is it a show too far?

Does that prospect make you worry at all about Idol’s long-term health? Could you see yourself tuning in to both shows, or would it be an either-or proposition? So many questions……But I wanna know. So email me at

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

039 Cowell Factor: Lily Allen frustrated from illegal downloading

Is Simon really taking the X Factor to America? Is illegal downloading such a big problem for the record industry? Lily Allen seems to think so. AND X factor gets ready to go to boot camp next week!

Back in Britain - The X Factor reveals its final 24
But first…I wanna play the Fame Game to see if I can find the real stars of tomorrow.
And this week I’ve found….Lee Whittikar from one of my favorite places, Hollywood. Lee, I absolutely love your track Waiting For You. This should be a massive hit. It kinda sounds like as if The Police have joined Coldpay. Love it!

Next up is London boy, Andy Saxton and his song In Our Place. It’s an odd song really, but the more you hear it you realize its kinda sad but actually really well written. I like you Andy, but why only one song on Fame Games?

So whats been happening in CowellWorld?

Well…the rumor mill is grinding furiously again this week over whether Simon is about to take the X Factor to America. The truth is probably, yes. But there are complicated legal issues at stake here - and also he is yet to sign a deal with Idol for 2011 and 12. So he’s saying absolutely nothing. But I’m beginning to believe it’s only a matter of time before both actually happen. Where that leaves Paula? - we’ll have to wait and see.

Meantime, while the British tabloids are busy exposing all the naughty contestants; The X Factor is down to the final 24. And next weekend we see the Judges houses when Louis goes to Italy, with the groups and Ronan Keating. Cheryl gets a helping hand from Will Young. Mmmmm.
And Danni drags out her sister again. And Simon? - in LA of course with a big bag of colourful bikinis. Sinitta’s not Simons.

And, as the BBC refuses to back down - Simon has called time on the scheduling battle. He told me. “Actually I don’t care anymore. This should be about keeping the fans of both shows happy. All I want to do is focus on getting a great winner." That’s my boy!

So here’s the thing:
I’m reliably informed that every year in Britain 7.3 million computer users illegally download music tracks. Teenagers in particular have an average of more than 800 illegally copied songs on their digital music players. In turn this costs the music industry £200 million sterling.

And according to singer Lily Allen - she’s up in arms about it. And I reckon she’s got a point.
She says…illegal file sharing damages music because it harms new artists.

Lily adds...When you start off in your music career, you need money to establish and promote yourself, and pay for your material to be recorded. This money comes from music sales, because when you are a new artist you can’t make enough from gigging or selling t-shirts. If you can’t sell your music, you can’t go on.

Ok Lily - I get it. File sharing cuts off income for the cash-strapped emerging artists - which means that a generation of new artistes won’t be able to break through. Mmmmm.

Since speaking out about it - Some people have attacked Lily Allen saying - Hey, you’re rich now - so what are YOU moaning about?

But I do think she’s got a point. As musicians, and song writers I guess you too have a kind of duty to try and help stop piracy. If there is that kind of drain on the music industry - to the tune of 200 mill - then it must have an effect on the record labels spending on new artists. Surely?

So what can we do?
Do YOU ever download illegally? And is it as big a problem as Lily Allen says it is. I wanna know.
Email me at

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

038 Cowell Factor: Paula fans speak out!

The X factor gets ready to go to boot camp next week. At long last…. Meanwhile, Susan Boyle wows America with her first single!
And coming up…Boy! Do you have a lot to say about Ellen joining Idol.

But first…never mind the X Factor - we’ve got talent right here in the Fame Games talent bank.

And this week I’ve found Australian singer songwriter Emily Maguire. Emily, I love your song The Real World. It’s the only one I can find on Fame Games - so let’s hear some more.

Now I’ve always been a fan of crazy man Sunset Slim. And I like the new song Beautiful Day to be Bad.” And I agree with one reviewer – It’s very Reservoir Dogs. Love it Slim!

So what’s been happening in Cowell world??

Well…the news that Ellen Degeneres will join the Idol judging panel seems to have you up in arms……

Jenice Beatty writes:
I love how the core Idol fans are revolting over this whole Ellen thing. I think the fact that Simon hasn't publicly spoken about Ellen speaks volumes. I agree TONY…Simon already takes care of OUR voice...we don't need Ellen.

