Monday, July 13, 2009

028 Cowell Factor

As 12 year-old Shaheen sang his way into pop history at Michael Jackson’s funeral - America’s Got Talent are scratching their head wondering what on earth they have to do to find a star of their own.

So….will Simon sign him? I find out.

So what’s been going on in Cowell world…..Well…with the launch of the X Factor only a few weeks away - Madonna is being lined up to mentor this year’s finalists. And I can confirm that Simon has met with Madonna - and I do believe this will actually happen.

Last week I reported Robbie Williams was being hailed as Simon’s replacement on the judging panel. Joke yes….but I wouldn’t rule him out of being a mentor on the show - as Simon (rightly or wrongly) definitely wants to do a Robbie Williams themed week.

Now it time for me to open the door of the Fame Games talent bank - as I go in search of 2 more of my favorite artists.

I think I’ve mentioned Canadian band Full Turnout before - but actually I don’t care because I love them. Perfect Neverending is a stunning song. And yes, even my Emma loves it. So it must be good.

But guys….actually I prefer your ballad, Swept Away. And…. you know my stance on bad lyrics? - well, this song does have kinda corny lyrics - but yet somehow - just somehow - they work… because this song has a simple, haunting beauty all of its own.

And I have to give a quick shout out to NY band Underwhelmed. I think your song Washed Away really rocks. I want to hear more please. But bring up the vocal.

I had lots of emails from you following my Lousy Lyrics slot last week. - one in particular from Maggie Paz in Argentina.


Dear Tony - I HAD to tell you how much I agree with you! About Shakira’s song “Whenever, Wherever" And if you think the lyrics are ridiculous in English, have you heard them in Spanish?

No Maggie I haven’t. Well, translation makes it sound worse of course. But it goes something like this:

"I could climb the Andes if only to go and count your moles" Mmmmm…..Hilarious.

Got any more? Let me know please.

So here’s the thing…The biggest night of 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi’s life was meant to come next Monday; when he was due to duet with Michael Jackson at the singer’s comeback concerts here in London. But instead… he sang his way into history - after the Jackson family invited the Britain’s got talent star to sing at Michael’s memorial service.

But I couldn’t help but wonder…is child stardom such a good idea? Should he have actually been there in the first place? Was it the right time and place for him to launch his career?

Shaheen was introduced on stage by Smokey Robinson to sing Who’s Lovin’ You?, a song that, as Robinson pointed out, a nine-year-old Jackson had sung with “such knowingness and pain” — was that not a big give away in itself?

Wasn’t that the whole problem with Jackson himself - being pushed into the spotlight at such an early age.

But…not only did Shaheen have to face down a worldwide audience of 1 billion people… but right in front of him, sat the entire Jackson family, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Mariah Carey, So no pressure there, then.

And yes…he handled it well. Simon said he was fantastic. And yes…Simon does have an option to sign him.

And yes, it would be so easy to launch Shaheen as the Next Michael Jackson with an album of covers.

But he’s 12 years old for god’s sake - and lets be honest…there will only ever be…one Michael Jackson.

And for me…I would rather remember Jackson’s death for what it really was. The death of a hugely talented, yet troubled performer.

For me… it was the day the 80’s died. And so not the launch platform for a 12 year-old boy from Wales.
I’d be interested in your views as always - so email me please at

The Cowell Factor

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