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!!


  1. Yes I will really boycott Idol. I've been a Paula fan for 20 years. I can watch Simon on his other shows, I can't stand Kara, and adding Ellen to Idol is just plain STUPID!!! And as for Simon and Paula looking "almost" in love. Come on, Tony, I think it's more like "always have been and always will be" IN LOVE.

  2. Idol is a different show now. There is no real reason for me to watch, the contestants have settled into sameness season over season. Simon and Paula are unpredictable and they held my interest. I really don't care for any of the players now except Simon, and I can get my Simon fix on any of his other shows. If Simon continues on Idol, it's only a matter of time before he gets bored. Paula was a great source of entertainment for him and also a great balance. Paula has the right idea, it's time to do something different. I hope they do some other project together in the near future. It's difficult accepting that what we're used to looking forward to twice a week is now over. They are great fun to watch. I'm not so sure they're in love, but they do have something very special and I hope they never part.

  3. Well Paula was one of the only unpredictable elements of AI, so for me, I have no desire to watch anymore. I never liked Kara and I have no desire to hear Ellen's critiques on music...

    And that is a cute picture of Paula and Simon... they would make an adorable couple in my opinion.

  4. Yes I will really boycott American Idol when it is on. I am currently boycotting Fox. If Ryan Seacrest, and Randy Jackson keep pimping Ellen on AI I will boycott everything they are on.
    The only reason I started watching AI is because of Paula. I started to like Simon because of Paula and the balance they have together. I do not really care to watch Simon without Paula. I have seen him on his other shows and the woman are boring and do not work well with him.

    I don't hate Ellen but I do not think she belongs on AI as a judge. I think if they wanted to bring Ellen on AI they should hasve her as host. Either with Ryan and replace Ryan. His act is really getting old. American fans really hate his banter flirting with Simon. He should just come out already.

    Besides I hate Kara who on AI. She is boring, annoying and does not belong on TV.

  5. Yes, I will boycott American Idol. The show is nothing without Paula. Its just going to be another boring reality TV.

    I mean ... come on!!! Look what we are left with. Randy is a great guy, but lets face it, without Paula & Simon, he and American Idol would have never reached the top. And Kara who??? She's a nobody to me and to many many others. She has no personality, no charm and isn't even remotely interesting. Ellen has absolutely no business being on this show. Everybody knows why, she is simply not qualified. I don't care how big a name you are, if you are not qualified in a certain area, you've no right to judge it.

    The only person left, who is as great, is Simon. And while he is awesome on the show, I don't believe the show can survive without that wonderful chemistry that he had with Paula. He is just gonna get bored and irritable.

    BTW, that picture of Simon and Paula is so adorable! :)) Tony ... I think they were always in love and always will be. :))

  6. American Idol Will Suck Majorly Without Paula. The Panel Makes No Sence Now..Ellen?? I Mean I Like Her Shes Great..But Shes Got Nothing To Do With Music So Why Her?

    And Duuude. Simon & Paula Are So In love With Each Other..I Dont Know Why They Dont Just Admit It. Everyone Can See It.

  7. I agree with the last comment Simon & Paula need to make an announcement, get married, do SOMETHING!!! But I guess they deserve their privacy as much as anyone else. Pretty soon we can start calling them Spencer Tracy & Katherine Hepburn.

    After this season I think Idol will go away on its own and there will be NO SHOW to boycott. I liked Ellen on the Oscars and as the voice of a fish but, come on, a judge on Idol? What were they thinking? I guess the same thing they were thinking when they hired Kara. Fox obviously doesn't listen to the audience. X-Factor needs to start soon, but I hope they don't bring the British judges over here. I'd love to see Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert on a panel with Simon & Paula, but I'm sure those two will be too busy making records. Simon will come up with something brilliant I'm sure.

  8. Idol is ALL about Simon and Ryan! Their chemistry is enough to keep the show going and lets not forget, the main focus should be on the contestants.

    Tony, i listened to your interview with Simon and could barely tell you apart. Interviews on radio between you two do not work!