And Lily Holiday adds:
I think Ellen is a big mistake. It makes the show a joke... come on... she has NO credibility as a judge? She has absolutely no expertise in the music industry.

Mmmm - good point Lily. the X Factor gets set to go to boot camp next week the tables are already being laid for Simon's birthday party next month.
The mirrors are being strategically placed, and the champagne put on ice. My tux has been dry cleaned and I’m good to go. My only hope is that Britain’s biggest wannabe rock singer, Kate Moss changes her plan to ruin the night-- by singing! Please Kate, just leave it to Leona.

So here’s the thing…..
If you could have found a bookmaker willing to take the bet — which is doubtful — you could have made a fortune betting that Susan Boyle’s first single would be a 38-year old Rolling Stones classic.
Boyles version, in my opinion, transforms "Wild Horses" from a complicated account of emotional confusion to a simple exclamation of longing. Proof surely that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are vastly underrated as songwriters.

The fact is America appears to love Boyle - but love has many facets - so perhaps they fell in love with the fact that an ordinary woman was suddenly plucked from obscurity to become a superstar?

While Boyle’s star continues to shine brightly,there is, in Britain, a rising backlash against the exploitation of realty TV contestants??

Stars of reality TV shows should be paid the minimum wage, says the entertainment union Equity.
They accuse programme makers of 'exploiting and humiliating' vulnerable people by misleading them into thinking they can succeed in the entertainment industry - Claiming reality shows are the 'modern equivalent of a Victorian freak-show'. mmm

Apparently The Government is currently reviewing the protection of children on TV shows after 10-year-old Britain's Got Talent’s, Hollie Steel broke down in tears. My god…we have come along way.

And a poll by British newspaper The Guardian found that 67 per cent thought Susan Boyle had been exploited after she suffered a breakdown.

The truth is - they say - is that Boyle is a vulnerable and exploited middle aged woman. Her fairy tale did come true, but at a high physical and mental cost.

Look…what equity is really saying is ….‘Britain HAS got let's pay them.’ But the problem lies with human nature Equity - the whole world thinks they have talent! And every kid, and middle aged women with a dream…. want to be famous.

So have the talent police got a point? What do you think? Email me at

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

037 Cowell Factor

Ellen Degeneres joins the Idol judging panel - a bad idea - or an inspired one? Meantime there’s a rumour that Paula Abdul could join the X Factor panel. True or false? I find out!

And Beatle fans queue up to buy the new remastered albums. Good
for the music biz or just more easy money?

But first – let’s break into the Fame Games talent bank and grab a fistful of hits.
Now I mentioned NY band Underwhelmed before - but guys I love your new track Freak (Like Me). Don’t stop what your doing. Cos it works.

And you know by now that I like a bit of country music and this week the spotlight falls on Nashville’s Heather Wiggins. Your track, A Lot Like Georgia is brilliant! - I love the passion in your voice.

So what’s been going on in Cowellworld?

Well….the big story this week is US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the new judge of 'American Idol'. Yes, she’s the one who will be taking over Paula‘s seat…next to Simon. But already she has begun to worry me. Ellen says…"Hopefully, I'm gonna be the people's point of view because I'm just like you, I sit at home and I watch the show. ‘That’s the person I relate to and whose records I’m going to buy.’ I hope to be that voice.”

But that’s Simon's voice Ellen - isn’t it?

Meanwhile, there’s another Paula rumour doing the rounds that she may be joining Simon on the panel of the X Factor. Mmmm…I’m not so sure about this one. If it’s true - and Simon won’t tell me - yet. It’s more likely for X Factor US style - rather than the UK show. So…make what you will of that - conspiracy theorists.

So here’s the thing….. While Beatle fans queue to buy copies of the newly re-mastered albums Simon revealed that he thinks The Beatles would have failed the auditions for The X Factor. He’s probably right.

Simon said he would have turned down the Fab Four – unless they dropped drummer Ringo Starr. Fair enough!

Though Simon was quick to jump on the Beatles PR bandwagon he conveniently forgot to mention that the first time he heard me playing their records in my smoky bedroom - he fell in love with them. The Beatles were the bedrock of his musical education. Till he found Robson & Jerome that is then it all went downhill.

Diehard fans of The Beatles have been waiting for this moment for decades. But you know what I’m going to say don’t you? It’s taken years for these to be remastered - and I’m sure they sound great. But come on…it’s just another blatant easy money maker for the labels. Simple, easy, loads of cash. Invest in the past and not in the future.

But you know what? In a way anyone of my generation can be forgiven for coming over all nostalgic when the Beatles are mentioned.

To be honest, once I grew out of the “She Loves You” phase- I got more into The Stones, The Doors, and Dylan. However, the closest I ever came to meeting the Beatles was one weird night when I got to go to George Harrison’ gothic mansion, Friar Park in Henley. It is not something I would forget. The door was opened by Ravi Shankar. Then the next thing I know I’m sitting in George’s 16 track studio - playing his drum set with Ravi Shankar on Sitar. Weird I know. But not as weird as the magical mystery tour we then embarked upon in the underground caves which ran beneath George’s garden. We sat in tiny boats and rowed through these spooky natural caves full of twinkly lights and the sound of Ravi’s mystical sitar. It’s no wonder George loved that house where he recorded all his solo albums right there in that studio.

You see I can remember the 60’s - or some of it anyway.

And Now back to the future - And just a quick shout out to another of my favourite Fame Games band. Nashville band Philos: I just heard your song, Come Drive. And Kenny Foster! You have one great rock voice.

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

036 Cowell Factor

Never mind Robbie Williams - Get ready for Boyle mania as Susan’s album is already number 1 in America!

Meanwhile - AVRIL LAVIGNE takes her seat as a guest judge on Idol - who’s next? Obama???

But before all that – let’s kick down the door to the Fame Games talent bank. And it never takes too long for me to unearth a gem. And Scotland has a habit of producing little gems - in the form of The Genevieve’s. Your song Forgive Me has a kind of haunting quality. Cute.

Now we turn to the Fame Games Hall of Fame to get some Kelly Pettit. And you know what Kelly? I actually prefer it when you’re doing your country thing. Just love your song World Is Turning.

So what on earth has been going on in Cowell world???
Well, Avril Lavigne is set to join AMERICAN IDOL as a guest judge during the final two days of auditions in Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of Avril’s music - she’s hugely talented - but is she right for Idol?

Well compared to Victoria Beckham - Yes

And despite being 2 and a half months before Susan Boyle’s debut album is released - so many fans have been pre-ordering on Amazon that it is now Number 1 in the US. My god!
The album is actually released on November 24th - which is a bit odd really as Adam Lambert's album is due out the same day. Mmm, I bet Adam never thought he would be up against Susan Boyle!

According to US press TV viewers are getting tired of Americas Got Talent because none of the contestants really hit the spot - one US magazine stated The X Factor has way more talent even in the audition stages … Danyl Johnson, Daryl Markham to name a few. So - is this what Simon always wanted? The chance to take The X Factor to America and give the people what they want. Watch…This…Space…

So here’s the thing……
A recent poll on The X Factor website claimed that 45% of viewers thought that Simon has turned into "Mr. Softie." Mmmmm! But even funnier is that 35% thought he risked losing his place as the meanest X Factor judge. Really? Who to? Louis?!!

Some people reckon that he has toned down things after the backlash when he made ten year old Hollie Steel cry on Britain’s Got Talent. Did you see that? Then of course you had the Boyle Factor. When Susan had that little…well…meltdown.

But I couldn’t’t help but wonder….doesn’t Simon have a huge responsibility to ensure that the young kids on these shows, as well as contestants like Susan, are looked after? Of course he does, and he is taking this issue very seriously.

Look…. Simon’s hasn’t changed. He’s always been the King of the cutting comment. I can vouch for that - I’ve been on the end of many a snarky remarks! This year Simon is being extra careful with the youngsters - and that’s good to see. After doing this for 8 years I think he’s more comfortable showing his softer side.

But, will it last????

If you think Simon’s gone soft this year email me at - and let’s try and make him hard again..

The Cowell Factor

If you've only got ONE shot at FAME you might as well get it right!!